PORTLAND, Ore. – Right-handed ace Morgan Ray threw the first solo no-hitter of her career as the Ohio State softball team picked up a pair of wins during its doubleheader at Portland State on Tuesday night. The Buckeyes knocked four home runs in their 8-4 triumph before cruising to a 7-0 shutout in the nightcap behind Ray’s no-no.
By sweeping the Vikings, head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly earned the 400th win of her 13-year career. Schoenly is currently in her seventh season at the helm for Ohio State.
Ohio State (13-6) handed Portland State (8-12) its first losses at home. The Buckeyes extended their win streak to four games, in which they have outscored their opponents by a 27-9 margin.
GAME 1: Ohio State 8, Portland State 4
It was a big third inning for the Buckeyes as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead on back-to-back home runs by Lilli Piper and Emily Clark. Carley Gaskill set up the offense with a leadoff single to left field. Andi Farrah reached on a fielding error by the first baseman before stealing second. Piper stood her ground at the plate and demolished a three-run homer over the left field wall. Next up, Clark swung on the first pitch and dropped the ball in the same spot as Piper’s on solo dinger.
The Vikings cut the deficit in half, 4-2, in the bottom of the third on a two-run homer by Sala Pedebone.
Piper opened the fifth inning with a four-pitch walk. Clark’s hot streak continued as she went the distance for the second time to add two runs to the tally. The home runs kept coming in the sixth as Meg Otte connected on her first homer in Scarlet & Gray on a solo shot to right field.
Portland State used a RBI double and fielder’s choice to get within three, 7-4, in the home half of the sixth. The Buckeyes responded in the seventh as Ashley Prange’s sacrifice fly brought a run in.
Righty Lauren Rice improved to 6-1 on the year after tossing five innings. She gave up four runs (three earned) and eight hits with two strikeouts. Kat Duvall struck out three and allowed two hits in two innings of relief.
GAME 2: Ohio State 7, Portland State 0
RHP Morgan Ray (6-3) went the distance for the fifth time this season. She threw the first no-hitter of her career and recorded six strikeouts. She was backed up by a defense that only allowed two runners to reach third base.
The Buckeyes struck quickly in the opening frame to go ahead 4-0. In the leadoff spot, Farrah singled to short and stole second to get into scoring position. Keeping with the trend, Piper and Clark hit consecutive RBI doubles put two runs on the board. Next up, Carver walked and stole second, moving Clark to third base. Kaitlyn Coffman reached on a fielder’s choice to stack the bags before Claire Nicholson beat a full count to draw a bases-loaded walk. Otte added another run on a RBI sac fly.
Clark started the fifth with a walk and Carver followed up with a single. Kallie Boren entered the game as a pinch hitter for Coffman and was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Coffman re-entered and Summer Constable came in to run on Carver’s behalf. With the bags covered, Nicholson punched the ball to left field plate Clark. Otte joined in with a two-RBI single to center for the final 7-0 score.
Ohio State heads to Phoenix, Ariz. for the GCU Invite this weekend Mar. 15-17. The Buckeyes will take on Weber State, Lehigh and Grand Canyon.