Feb. 23, 2013
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Highlighted by a 6-0 upset victory against No. 14 Arizona, the Ohio State softball team split day one at the 2013 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. Sophomore pitcher Alex DiDomenico, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, improved to 4-0 in 2013, throwing seven innings, allowing no runs on four hits with six strikeouts for the Buckeyes (8-4) against the Wildcats (9-4).
"It was a great win in front of a huge Buckeye crowd here in Palm Springs," first-year head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said. "This is a great tournament to be a part of and there are a lot of big time teams playing top notch ball. Alex has a fighter's mentality. You may push her back, but she comes back swinging and I think the team feeds off that."
The win marked the third victory vs. a Top 20 opponent for the Buckeyes this season and the first win against Arizona in 17 years since the Buckeyes defeated the Wildcats during the 1996 campaign.
Game Two: Ohio State 6, No. 14 Arizona 0
Offensively, Ohio State was led by junior Leesa Gresham, who went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, while freshman Cammi Prantl was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Sophomore Taylor Watkins also homered vs. Arizona.
The Buckeyes struck first with two runs in the top of the first, capitalizing on two Arizona fielding errors. After Melaina Saalfeld and Maddy McIntyre both reached on base, Ohio State scored its first run when Arizona starting pitcher Estela Pinon threw a wild pitch to the backstop, allowing Saalfeld to score. Senior Megan Coletta made it 2-0 when she sent a two-out RBI single to center field, allowing McIntyre to score. Both runs were unearned.
The Wildcats left two on in the bottom half after the Buckeyes got the runner on third in a run down for the 1-5-2 putout. DiDomenico got out of another jam in the bottom of the third when she tagged out a runner at the plate after throwing a pitch to the back of screen for the final out of the inning.
Gresham lead off the top of the third with a single up the middle, but the Buckeyes could not plate any runs to keep it 2-0 game after three innings.
In the fourth, Ohio State extended its lead to 3-0 after sophomore Shelby Pickett placed a two-out single down the right field line to score Gresham from second base. Gresham, a native of Fresno, Calif., began the two-out rally after she blasted a double off the center field wall vs. Pinon.
The OSU momentum continued in the fifth with the offense scoring three runs on two hits. Watkins made it 4-0 in the top of the fifth when she sent a high fly ball into the desert night sky over the center field wall. The lead-off long ball was her second of the season. After back-to-back walks, Arizona changed pitchers as Nancy Bowling came into the circle to replace Pinon. The scene was then set for Prantl, who connected on a 2-2 pitch and rocketed it to left center field for a two-out, two-run triple - the first three-bagger of her Buckeye career.
DiDomenico closed out the final three innings, allowing no hits, while leaving five runners on base to claim the win.
Game One: Ohio State 0, No. 11 LSU 7
Starting LSU pitcher Rachele Fico, a First Team All-American, posted a complete game victory for the Tigers in a no-hit performance to defeat Ohio State, 7-0, in game one of the MNCC.
The Tigers took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of second against the Buckeyes. Kloss began the LSU momentum when she sent a lead-off home run over the center field wall. After a double and hit batter, the Tigers then plated two runs on a single and two OSU throwing errors. LSU then plated its final run of the inning when Blades crossed the plate before Ohio State could tag out Bell who was caught in a run down between first and second following a single.
The Scarlet and Gray got out of a jam in the third inning with the bases loaded when Coletta snagged a line drive at third base and touched the bag for an inning-ending double play and keep the deficit to four runs.
The Tigers added a fifth run in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Bell. After Ohio State went in order in the top of the fifth, LSU made it 6-0 on an RBI single through the right side by Andrews. Nichols left two runners on base to end the LSU at bat following back-to-back fly outs to Prantl in shallow left field. The Tigers added a final run in the seventh inning on an RBI single.
Starting pitcher Olivia O'Reilly fell to 2-3 overall, throwing 1.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk. Nichols receives a no decision and pitched 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits with a strikeout.
Ohio State returns to action at the 2013 MNCC with a game vs. Cal Poly at 9:30 a.m. PT followed by a contest vs. San Diego State at 12:30 p.m. PT at Big League Dreams Park.
Buckeye Spotlight - Shelby Hursh