Buckeyes move to 4-0 on the year for the third time in four years.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. Rachael Shepherd’s walk-off two-run homerun in the sixth gave the Ohio State softball team an 11-2 win over Colorado State Sunday morning at the Hotel Encanto Invitational hosted by New Mexico State. The Buckeyes are now 4-0 on the season with one game remaining against the host Aggies.
Shepherd hit a career-high two homeruns in the game and has three thus far this season, already tripling her freshman total of one. All-American Sam Marder also homered in the contest, marking her second of the year. The Buckeyes have now out-scored opponents 45-8 in the first four games of the season.
The Buckeyes put up four runs on four hits in the bottom of the second, led by Shepherd’s first two-run blast that also scored Rebecca Schultz. The two-out rally continued with Dee Dee Hillman and Brittany Goodchild touching home.
Colorado State cut the lead in half in the top of the third off Christine Thomsen’s two-RBI single, but the Buckeyes rattled off a run in each of the next three innings, including the solo blast by Marder, to stretch the lead to 7-2 after five innings. It was the four runs in the bottom of the sixth, however, that gave them the eight-plus run advantage for the automatic win.
A Tory Haddad double down the leftfield line scored Alicia Herron before Shepherd secured the win with the walk-off homer the first for Ohio State since March 8, 2007, when Jamee Juarez smashed one against Fordham.
Lindsay Bodeker earned her second win of the season in the circle, giving up four hits and striking out three.
Following the second game against New Mexico State, the Buckeyes return to action next weekend at the LSU Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, La., Feb. 13-15. They open play against LSU at 6 p.m. Friday before taking on Sam Houston at 9 a.m. and Texas A&M at 11 a.m. Saturday. Consolation and championship games will take place Sunday morning. All times are Central.