Coming into the final home series of the season with a five-game win streak, Ohio State (31-14, 14-5 Big Ten) continued its momentum against Illinois (27-22, 6-14 Big Ten), earning its third three-game sweep of the season this weekend.
After outscoring Michigan State 29-9 this past weekend, Ohio State continued its offensive momentum against Illinois Friday, defeating the Fighting Illini 9-0 in five innings.
Ohio State senior pitcher Morgan Ray threw a five-inning no-hitter, failing to allow a baserunner until the fifth inning, when she allowed a walk. Ray struck out four in her 15th win of the season. Ray became the first Ohio State pitcher in 12 years to have multiple no-hitters in the same season.
Senior shortstop Lili Piper begun the scoring in the first inning, hitting a two-run home run, her eighth of the season. Piper finished the game with a career-high three walks.
The Buckeyes added two runs in the second, third and fifth innings, as freshman outfielder Kaitlyn Coffman hit her ninth home run of the season to give the Buckeyes the nine-run victory.
Friday’s win was the Buckeyes’ 11th shutout and their eighth run-rule win of the season.
Ohio State’s offense continued Saturday, defeating the Fighting Illini 9-2.
Taking a 5-0 lead after two innings with the help of two RBI from Coffman, senior second baseman Emily Clark sealed the victory with a grand slam in the seventh inning. It was her second grand slam of the season.
Ohio State senior left fielder Bri Betschel extended her 11-game hit streak with a single in four at bats.
Ohio State sophomore pitcher Lauren Rice earned her 15th win of the season, allowing two runs on seven hits and four walks. Ray continued her hitless streak, earning her third save of the season with two scoreless innings.
Illinois found success against Ray in the third game of the series, but failed to arn the victory, as Ohio State continued its winning streak and secured the sweep with a 5-4 victory Sunday.
Illinois comes out of the series on an eight-game losing streak.
Ray struggled, allowing four runs on seven hits in her complete-game win.
Illinois senior outfielder Kiana Sherlund hit a two-run home run, her third of the season. The Fighting Illini scored all four of their runs in the first two innings.
However, Ohio State battled back, scoring five runs on six hits and seven walks. Clark helped secure the win with her 11th home run of the season. She led the team with three RBI in one official at bat, walking three times.
Ohio State will try and continue its winning streak in its final regular season series against Iowa from May 3-5.