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Ohio State softball topped by No. 13 Tennessee, eliminated from NCAA tournament

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Members of the OSU softball team huddle outside the dugout during a game against Maryland. Credit: Lantern File Photo

Members of the OSU softball team huddle outside the dugout during a game against Maryland. Credit: Lantern File Photo

A day after keeping its NCAA championship hopes alive, the Ohio State softball team was unable to pull off the upset against 13th-ranked Tennessee and has been officially eliminated from the tournament.

The first inning started off just the way the Volunteers drew it up. After three of its first four batters reached base safely with a single, Tennessee would plate two runs following back-to-back walks to its fifth and sixth hitters.

The Buckeyes responded quickly as junior Alex Bayne came around to score off redshirt sophomore shortstop Maddy McIntyre’s single to right field. That was the lone run scored for OSU in this one.

Tennessee, however, was not done scoring as it would add a few in the top of the second inning. With the bases loaded, senior Lexi Overstreet doubled to straight away centerfield to clear the bases and chase OSU junior starting pitcher Shelby Hursh from the game.

After a walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases again for the Volunteers, junior outfielder Shaliyah Geathers hit what at first appeared to be an inside-the-park home run that plated three more runs, but she was ruled out after umpires said she did not touch home plate.

In the top of the fifth inning, Volunteers sophomore infielder Meghan Gregg hit a two-run home run to left field to put Tennessee above the eight-run run-rule threshold. A scoreless bottom half of the fifth ensured that this game would end at five innings, giving Tennessee the 10-1 victory.

After delivering a winning complete game performance on Saturday against Marist, Shelby Hursh was unable to replicate the same success in another game facing potential elimination. Hursh lasted only 1.2 innings, surrendering six runs (all earned) on the strength of five hits and four walks while striking out three.

The starter for Tennessee, freshman Matty Moss, lasted only one inning and was pulled for senior Erin Gabriel after giving up a single to lead off the bottom of the second inning. Moss was dominant for Tennessee as she delivered four scoreless innings. She allowed only three hits and two walks while striking out eight.

Ohio State softball finished its season with a 34-19-1 record.

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