Ann Arbor, Michigan- The Ohio State softball team run-ruled their northern rivals 10-1 Sunday evening to finish the season on a big upswing. It was the first time since 2000 that Michigan was run-ruled at home.
The Buckeyes got the scoring started early when Lilli Piper blasted her 19th home run of the season over the right centerfield wall to give the Buckeyes the early lead, tying the Ohio State regular season record. Emily Clark walked on 4 straight pitches and advanced on a single by the Freshman sensation from Georgia Niki Carver. Both runners scored as the Senior first baseman Ashley Goodwin ripped a hard shot to give the Buckeyes an early 3-0 lead. The Wolverines cut the lead with a run of their own in the bottom of the first.
In the second inning, Becca Gavin drove a single up the middle then advanced on a base hit by the newly graduated Taylor White. Bailee Sturgeon kept things going with a fielders choice. The Wolverines catcher made a fake throw to second then threw to third to try to catch Gavin off base but an errant throw rolled into left field allowing Gavin to score.
Starting pitcher Shelby McCombs helped her own cause out as she fell behind in the pitch count 0-2 before launching a long ball over the left field wall and just barely in the fair ball zone for her 13th homer of the season and to give the Buckeyes a huge 7-1 lead!
In the top of the third more Wolverine miscues helped the Buckeyes out as Kallie Boren was able to turn a routine ground ball into a double and then advanced by a drop bunt by Gavin who beat out the throw to first. White then ripped a double into right center advancing Boren to home. Sturgeon then put the ball on the ground and the pitcher held the ball loading the bases for Piper. Piper blazed a hard shot to the shortstop who bobbled the ball and allowed the Buckeyes to go up 10-1.
That’s where the score would stay as McCombs put down batter after batter and the Buckeyes defense played stellar throughout the game. She fanned six batters, allowed four hits and one run over five innings. McCombs also had the game-ending strikeout with two runners on and went the distance for her 16th win of the season against only 5 losses. Piper finishes the regular season with a .409 average and 19 home runs.
The Buckeyes finish the regular season 34-13 and will head to Madison, Wisconsin for the Big Ten Tournament starting Thursday.