AUSTIN, Texas – No. 21 Ohio State showed its power and determination behind a pair of wins on its final day at the Texas Invitational. The Buckeyes started the evening with a comeback 8-5 victory over Texas before shutting out Wichita State, 9-0, in five innings in the nightcap.
The Scarlet & Gray were a perfect 3-0 at the tournament and moved up to 11-1 on the season. Ohio State has won its last six games.
Game One: Ohio State 8, Texas 5
COUNTING THE RUNS
The Buckeyes got the ball rolling in the opening frame. It all started when Piper reached on a fielding error by the third baseman. In the fourth spot with two outs, Goodwin swung for the left field fence for her second home run of the season, giving Ohio State a 2-0 lead.
A few defensive miscues proved costly for the Buckeyes in the third as the Longhorns came away with a handful of runs to go ahead 5-2.
The Buckeyes responded in the fifth when Piper went yard again for the second time in twenty-four hours. Megan McMenemy roped a leadoff double, the first of her career, to get in position. Up next, Piper swung on the first pitch and launched a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 5-4.
RHP Morgan Ray came up big in the circle during the bottom of the fifth as she got the batter to swing and miss to neutralize the Longhorns’ bases loaded threat.
Down by one heading into the seventh, Becca Gavin singled through the left side to open the frame. Taylor Stevens came in as a pinch hitter and had the first hit of her career on a single. Fearing another big hit, Texas intentionally walked Piper, which helped the Buckeyes stack the bags. Staring down a full count, Emily Clark powered the ball down the left field line and over the fence for her second grand slam of the season to lift OSU to an 8-5 victory.
IN THE CIRCLE
Three members of Ohio State’s pitching staff faced off against the Longhorns. Ray picked up her fifth win after tossing 2.2 innings of relief. She limited Texas to one hit and fanned four batters. Shelby McCombs earned the start and stayed in for three innings, where she allowed five hits and five runs (one earned) with four strikeouts. Rookie Skylar Hayward made her first collegiate appearance in the circle. She pitched 1.1 innings, had two strikeouts and only gave up one hit.
Game Two: Ohio State 9, Wichita State 0 (5)
IN A NUTSHELL
Piper lit the spark for the offense in the top of the first on a double to centerfield. Looking at two outs, Goodwin singled through the left side and Piper came in on the throw for a 1-0 edge.
Ohio State extended its lead in the top of the third. Piper showed her power again with her first triple of the season before sprinting home on a wild pitch.
The Buckeyes broke the game open in the fourth as they saw three different WSU pitchers, scored seven runs and connected on six hits. McCombs had a leadoff walk and the hot night continued for McMenemy, who singled to centerfield. Kallie Boren came in as a pinch hitter and doubled all the way to the wall to plate a run. Bailee Sturgeon followed up with a single through the left side to push in another tally. Piper had an RBI single up the middle and a fielding error by the shortstop let in a run. Goodwin hit an RBI single to left field before McCombs dropped the ball into right field for a two-RBI double.
Ray came away with her sixth win of the season behind four innings of work, two hits and five strikeouts. Kat Duvall made her second appearance of 2018 and tossed one inning with no hits and a game-ending strikeout.
- Ohio State’s seven runs in the top of the fourth in the second meeting with Wichita State is the most runs by the team in a single inning this season.
- Lilli Piper was just shy of hitting for the cycle with a single, double and triple against Wichita State on Saturday.
- Megan McMenemy was 4-for-6 (.667) with two runs and a double. Piper hit .500 and had seven runs, five hits, five RBI and two home runs.
- The Buckeyes tallied 45 total bases in three games while their opponents had 15.
- Ohio State’s win over Wichita State on Saturday was only the second time the team didn’t have a home run in a game this season.
- The Buckeyes’ pitching staff was a spotless 3-0 on the weekend. The four-person squad had a 0.37 ERA, limited its opponents to a .200 batting average and gave up only one extra-base hit in 19 innings.
Lilli Piper: Make You Proud