Indiana began Big Ten play with a bang, sweeping the No. 18 Ohio State softball team in all three games the two teams played this weekend, outscoring the Buckeyes 19-4 in the three games.
Indiana (10-21, 3-0 Big Ten) took control of the series from the beginning, holding the Buckeyes (19-7, 0-3 Big Ten) to just two hits in the first game of the series.
Indiana’s junior pitcher Tara Trainer, a player Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly described as “very competitive” and said would be one to watch for in this series, pitched all seven innings of the 6-0 shutout.
The six unanswered runs for the Hoosiers came in pairs starting with two runs in the first inning, followed by two more in the second and another two in the fourth.
The Buckeyes got on the board in the second game, but it wasn’t enough to take down the Hoosiers.
Ohio State scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Junior catcher Emily Clark doubled and advanced to third on a throw while junior shortstop Lilli Piper made it to home. Clark later scored after senior first baseman Ashley Goodwin reached on a fielder’s choice.
In the bottom of the fifth, however, Indiana put five runs on the board that inning alone. Freshman catcher Maddie Westmoreland’s home run contributed three of the five runs.
Ohio State grabbed one run back after Clark scored in the top of the sixth, but the Hoosiers responded with four more runs in the bottom half to put the game out of reach.
Ohio State was not able to get back in the game in the seventh, bringing Game Two to a close and giving the Hoosiers their second win of the weekend, ending the game at 9-3.
The Buckeyes kicked off the third game with a home run by Piper in the top of the first.
The Hoosiers tied the game in the bottom half of the first, however, with sophomore right fielder Gabbi Jenkins scoring on a wild pitch.
The score remained at 1-1 until senior shortstop Rachel O’Malley stepped up with the bases loaded and hit a bases-clearing double to give Indiana the 4-1 lead. That base hit proved to be the game-winner for the Hoosiers.
Ohio State will have its first home game at Buckeye Stadium at 6 p.m. Wednesday when it hosts Kentucky.