April 29, 2017
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A late surge of offense – highlighted by home runs from Emily Clark and Alex Bayne along with a two-out, three-run triple in the bottom of the sixth inning – was more than enough for pitcher Morgan Ray, who limited Iowa to just two hits in Saturday’s 6-0 shutout of the Hawkeyes. With the win, Ohio State is 30-13 on the year and 13-6 in the Big Ten while Iowa falls to 16-29, 7-12.
THE SHORT STORY
Clark broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth with a solo blast to straightaway centerfield, Bayne added a homer in the bottom of the fifth and White broke the game open with her triple to right field in the sixth. Ray fanned six Hawkeyes for the first complete game shutout of her career.
HOW THE RUNS WERE SCORED
• Ohio State’s first hit of the afternoon was a big one, as Clark launched a 1-1 offering from Iowa’s Shayla Starkenburg over the centerfield fence for her seventh home run of the year. The shot also broke a scoreless tie.
• One inning later, Bayne hit a two-out solo home run to right center when she also connected off Starkenburg, making the score 2-0. It was Bayne’s 14th home run of the season, tying her for the team lead with Lilli Piper. She now has 33 home runs in the last two seasons, most among active Big Ten players.
• The game was broken wide open with a four-spot in the bottom of the sixth. The rally started as Clark and Ashley Goodwin delivered back to back singles and continued when Anna Kirk reached on an error. Becca Gavin then worked a walk to bring home the third run of the game, and after the next two batters were retired, White tripled down the right field line to bring home three run and push the Buckeye lead to 6-0.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
• Iowa left runners on base in each of the first four innings. In the top of the second, McKenzie Schneider doubled to right center field with one out, putting a runner in scoring position. The next batter, Claire Fritsch, was hit by a pitch, but Ray was able to work out of trouble by striking out Katy Taylor and getting Sarah Kutrz to ground out to second.
• Holding on to a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth, the lead-off batter in the inning, Devin Cantu, walked and Schneider did the same with two outs. On a 1-2 pitch, however, Fritschy sent a hard shot to Piper at shortstop, who corralled the ball and flipped it to Kirk at third base for the inning-ending fielder’s choice.
• Ray finished off her complete game shutout by working around a lead-off single in the top of the seventh and retiring the next three batters on a fielder’s choice, ground out and fly out.
STREAKS AND SNIPITS
• Head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly reached the 30-win mark for the eighth straight season in her 11-year head coaching career.
• Ohio State’s five-member pitching staff now has 11 shutouts on the season and has held an opponent to two runs or less in 24 games.
• Ray set career hits on Saturday for both innings pitched (7.0) and strikeouts (six). The shutout is the first of her career and lowers her season ERA to 2.03. This weekend, she’s given up just two hits with eight strikeouts in 8.1 innings.
• The Buckeyes are 23-3-1 in games in which Bayne has homered over the past two seasons. She moved in to fourth place on the programs all-time home run list (37).
• White has 27 RBI in 19 Big Ten games, tops in the league.
• Four of the six hits for the Buckeyes on the afternoon were for extra bases. Ohio State is currently fifth in the league in slugging percentage (.498).
• Both Bayne and Piper are not only tied for the team home run lead, they are also tied for third in the Big Ten in that category.
The Buckeyes and Hawkeyes finish off their three-game series tomorrow with a 1 p.m. contest at Buckeye Field. Prior to the game, the team will honor four seniors – Kirk, Bayne, Shelby Hursh and Lena Springer. The contest will be streamed live on BTN Plus and live stats will be available on the schedule tab of OhioStateBuckeyes.com.