Buckeyes score four runs in first inning vs. Bearkats

HOUSTON, Texas – Powered by a four run first inning, the No. 14/16 Ohio State softball team bounced back with a 6-0 victory over Sam Houston State in its first of two games Saturday at the Marriott Houston Hobby Classic. The squad is now 1-1 on the season.

The Buckeyes jumped ahead early vs. the Bearkats, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter Dee Dee Hillman singled with Ohio State all-time career home run owner Sam Marder in the second spot. Marder sent the first pitch she saw over the left-field fence, her 44th career homer, to score Hillman and put the Buckeyes up 2-0. Sam Houston State’s starting pitcher Morgan Milkalin got back on track with two force outs which brought redshirt senior Courtney Pruner up to bat. The Akron, Ohio, native sailed a line drive over the centerfield fence for her 27th career homer. Junior Rachael Shepherd followed with a double and was knocked in by senior Leah Ledford. The West Chester, Ohio, native put the ball in play, finding a gap in short center and giving Shepherd time to come home from second on the throw.

Ohio State tacked on another run in the second with two outs on the board. After going long in her first at bat, Marder was walked and sophomore shortstop Alicia Herron moved her into scoring position with a single. Next up, senior second baseman Whitney Cooper hit the ball deep into centerfield to bring Marder home as the throw from the outfield did not have enough distance to get to the plate.

The scored remained 5-0 through five innings as Ohio State starting pitcher Megan Miller fanned five batters, closing out the side three up, three down in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

After knocking in a run in the first inning, Ledford scored one of her own in the bottom of the sixth. Batting in the seven spot, she singled and two batters later, pinch hitter Karisa Medrano brought Ledford in as she doubled to deep left center.

The Miller and the Scarlet and Gray defense held off Sam Houston State for the shutout in seven innings. Miller ended the game with five strike outs while allowing just two hits. Offensively, Ohio State posted 10 hits with just one Buckeye striking out.

Next, Ohio State plays Baylor in game two, starting just after 11 a.m. (CT) Saturday.