After watching their arch rivals Michigan get upset by the Michigan State Spartans, the Ohio State Buckeyes took the field to square off against a very tough Wisconsin Badgers team. The third-seeded Buckeyes had Shelby Hursh on the mound and she pitched a great game striking out a season-high 10 players and having some great defensive help behind her to secure a hard fought 3-2 victory at Alumni Field in Ann Arbor.
All three Ohio State runs crossed the plate in the bottom of the third. It started when Ashley Goodwin laced a one-out single to left field and the next batter, Becca Gavin, followed with a double to left field, moving Goodwin to third. After a strikeout, a critical error at first base on a ground ball by Bri Betschel allowed both Goodwin and Gavin to score, giving the Buckeyes an early 2-0 lead. Senior Anna Kirk then drove in what would prove to be the winning run as she singled to center, allowing Betschel to cross the plate.
The score would remain 3-0 until the top of the sixth when Wisconsin would finally break through against Hursh. After a line out, two infield singles and ground out, Stephanie Lombardo singled off the center field wall, but White threw her out as she attempted to stretch the single into a double. The hit, however, scored two runs to make the score 3-2.
Hursh’s 10 strikeouts are just three off her career high set on April 6 of last season in a no-hitter against Penn State. She’s just seven strikeouts shy of 500 for her career. A second team All-Big Ten selection earlier this week, she’s now 15-5 on the season with a 2.28 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 125.2 innings.
Goodwin, Gavin, and First Team all Big Ten sophomore Lilli Piper each had 3 hits on the night for the Buckeyes. This game catapulted the Buckeyes into a semifinal showdown with the Spartans.