The Ohio State Softball team competed in the 16th annual Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic this past weekend.
In its first match, OSU took on the USSSA Pride, the first time ever a touring team from the National Pro Fastpitch league participated in the event. The Saturday afternoon matchup drew a large crowd.
The Buckeyes would lose the game 7-0, but had a few standout performances.
After entering the game in relief in the fifth, OSU senior Shelby Hursh was able to strikeout the first two batters she faced. After hitting the third batter in the inning, she was able to retire Lauren Chamberlain, the NCAA’s all-time home run leader, to keep the pride off the board.
Hursh would finish the remaining two innings, allowing no runs and only one hit through three innings of work.
The Buckeyes only managed one hit in the game, a single in the bottom of the third by freshman shortstop Amy Balich.
Sunday proved to be much more encouraging for OSU.
The team played two split squad games in the morning, with the Gray taking on Walsh and the Scarlet facing Toledo.
Gray dominated Walsh 8-0 on the strength of a near-perfect pitching performance from freshman Morgan Ray.
Ray pitched all five innings in the game, allowing only one hit and one hit batter with seven strikeouts and no runs scored.
The Buckeyes featured a balanced attack with five different players registering at least one RBI. Six of the 10 players in the lineup that came to bat got at least one hit. All 11 players, including Ray, reached base in the game.
The game was called in the fifth inning after a Walsh error and a bases loaded walk allowed two runs to score.
The match between Team Scarlet and Toledo was a much closer affair.
The Buckeyes got a phenomenal pitching performance from senior Lena Springer. Springer pitched a no-hitter, recording three strikeouts and only three walks. She pitched all seven innings.
Toledo, however, got on the board first, an error allowing the Rockets to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning. That lead would hold up until there were two outs in the seventh inning.
After a game-tying hit by OSU senior infielder Anna Kirk to bring in Balich, junior Taylor White was able to bloop a single into shallow center field. Kirk raced home and was able to beat the throw, sealing the Buckeyes 2-1 walk-off victory.
Ray and Springer combined for a total of 12 innings pitched, with a combined 10 strikeouts, one hit and no earned runs.
After making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010 a season ago, OSU will look to again finish in the upper half of the conference standings for the fourth straight season.
The Buckeyes will continue their fall schedule with a doubleheader at Kent State this Sunday Oct. 2.