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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A 19-hit, 22-run attack helped the Ohio State softball team complete a three-game Big Ten-opening sweep of Maryland on Sunday in College Park. With the 22-0 win - the Buckeyes' 11th in the last 12 games - Ohio State improves ts record to 18-7 (3-0 B1G).
THE SHORT STORY
Eleven different players recorded hits and eleven drove in runs to lead a well-balanced attack. The win was highlighted by a 13-run second inning that came on 12 hits - including a grand slam off the bat of Lilli Piper. The 22 runs are the second most in single-game history, two shy of the 24 that were put on the board in 2015 versus Indiana.
HOW THE RUNS WERE SCORED
For the ninth time in the last 10 games, Ohio State was first on the scoreboard with a three-spot in the top of the first. The Buckeyes were able to get to Maryland starter Hannah Dewey by working a two-out bases loaded walk to make it 1-0. Becca Gavin then followed with the first of her two hits on the day, an infield single that scored Piper. The third run came in via a bases loaded walk to McCombs.
In the second, 13 runs crossed the plate as 20 batters came to the plate. The biggest blow was a grand slam by Piper to left field which made the score 13-0. That hit was part of a 3-for-3 day for Piper that included five RBI and three runs scored. Other run-scoring hits came from Emily Clark, Taylor White, Gavin, Anna Kirk and Ashley Goodwin.
Alex Bayne launched her team-leading ninth home run of the year in the top of the third to push the lead to 17-0. The senior from Manvel, Texas was 3-for-3 in the afternoon with four runs scored and has reached base successfully in her previous four at-bats. She was also one of three players to record three hits on the afternoon - Piper and junior Maddie Marotti were the other two.
The Buckeyes tracked on two runs in the top of the fourth and three in the fifth to finish off the game offensively. In the circle, starter Shelby McCombs went four innings surrendered just three hits with two strikeouts. Katya Duvall came on in the fifth and worked a perfect 1-2-3 inning to close out the game.
PINCH HITTERS COME THROUGH
The Buckeyes used five different pinch hitters in the game and all of them successfully reached base. In addition to Marotti's three-for-three day, freshman Andi Farrah and sophomore Megan Choinacky also registered hits while Carley Gaskill and Alex Vargas each drove in runs.
STARS OF THE GAME
Piper: 3-3, HR, 5 RBI
Bayne: 3-3, 4 RS, HR, 1 RBI
Kirk: 1-2, 3 RBI, 2 RS
White: 2-4, 3 RBI, 2 RS
Marotti: 3-3, 1 RS
NUMBERS THAT MATTER
• Ohio State hit .552 with runners on base (16-for-29) and .542 with runners in scoring position (13-for-24).
• The Buckeyes' lead-off hitter reached base in all five innings.
• 14 of the 22 runs scored came with two outs and Ohio State was 9-for-16 (.563) hitting with two outs,
• Piper swung the hottest bat in the Buckeyes' conference-opening weekend, going 8-for-11 (.727) with two home runs, eight RBI, .750 on-base percentage and 1.364 slugging percentage. Over the final two games, she reached base safely in all seven at-bats.
• As a team, Ohio State hit .396 and five players with at least 10 at-bats hit .400 or better.
• Kirk scored six runs over three games, including the 100th of her career.
• All five Buckeye pitchers saw action in the circle and they combined for a 1.75 team ERA.
• White drove in a team-best 10 runs this weekend and had at least one hit in all three games.
DID YOU KNOW
The 22 runs scored is a single-game regular season record and it also marks the second straight year that the Buckeyes have opened Big Ten play with a sweep. They have won eight of nine meetings against Maryland since the Terps joined the Big Ten.
After playing its first 25 games on the road, Ohio State will begin an eight-game homestand on Wednesday when it hosts Wright State at Buckeye Field. Admission, as always, is free. The game will also be streamed on BuckeyeVision.
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