CLEARWATER, Fla. – No. RV/23 Ohio State came up short Sunday afternoon in a tough battle with No. RV/24 Notre Dame, 3-2, on its final day of the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational. The loss puts the Buckeyes at 4-4 overall while the Fighting Irish improve to 4-6.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame came out the gate swinging on a RBI double in the opening frame. The Fighting Irish built on their lead in the fourth on two RBI singles.
The Buckeyes put two runs of their own up in the home half of the fourth, all with two outs. Claire Nicholson walked before Summer Constable entered as a pinch runner. Andi Farrah picked up a hit on a single through the 3-4 hole, pushing Constable to third before stealing second. With runners in scoring position, Ashley Prange doubled off the wall to plate two runs and cut the deficit to 3-2.
Notre Dame attempted to add to its one-run edge but Morgan Ray had an inning-ending strikeout in the sixth and the defense retired the side in order in the seventh.
Ohio State threatened in the final frame as Megan McMenemy drew a walk and Emily Clark reached on a fielding error. Both runners got into scoring position on a grounder but a pop up sealed their fate.
Three pitchers saw time for the Buckeyes, starting with Kat Duvall, who pitched three innings of four-hit, two-run, two-strikeout ball. Lauren Rice made an appearance for 0.2 innings, allowing one run and three hits. Ray recorded two strikeouts and held the Fighting Irish to a hit over the final 3.1 innings.
The Buckeyes head to Palm Springs, Calif. for the Mary Nutter Classic Feb. 22-24. The team will face Army, Utah, Duke and New Mexico State.