April 5, 2019

Ohio State Opens B1G Series With 2-0 Win over Rutgers

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State opened its three-game weekend series against Rutgers with a 2-0 victory on Friday night keyed by the pitching of Lauren Rice and Morgan Ray coupled with timley fifth-inning hitting. With the win – Ohio State’s fourth in a row – the Buckeyes improve to 22-10, 6-1 in the Big Ten while Rutgers falls to 16-18, 0-7 B1G.

THE SHORT STORY
Rice, who improved to 13-1 on the season, went 5.2 innings and allowed just three hits. Morgan Ray went the final 1.1 innings for her second save of the season, getting a key bases-loaded strikeout in the top of the sixth inning to preserve the 2-0 lead. At the plate, Emily Clark and Bri Betschel both drove in runs in the fifth inning with a double and single, respectively, to back the Buckeyes’ efforts in the circle.

HOW THE RUNS WERE SCORED
• Meg Otte began the bottom of the fifth with a single to center field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Claire Nicholson. Two batters later, Betschel singled through the right side and scored Otte for a 1-0 Ohio State lead. Clark gave the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead on a double that landed in shallow center field, scoring Betschel.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
• In the first inning, Rutgers got the first two batters on via a walk and single through the left side. The Buckeyes caught Jess Hughes stealing third and then got an inning-ending double play to neutralize the threat.
• Rutgers threatened in the top of the sixth inning when it loaded the bases on one hit and two walks. Ray came in after a Anyssa Iliopoulos single to shortstop and Katie Wingert earned a walk, but Ray got the biggest out of the game with a swinging strikeout of Nicole Bowman.
• After a lead-off walk in the top of the seventh inning, Ray shut down the Scarlet Knights with a two fielders choices and a line out to third base.

IN THE CIRCLE
• In picking up her 13th win, Rice walked just two batters and allowed only two hits after the first inning. Ray’s strikeout in the sixth inning with the bases loaded was the Buckeyes’ lone K on the night.

THIS AND THAT
• Ohio State came into the game leading the Big Ten in double plays turned and added two more tonight to bring its season total to 19.
• Ohio State has won 12 straight games against Rutgers.
• The Buckeyes are 22-5 in their last 27 Big Ten home games.
• Freshmen Ashley Prange and Kaitlyn Coffman have hit safely in four consecutive games.
• In Big Ten games only, Betschel leads the team with a .500 batting average (10 hits in 20 at-bats) and .565 on-base percentage.

WHAT’S NEXT
Ohio State and Rutgers continue their series with a 2 p.m. game tomorrow that can be seen live on BTN Plus.