BOCA RATON, Fla. – Lilli Piper hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning as Ohio State won a back-and-forth battle with Boston University on Sunday, 3-2, to conclude the FAU “First Pitch” Classic. The Buckeyes are a perfect 5-0 after opening weekend while the Terriers fall to 3-2.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Terriers offense got going out the gate on a triple and single for runners on the corners and Alex Heinen’s RBI single put them on the board, 1-0.
Ohio State locked the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Taylor White doubled down the left field line, giving the Buckeyes the spark they needed. Next up, Niki Carver’s RBI single made up the difference.
In the top of the sixth, Emma Wong singled to give the lead back to BU, 2-1. The advantage didn’t last long thanks to Shelby McCombs’ two-out solo home run in the bottom half to lock the game at 2-2 and force extra innings.
McCombs came up big on defense in the eighth on a pair of strikeouts. With a runner on third, the ball was hit right back to her for BU’s final out. Ohio State started its turn on offense with Carver on second. Piper, the leadoff batter, settled in and punched a single up the middle to edge out the Terriers.
CALM IN THE CIRCLE
McCombs improved to 3-0 this season, going 7.2 innings and allowing six hits and one run. She replaced Kat Duvall in the first inning, where she worked her way out of a bases-loaded one-out jam.
Playing her first five games in Scarlet & Gray, Carver tallied eight hits in 18 at-bats (.444) to go along with seven RBI and five runs. Piper had a .450 batting average and team-high nine hits, including five doubles and a homer. Ashley Goodwin and Bailee Sturgeon each posted six hits on 13 at-bats (.462).
Ohio State’s pitching staff recorded a 1.20 team ERA in the opening weekend, led by McCombs with a 0.34 ERA in 20.2 innings of work and 25 strikeouts. Morgan Ray (2.00 ERA, 14.0 IP, 19 Ks) helped stifle the opposition as they batted .169 against the OSU pitchers over five games with just two extra-base hits.
The Buckeyes will head to Raleigh, N.C. for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Feb. 16-18. Ohio State will take on N.C. State and Louisville.