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Softball: No. 24 Ohio State starts 2019 season with three wins in four games

Ohio State second basemen Emily Clark makes an off-foot throw to first during the Sep. 24 game
against Wright State. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The Lantern

Ohio State came away with three wins and one loss at the Friends of Jaclyn tournament. The Buckeyes recorded a home run in every game, and a shutout in two of the four.

The second game against Ole Miss at 9:30 a.m. Sunday was cancelled due to weather.

George Mason

Ohio State blanked George Mason 7-0 in its season opener. The Buckeyes have won their season opener in the past five seasons.

The Buckeyes opened the scoring in the bottom of the third with a triple from senior shortstop Lilli Piper, the fourth of her career, and a sacrifice fly from senior second baseman Emily Clark. Ohio State took a 7-0 lead with six runs on six hits along with three errors by George Mason. Clark recorded a two-run home run, her first of the season.

Ole Miss

Ohio State continued its winning ways, defeating Ole Miss 4-2. This was the first time the two teams have ever played against each other.

The Rebels got off to an early 2-0 lead at the beginning. However, The Buckeyes sparked a comeback in the bottom of the third with freshman center fielder Meg Otte’s bunt single, senior left fielder Bri Beschel’s walk, Piper’s fielder’s choice leaving the bases loaded.

Clark finished on the opportunity, and hit a grand slam, pushing the lead to 4-2, a lead the Buckeyes would hold the rest of the game. Senior pitcher Morgan Ray pitched a complete game for Ohio State, allowing three hits and two runs, finish four batters off with strikeouts.

With the victory, head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly has recorded her 200th career win during her time at Ohio State.

North Florida

The Buckeyes blanked North Florida with a 3-0 shutout victory. Freshman third baseman Ashley Prange recorded the first home run of her career, getting the first run in the second inning by driving the ball over the left field fence.

Senior pitcher Katya Duvall gave Ohio State its second complete game of the weekend, finishing the game with a career-high 10 strikeouts and holding North Florida to two hits and a walk.

In the third inning, junior left fielder Andi Farrah doubled to left field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Sophomore designated hitter Kallie Boren then singled to the right, helping to push the lead to 2-0.

Senior second baseman Emily Clark added an insurance run on a two-out single in the fifth inning to secure the three-run win..

UCF

Ohio State suffered its first loss of the season, 3-2, against UCF.

Ohio State went up 2-0 in the fourth inning off a home run by sophomore catcher Claire Nicholson, the first home run of her career and junior left fielder Andi Farrah’s RBI single through the left side.

However, UCF turned the table in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Golden Knights scored three unanswered on a wild pitch and a two-run double by sophomore infielder Jazmine Esparza, giving UCF a 3-2 lead it would hold on to for the remainder of the game.

Ohio State will take part in the ESPN Elite Invitational Feb. 15-17, facing Florida State, LSU, Utah and Notre Dame in Clearwater, Florida.

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