Feb. 16, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In a pitcher's dual guided by sophomore Alex DiDomenico in the circle, the Ohio State softball team posted a 1-0 upset victory in eight innings vs. No. 16/17 Louisville Saturday afternoon to split day two at the JU Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. DiDomenico, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, improved to 3-0 overall in 2013, throwing eight innings, allowing no runs on four hits with three strikeouts for the Buckeyes (6-3) against the Cardinals (6-2).
"That was a big time performance by Alex DiDomenico," first-year head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said. "She was fierce in the circle for us and for Gresham to come off the bench with that clutch hit was huge for our team."
With the win, the Buckeyes have now claimed two victories this season against nationally-ranked opponents. Last weekend, the squad defeated then-No. 8/9 Georgia, 5-4, in eight innings at the Sixth Annual Red and Black Showcase in Athens.
Game Two: Ohio State 1, No. 16/17 Louisville 0 (8 Innings)
With the international tiebreaker rule in effect, senior Megan Coletta was placed on second base to begin the eighth vs. the Cardinals after the first seven innings went scoreless. Freshman Cammi Prantl did her job and advanced Coletta to third base when she grounded out to second. Coming off the bench to pinch hit, junior Leesa Gresham then came up with the clutch hit when she pulled a ball down the left field line for the RBI single to make it 1-0 in favor of Ohio State - the eventual gamewinning run.
The first seven innings of the contest went scoreless with a combined five hits between the two teams. The Buckeyes showed off several defensive plays behind DiDomenico vs. the Cardinals. Sophomore Maddy McIntyre made a nice over the shoulder grab to claim the first out in the bottom of the third, while senior Megan Coletta started a solid 5-4-3 double play with a quick turn by junior Melaina Saalfeld in the bottom of the fourth after the Cardinals began the at-bat with a lead-off single. McIntyre made another heads-up play when claimed a double play after snagging a liner up the middle and throwing down the UL runner off the bag at first to end the fifth.
In the top of the fifth, the Buckeyes claimed their first hit of the afternoon when Coletta sent a rocket up the middle off the UL shortstop's glove. She then advanced to third following a sacrifice bunt by Prantl and a groundout, but could not advance to home after UL starter Rachel Le Coq induced a fly out to left field to end the OSU chance.
After Ohio State went in order, the Cardinals had runners on first and second and two down with their clean-up hitter Tanner Fowler at the plate. But DiDomenico stayed focused in the circle and got Folwer to line out to center to keep the scoreboard reading zeros heading to the seventh.
In the seventh, DiDomenico snagged a liner up the middle for the final out of the inning to send it to extra innings. In the bottom of the eighth, the Cardinals advanced their runner to third base after a sacrifice bunt. The OSU sophomore then got S-Willet to strikeout looking, while Saalfeld made the final out of the game on a pop-up behind second base.
Overall, Louisville had a 4-3 advantage in hits. Ohio State left five runners on base, while the Cardinals left six on base in the extra-inning contest.
Game One: Bethune-Cookman 4, Ohio State 3 (Final)
Despite posting a 9-6 advantage in hits, the Ohio State softball team fell short, 4-3, against Bethune-Cookman in the opening game of day two of the JU Tournament Saturday morning.
The Wildcats scored the first run of the contest in the top of the second after a single and an OSU fielding error allowed Kelsey Rodney to cross the plate. The Buckeye defense ended the frame when they turned the not so normal 4-3-6-3-5 double play.
In the bottom of the second, Ohio State gained its first lead of the game after Watkins sent a two-out RBI double down the left field line, scoring freshman Cammi Prantl and junior Melissa Rennie. Both runs were unearned.
However, Bethune-Cookman regained the lead, 3-2, in the top of the third after a fielder's choice plated a run followed by an RBI single to left center field by Simone Ceasar. Ohio State starting pitcher Olivia O'Reilly was relieved in the third inning by junior Kasie Kelly. O'Reilly threw 2.1 innings, allowing three runs on one hit with a strikeout. O'Reilly falls to 2-2 overall in 2013.
The Buckeyes left two runners on base in both the second and third innings vs. BCU starting pitcher Shanel Tolbert. After Kelly left two BSU runners on in the top of the fourth, Ohio State made its third pitching change in the fifth inning as sophomore pitcher Alex DiDomenico came into the game for Kelly in the circle. Kelly threw 1.2 innings allowing no runs on four hits for the Scarlet and Gray.
In the sixth inning, the Buckeyes cut their deficit within in a run after sophomore Taylor Watkins knocked a two-out RBI single to center field to score sophomore Shelby Pickett, who pinch hit in the inning and sent a single to left field. But the Buckeyes could not continue its momentum as Tolbert induced an unassisted groundout to third base to keep the score in favor of the Wildcats, 4-3.
In the final inning, DiDomenico got out of a bases loaded jam with a strikeout to keep the score a one-run contest. The Buckeyes battled to put two runners on during their final at-bat, but ran out of outs vs. the Wildcats to fall to 5-3 overall. Freshman Jayla Saibene picked up her first-career hit as a Buckeye in the seventh.
Overall, Ohio State left 10 on base, while the Wildcats left 12 runners on base during the two-plus hour contest.
Ohio State concludes action at the JU Tournament at 11:15 a.m. ET Sunday vs. Stony Brook.
Lilli Piper: Make You Proud