Buckeyes notch three hits, Megan Miller throws complete game
COLUMBUS, Ohio No. 16 Northwestern and sophomore pitcher Lauren Delaney completed a doubleheader sweep of the No. 24 Ohio State softball team with a 6-0 win in game two Sunday at Buckeye Field. After throwing a no-hitter with 11 strikeouts in the opener, Delaney scattered three hits and fanned 14 in the nightcap.
The afternoon ended a 12-game home stand for Ohio State (23-14, 2-6 Big Ten), which travels to Indiana and Purdue next weekend aiming to snap a six-game skid. The Buckeyes went 4-8 on the home stand after starting the season 21-6 on the road.
“Our lefties are a big part of what we do and we expect them to make contact,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “We weren’t able to bunt or move runners or really do a whole lot, so from that standpoint it was disappointing. Northwestern is a good team and a good program. We just didn’t’ play well enough to play with them today.”
A back-to-back Women’s College World Series participant, Northwestern (20-9, 6-0 Big Ten) scored three in the fourth inning, one in the fifth and two in the sixth to pull away after Ohio State sophomore pitcher Megan Miller started strong in the circle. Miller retired the first 10 Wildcats she faced and went on to throw her third complete game of the season.
But the second game, like the first, belonged to Delaney, who gave up only singles to freshman Dee Hillman in the first inning, senior Brittany Vanderink in the third and sophomore Tory Haddad in the fourth.
“We know Delaney is a strikeout pitcher, but we did not work well in our at bats,” Kalafatis said. “She moves the ball well and her change-up is a deadly pitch. And she throws the ball hard, but it’s not like we haven’t seen that before in our program, but we just didn’t help ourselves. We were trying to key on hitting ground balls and I think we hit three, so we’ll just keep going to work.”
Northwestern hit four home runs on the day, those coming from Michelle Batts, Nicole Pauly, Kelly Quinn and Erin Dyer.
The Buckeyes got two runners on base in the sixth inning when sophomore Sam Marder was walked and freshman Rachael Shepherd was hit by a pitch, marking Ohio State’s most significant scoring threat of the day.
“We’re just trying to be positive and talk about the steps it takes to be successful,” Kalafatis said. “The home stand didn’t necessarily work for us and I’ve wondered that with a young team, are we as focused at home as we need to be, so maybe it’ll help us focus a little more going on the road.”
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