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Softball: Ohio State opens season 3-1 over the weekend

OSU then-junior Alex Bayne (2) is welcomed by her teammates at home plate after hitting a home run during a game against Penn State on April 6 at Buckeye Field. Credit: Lantern File Photo

The Ohio State softball team opened its season with three wins and a loss at the Aggie Classic in College Station, Texas, over the weekend.

The Buckeyes came out hot in their season opener, scoring 10 runs on seven hits while senior pitcher Shelby Hursh struck out six batters and allowed just two hits in five shutout innings. Senior infielder Anna Kirk went two-for-two with a home run, while sophomore shortstop Lilli Piper, a transfer from the University of Akron, made her OSU debut by driving in three runs with a triple and a home run.

In the second game of the weekend, the Buckeyes fell 9-1 to No. 19 Texas A&M on Saturday, despite scoring the game’s first run thanks to a first-inning home run by senior right fielder Alex Bayne. The Aggies responded immediately, scoring three runs in the first two innings before putting the game out of reach with a five-run third inning.

The Buckeyes responded to the loss with a 4-3 walk-off win over Lamar later in the day. Lamar held a 2-0 lead heading into the sixth inning, but OSU rallied, scoring three runs in the sixth thanks to a two-run home run from Bayne and an RBI from junior infielder Ashley Goodwin. Lamar tied the game with a run at the top of the seventh inning, but the Buckeyes got the 4-3 win in extra innings thanks to a walk-off single from Piper that scored Bayne in the bottom of the eighth.

In the final game of the weekend, OSU used a late-game rally to topple Central Michigan 5-1 on Sunday. The Buckeyes managed just one run in the first seven innings of the game, but OSU exploded in extra innings, scoring four runs on RBIs from junior outfielder Bailee Sturgeon, sophomore infielder Emily Clark, Kirk and Piper. Hursh closed the game with a scoreless eighth inning.

The Buckeyes head to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, next weekend for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge where they have two game against North Carolina and Louisville in a three day span.

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