Softball splits series with Wolverines

Nothing was predictable at Buckeye Field House Wednesday night as the No. 19 Ohio State (31-12) softball team faced the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines for a doubleheader.The Buckeyes split the series with the Wolverines.The Buckeyes took game one, 5-3, and fell to the Wolverines in game two, 4-3.This was the first win for the Buckeyes against the Wolverines since 2003.“We had no fear. We were determined to go in there and battle and compete to show the country who we are as a program,” senior captain Sam Marder said. “We’ll take a split against the Number two team in the country.”The Scarlet and Gray squad did everything right offensively and defensively against the No. 2 team, as they had 6 hits over Michigan’s 4 in game one.Pitching was key for the Buckeyes, but fell short of the Wolverine’s.Michigan’s two pitchers, Jordan Taylor and Nikki Nemitz, have the first and second best ERA in the conference, with OSU’s Melanie Nichols in third.In the first inning, OSU right fielder Courtney Pruner proved it was no mistake putting her to bat fourth in the line up as she hit a first-pitch homer with two on base, putting the Buckeyes on the board 3-0.Rebecca Schultz came through in the fourth inning for the Buckeyes with a RBI home run, putting the Buckeyes up 5-1.Michigan had a late rally in the bottom of the seventh pulling in two more runs, but OSU’s  Nichols came away with the 5-3 win.“When she executes, she’s really good. She’s just going to get better and better in her career,” coach Linda Kalafatis said of Nichols.In the second game, the Wolverines must have realized they just suffered their first conference loss as they wasted no time posting a run in the first inning.The Wolverines continued on a hot streak as a three run homerun put the Wolverines ahead of the Buckeyes, 4-0.In the fourth inning, the Buckeyes finally made a mark on the scoreboard as Lead Ledford’s double scored Rebecca Schultz.OSU shortstop Alicia Herron made the gap even smaller when her 2 RBI triple put the Buckeyes at three runs.The final score remained in favor of Michigan, 4-3.“This [series split] proves to our kids that that we can play with anybody. These are the kinds of games we’re going to have to play if we want to reach our ultimate goal of getting to the College World Series,” coach Kalafatis said.The Buckeyes will travel to Iowa City, Iowa this weekend to face the Iowa Hawkeyes in a two-game series.

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