RALEIGH, N.C. – The Ohio State softball team (3-2) dropped a late 5-3 decision on the road to North Carolina State (3-3) at Dail Stadium on Friday evening to open the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
THE NITTY GRITTY
After a trio of scoreless innings, the Buckeyes broke the stalemate in the top of the fourth. It started with a leadoff single by Avery Clark to warm up the Ohio State bats. Mariah Rodriguez came in to run on Clark’s behalf and made it to third on Taylor Pack’s double to center field. Up next, Megan McMenemy’s sacrifice fly gave Rodriguez time to scamper home. Claire Nicholson followed up with her first hit of the season, an RBI double to left field, to put the team ahead 2-0.
Clark put her power on display in the sixth and extended the lead to 3-0. Leading off the inning, the freshman swung on the first pitch and went yard on a solo home run over left field.
NC State responded with a base-clearing hit of its own and cut the deficit to one, 3-2, on a two-run homer by Brigette Nordberg in the bottom of the sixth.
The Buckeyes threatened in the visitor half of the seventh after Otte got on base with a two-out single but could not bring her home. A pair of singles in the bottom of the seventh set up the Wolfpack’s Logan Morris, who hit a three-run walk-off homer to end the game, 5-3.
Right-handed hurler Payton Buresch (2-2) tossed her third complete game of the season. She registered nine hits, five runs and four strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work.
The Buckeyes face Notre Dame at 10 a.m. and NC State at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.