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Softball: Ohio State picks up second conference win with 5-3 victory against Indiana

Then-junior Emily Clark makes a tag on a Wright State runner on Sep. 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The Lantern

Coming off its victory on Friday, the Ohio State softball team picked up its second win of the Big Ten season on Saturday.

In the second game of a three-game series, the Buckeyes (17-9, 2-0 Big Ten) beat the Hoosiers (25-8, 0-2 Big Ten) 5-3.

Ohio State began the game with a big inning, taking a 5-0 lead in the first inning. The Buckeyes got on board with an RBI double off the right field wall by senior shortstop Lilli Piper. Piper then scored on a wild pitch.

“I think it’s important I come out and do what I can for my team,” Piper said.

Two more runs scored when Ohio State sophomore first baseman reached on a throwing error, leading to freshman third baseman Ashley Prange and freshman right fielder Kaitlyn Coffman scoring, extending the lead to 4-0.

Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said that the Buckeyes had some good plays in the first inning, but primarily took advantage of the Hoosiers’ mistakes.

Ohio State sophomore catcher Claire Nicholson added the fifth run of the first inning with a single to center.

Senior outfielder Bri Betschel proved to be a major factor in the offensive success for the Buckeyes. She led the team with three hits in four at bats.

Betschel said the momentum started in that first inning.

“It was really awesome, coming out in the first inning and coming out strong as a team,” Betschel said. “It really set a tone for the game.”

The Hoosiers got on board in the second inning as freshman outfielder Tete Hart came home after an error by Piper. Indiana tacked on two more runs on a single by sophomore shortstop Grayson Radcliffe in the third inning.

Coming in to pitch in the third inning, Ohio State sophomore pitcher Lauren Rice did not allow an earned run in 4.1 innings of work, recording one strike out and one walk.

“I am super proud of both of pitchers, just keeping us in the game and limiting them from having any big inning. They are able to get out when they need to get out, which was great” Schoenly said.

Betschel said that this momentum could prove valuable heading into the final game of the series on Sunday.  

“It’s been successful for us so far,” Betschel said. “If we can come out like we did today, tomorrow will be a good day.”

Ohio State will take on Indiana in the final game of a three-game set Sunday at 1 p.m.

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