EVANSTON, Ill. – No. 22 Ohio State fell short on Sunday at Drysdale Field to Big Ten foe Northwestern, 14-6, in six innings. The Buckeyes drop to 26-10 overall and 7-6 in conference play while the Wildcats improve to 25-13 (8-5 B1G). The second game of the day’s doubleheader was cancelled.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Ohio State jumped out to a swift 4-0 lead in the opening frame on one hit and two errors. Bailee Sturgeon reached on a fielder’s choice before making her way to second on a wild pitch. Lilli Piper walked to put two on. With Shelby McCombs batting, a wild pitch and throwing miscue by the catcher allowed Sturgeon to cross home plate. McCombs eventually reached on an error by the shortstop and Ashley Goodwin smacked a three-run homer over the left field fence.
Rachel Lewis responded for the Wildcats in the home half with a solo home run. They lowered the lead down to one, 4-3, on a sacrifice fly and bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the second.
Northwestern juiced the bases in the third behind two walks and a double. A run walked in and a RBI groundout gave the home team a 6-4 edge. The Buckeyes got out of the inning with a 6-3-5 double play.
In the top of the fourth, Kallie Boren battled in the box to draw a nine-pitch walk. After coming in as a pinch runner, Amy Balich was pushed over to second on a beautiful bunt single by Bri Betschel. A grounder moved the runners into scoring position and Lilli Piper drove them in with a two-RBI single to tie the contest at 6-all.
Over the fourth and fifth innings, the Wildcats scored five runs to regain the advantage. It took a fielder’s choice, error, wild pitch and two RBI singles for them to take an 11-6 upper hand. Northwestern also notched runs on a bases-loaded walk, hit by pitch and fielder’s choice in the sixth.
IN THE CIRCLE
Morgan Ray (14-6) was tagged with the loss after tossing 1.2 innings of relief, in which she allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits. Shelby McCombs started the game and pitched four innings with nine runs (five earned), five hits and two strikeouts.
Ohio State readies to host in-state rival Ohio on Wednesday at Buckeye Field. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 5 p.m. ET.