The No. 24 Ohio State softball team (21-8, 2-4 Big Ten) defeated Wisconsin (16-13, 2-2 Big Ten) 7-0 in the third game of a three game weekend series on Sunday behind a strong day at the plate and on the mound from senior pitcher Shelby McCombs.
On Easter Sunday, McCombs and the team were playing full of energy, and it showed across the board. After getting through a sluggish start, they began firing on all cylinders, scoring six runs in the fourth and fifth innings and finished the day with seven runs on six hits to win the rubber match.
“We didn’t want to lose the series,” McCombs said. “We came out knowing we were going to have fun and we executed everything we wanted to today.”
The highlight of the game for Ohio State came in the bottom of the fifth inning when McCombs lifted a grand slam to right field to extend the lead to 7-0 and all but put the game out of reach.
The Badgers started off putting pressure on Ohio State, but couldn’t capitalize on their early offense, stranding five runners on base in the first two innings. After that, McCombs settled in.
“I think that once Shelby settled in she was able to kind of take over the pace of the game, which was key,” Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said. “They had their chances early and didn’t execute, and we did execute on our chances, which made the difference.”
After the first two innings, the Buckeyes dominated all aspects of the game. McCombs led the way for her team, finishing the day 2-for-2 with a walk, four RBIs while delivering a complete game shutout with eight strikeouts, eight walks and three hits.
In the bottom of the second, the Buckeyes opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly by freshman designated hitter Kallie Boren.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, McCombs lined a single to right field. The right fielder could not come up with the ball cleanly, allowing McCombs to reach third and a run score to make it 2-0. McCombs was driven in later that inning from a single by freshman Kallie Boren.
Despite the dominating performance, Kovach Schoenly still expressed that there is always room for improvement for the team before it heads to Piscataway, New Jersey, for its next three-game series against Rutgers starting at 3 p.m. Friday.
“I would like to see us hit a little more consistently through the lineup,” said Kovach Schoenly. “As a whole we are better than we are showing sometimes and we need to work on that and continue to improve.”