ATLANTA, Ga. – Shelby Hursh tossed a nearly flawless complete game shutout, striking out 10 and walking just one while allowing one hit as Ohio State (4-1) kicked off the Big Ten/ACC Challenge with a convincing 6-0 win over Georgia Tech (0-2) on Friday night at Mewborn Field in Atlanta.
Hursh, who improved to 3-0 on the year and lowered her ERA to 0.40, was just two strikeouts short of tying her career high (12), which came in a no-hitter against Utah Valley two seasons ago. She was masterful against Georgia Tech, working five one-two-three innings. The Yellow Jackets’ only base runner came in the second inning.
A fast-starting Buckeye offense struck for two runs in the top of the first on solo home runs from Alex Bayne and Erika Leonard. Bayne’s shot cleared the right field wall while Leonard’s was on a 3-2 pitch with two outs to straight away center field.
The Buckeyes maintained their three-run lead until the top of the sixth as they were able to make it 4-0 on pinch hitter Jayla Saibene’s bases loaded walk. The inning was set up by a Maddy McIntyre walk, Leonard’s one out single – her third hit of the night – and a walk by Ashley Goodwin.
Georgia Tech finally picked up its first hit of the night with a two-out pinch-hit single by Jordan Deep, but she was thrown out on the play by Bri Betschel trying to stretch it into a double, ending the inning.
Two important insurance rans came across in the top of the seventh via a two-out single to right field by Cammi Prantl, who drove in Clark and Betschel, who reached on a fielder’s choice and walk, respectively. The Buckeyes loaded the bases with no outs in the frame on a bunt single by Bailee Sturgeon, single to right by Taylor White and a walk.
At the plate, Leonard complimented Hursh’s performance by going three-for-four with a home run and two singles. Prantl (two RBI) was one of five different players to drive in a run. After not hitting a home run in their first two games, Ohio State offense has now sent one over the fence in each of the last three contests.
The Buckeyes continue the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Atlanta tomorrow with two contests – 10 a.m. vs. Syracuse and 3 p.m. vs. Georgia Tech.