Feb. 27, 2016
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Another day, another pair of wins for the Ohio State softball team in South Carolina. Following a 9-1 win this morning against Morehead State, the Buckeyes (9-3) came back to top Virginia Tech for the second time in 24 hours in the nightcap to pick up their fourth straight win.
THE SHORT STORY
Ohio State won a six-inning contest against Morehead State by scoring five time in the fifth inning and then broke a 4-4 tie in the fifth inning against Virginia Tech with a two-run Taylor White double to top the Hokies, 6-5, at USC Upstate’s Cyrill Stadium.
STARS OF THE DAY
Cammi Prantl: 4-6, home run, double, four RBI
Maddy McIntyre: 3-5, double, two triples
Shelby McCombs: 2.1 IP in relief vs. Virginia Tech, first save as a Buckeye
Taylor White: Game-winning RBI vs. Virginia Tech
Game One: Ohio State 9, Morehead State 1
The Buckeyes scored five times in the sixth inning to break open a close game, starting off their day with a 9-1 six inning walk-off win.
Coming off a pair of big games on Friday, Cammi Prantl continued to swing a hot bat as she went two for three with a game-high three RBI and added two runs scored. Becca Gavin, making the start in left field for the second consecutive day, also drove in a pair of run, the eighth and ninth of the game that ended the contest in the bottom of the sixth.
In the circle, Lena Springer made her second start of the year and pitched six innings with four strikeouts without allowing an earned run.
For the third time in as many games, Ohio State scored in the first inning. Today it was via an Erika Leonard RBI groundout that scored Maddy McIntyre, who had reached on a lead-off walk. Two more runs came across the plate in the bottom of the second when Prantl singled home Taylor White. Gavin, the next batter, reached on a throwing error by the third basemen, allowing Prantl to score from third.
The score remained 3-0 through three and a half innings, but in the bottom of the fourth, Anna Kirk led off with a double and McIntyre drove her in with a triple down the right field line. On defense, Ashley Goodwin turned an inning-changing double play in the fourth after Morehead got its first two batters on via a single and walk.
Ohio State’s five-run sixth inning was keyed when the first two batters of the inning — McIntyre and Bayne — reached via a walk and hit by pitch, respectively. The Buckeyes eventually loaded the bases and White walked, forcing home McIntyre. Prantl then singled through the right side, scoring two, and Gavin closed things out with a two-RBI single up the middle.
Six different players collected hits in the contest with the bottom of the order — Prantl, Gavin, Kirk — going a combined four-for-six with five RBI and three runs scored.
Game Two: Ohio State 6, Virginia Tech 5
Taylor White had what proved to be the game-winning hit in the top of the fifth inning — a double to left center that scored two runs — as Ohio State completed its day with a gritty 6-5 win over Virginia Tech.
Prantl was once again lights out at the plate, going two-for-three with a home run, double and one RBI. Over the course of the weekend, she is nine-for-11 with nine RBI, three doubles and two home runs (1.636 slugging percentage). In the fifth, she was intentionally walked, setting up White’s heroics.
Just like it had in the morning, Ohio State was able to plate a run in the first inning. McIntyre started the game off with a stand-up double to right center, and after Bayne was retired on a pop up, Leonard drove McIntyre home with a double down the left field line. McIntyre finished the game two-for-three with a double, triple and one run scored.
In the second inning, Prantl continued her torrid weekend when she connected on a solo home run to right center, her second homer of the weekend and eighth hit in nine official at-bats. The lead grew to 3-0 when White came home from third on a passed ball and Gavin and McIntyre executed a double steal that resulted in Gavin scoring.
Virginia Tech put two runs on the board in the bottom of the second thanks to a lead-off walk, single, error and bases-loaded walk. Shelby Hursh came on in relief of starter Morgan Ray and recorded the final two outs of the inning, a strikeout and fly out to center.
The Hokies loaded the bases with no outs in the next inning, getting a pair of walks to tie the game up at 4-4. The first one came with nobody out, but Hursh was able to strikeout the next two batters before giving up a second walk to bring in the tying run.
Ohio State retook the lead in the top of the fifth with White’s double to left center. That two-run lead would be short lived as Virginia Tech was able to put a run on the board in the bottom of the fifth via a two-out wild pitch that plated a run from third.
Shelby McCombs came on in relief of Hursh in the bottom of the fifth and picked up her first save for the Scarlet and Gray, recording the final out of the inning and then retiring the Hokies without allowing a hit in both the sixth and seventh innings. In the seven, Virginia Tech went down 1-2-3 on two ground outs to third and a strikeout.
Ohio State concludes play at the Spartan Classic tomorrow with a 1 p.m. contest against host USC Upstate.