Ohio State Softball Closes Out Charity Classic Strong

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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.

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Oh Say Can You Sit

Since 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting the national anthem before each NFL game, it has sparked much conversation throughout the country.

Kaepernick’s protest began on Aug. 26, 2016 before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. While fans and players alike stood together to honor the nation, Kaepernick sat. In his post game interview, Kaepernick explained, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

Since that day, both outrage and support of Kaepernick’s protest have spread like wildfire, between both sports fanatics and non sports fans alike.

In fact, Kaepernick’s protest has gotten so intertwined in pop culture, that last night’s episode of Southpark was all about poking fun at it:

The controversy came to a head this past weekend, the first week of the regular season of the NFL season, which happened to fall on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

A few players in the NFL followed in Kaepernick’s footsteps by taking a knee while the anthem was played. Others raised their fists in the air to show support for the cause.

Others, including Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh, have voiced their differing opinion (this tweet was not before the game on 9/11 but before a preseason game):

To voice my opinion, I would like to start out by saying that I am fully behind the message these athletes are trying to convey by kneeling during the anthem.

Racial oppression is definitely a problem in our country and we need to work together as neighbors and friends to change the volatile atmosphere that has been created by racial tensions.

Everyone deserves to be treated as equals, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

However, kneeling on 9/11 in my eyes was wrong.

As a native New Yorker, 9/11 had a very big impact on my life even at such a young age.

My father works as an electrician in New York City and was in the city at the time of the attacks. I remember my mother picking me up from school and sitting with her in our living room watching the news, not fully understanding at the time the magnitude of what was happening.

Cell reception in these times was not the greatest, and my mom had a hard time getting through to my dad. Eventually, she was able to get in contact with him.

He was ok. She was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

However, there were thousands of loved ones that day that were never able to contact those friends in relatives of theirs that were in the city. They would never be able to contact them again.

2996 people died that day. More than 6000 others wounded.

On the anniversary of 9/11 each year, the national anthem means that much more.

The anthem on 9/11 represents how we came together as a country to get through one of the toughest times the nation has ever seen. It represents those who lost their lives that day and all of those first responders who gave their lives to try and save others.

Nobody was thinking about inequalities that day. They wanted everyone, regardless of the color of their skin or the religion that they follow, to make it out alive.

9/11 is the one day, out of all the days on the calendar, that you should be standing. If not in support of the current state of the nation, at least to pay respect to those that were lost on that tragic day.

 

Baseball with my Dad

Carlos_Beltrán_R“Its outta here!” Gary Cohen, the Mets play-by-play announcer, was yelling in the SNY booth as Carlos Beltran put a ball deep over the right field wall at the old Shea Stadium. It was my first ever baseball game and I got to see my favorite player at the time, Carlos Beltran, hit a 2-run homer to give the Mets a 5-2 lead over the Florida Marlins. On that day in 2006, I had officially become a sports fan.

I grew up in a household that paid no attention to sports. Most kids learn their love of sports from their fathers when they are little. This was not the case for me. I never met my grandfather on my dad’s side. He passed away when my dad was just 17 years old. Throughout most of my dad’s childhood, his father was very sick and could not do things like attend sporting events or even just have a catch in the yard. I believe this is the reason why my dad never got into sports himself.

However, it was my dad who was right there next to me at that Mets game. We had won the tickets at a friend of my dads’ block party. Section 225, field level right along the first base line. We went with two of my dad’s coworkers who were big Mets fans. One of them, a man named Harris, took me down to right behind the dugout to watch the players warm up. I remember gazing in awe as I got to see David Wright, Jose Reyes, and most importantly Beltran all just a few yards away from me. The Mets would go on to win that game 7-2, and it was from there my love of sports stemmed.

Fast-forward to today, and sports are an addiction. Baseball is still king to me. When I am home for the summer, I will visit Citi Field, the Mets new home, at least 12-15 times. I probably watch close to 150 of the 162 games each year. However baseball is not the only sport I enjoy. I love football. I watched the Giants win the Super Bowl in 2007 and 2011. Being from New York, there is not a very good college football team to root for, however being at Ohio State has made me a die-hard fan. I enjoy watching basketball and hockey as well, although the Knicks and Islanders have not given me much to cheer for. When I am home, the only thing that is ever on my TV is sports. Whether it be a game, Sportscenter, MLB Network, NBA TV, or SNY (the local New York Sports channel).

I am no longer the only sports fan in my house, however. Two seasons ago, after we had bought a really nice brand new TV in our living room, I started watching Mets games there. Every once and a while my dad would wonder in and watch with me for a little bit. I knew he did not care much for the game and just wanted to spend time with me, but I enjoyed the company. Over time I started to explain the rules to him. I told him who the good players were and who was not so great. Soon, he would be sitting through entire games with me, and I would find him rooting along with me. That season would come to an end, and the Mets would finish in second place in the NL East and miss the playoffs for an 8th straight year. The first thing my dad said to me next day after the last game of the season was “When does the next season start?” I knew then and there that I had created a fan.

Today, he is just as addicted to the Mets as I am. He will text me in the morning about things he read in the paper about the team. We watch the game together every night (my mom has joined in too!). We will debate over plays in a game that we think should have gone one way or the other. When I am at school we will text during the game, expressing our excitement or anger to one another.

This is the reason I love sports. I have always had a pretty close relationship with my dad. However, the New York Mets have made our relationship so much stronger. We always have something to talk about. We always have something we can bond over. We share the same emotions over the team, whether they be elation or heartbreak. Sports bring all kinds of people together. Sports have the ability to create friendships that might not have happened otherwise. Sports give large groups of people something to have in common, regardless of race, religion, or political views.

This is why I think sports are so important to our society, and it is for this same reason I want to be a sports writer. I love sports and I want to be able to get other people to love sports as well. I want people to be able to experience the same bonding I experience with my dad over sports with the people in their lives. I want to be able to present sports to people that may not be sports fans themselves and attempt to turn them into one. If I can create enjoyment and new relationships for other people, I think I would be doing a hell of a good job.