Buckeyes Split On Second Day of FAU Kick-Off Classic
Feb. 8, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State softball team (1-3) spilt its two contests on the second day of the FAU Kick-Off Classic, topping Northern Illinois, 6-4, before falling in extra innings to No. 18/19 Louisville, 5-4.
Game One: Ohio State 6, Northern Illinois 4
The Buckeyes struck first in the bottom of the third when Conrad doubled to center field, scoring Kirk, who had reached on an error by the shortstop. Carrillo followed with a single, and later scored when Gresham doubled to center field. Conrad also scored on a fielder's choice, giving the Buckeyes a 3-0 lead.
Northern Illinois answered with two runs in the top of the fourth keyed by an RBI single from Emily Naegele and a Buckeye error. DiDomenico got Allyson Hecht to ground out to end the threat.
NIU tied the game in the top of the fifth thanks to a pair of Buckeye errors, but Ohio State quickly answered in the bottom of the inning with two runs to take the lead for good. Leonard launched a two-run home run to left field that gave Ohio State a 5-3 lead, and the Buckeyes added an important insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Conrad laced a RBI triple to score Kirk.
After DiDomenico retired the first two batters of the seventh, she gave up three singles and a wild pitch and was relieved by freshman Shelby Hursh, who got Naegele to fly out to center field to end the game and earn her first-career save.
In addition to Conrad's performance on offense, Leonard went 2-for-2 with a home run and two RBI. Kirk was 2-for-4 with two runs scored Taylor Watkins and Gresham each went 1-for-3 with one RBI.
Game Two: No. 18/19 Louisville 5, Ohio State 4
Ohio State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to a two-run RBI double by Leonard. She drove home Kirk and Watkins, who got on base thanks to an error and a walk, respectively.
The Buckeyes went ahead 3-0 in the top of the fourth after Cammi Prantl and Carrillo executed a double steal that resulted in Carrillo ending up on second base and Prantl stealing home. The inning was set up by Prantl getting a single up the middle, followed by a Carrillo single down the right field line.
In the fifth, Ohio State tacked on another run when Kirk drove home Keelia Nester with a RBI single up the middle. After Conrad walked, Ohio State had the bases loaded with nobody out but were unable to push any more runs across the plate thanks a fielder's choice and inning-ending double play.
Nichols' no-hit bid was broken up in the sixth inning when Kelsi Jones hit a two-run home run to left field. Louisville's Kristina Dillard led off the inning by reaching on an error, but Nichols retired the next two batters on a pop out and strike out, respectively. The inning ended when Morgan Meyer lined out to Gresham.
Louisville tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh when Brittany Sims hit a two-run double to right field with two outs off Shelby Hursh, who came in to relieve Nichols. Hursh was able to get out of a bases loaded jam, however, when Hannah Kiyohara flied out to center field.
The Cardinals pushed across the game-winning run when Katie Keller singled to left field, scoring Kiyohara from third. The Buckeye offense was paced by Leonard, who went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.
Ohio State concludes action at the FAU Kick-Off Classic tomorrow at 11 a.m. against Florida Atlantic.