Nichols Leads Ohio State to Pair of Victories in Citrus Classic
Feb. 28, 2014
- Box Score - Game One
- Box Score - Game Two
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Senior Melanie Nichols drove in two runs against Bradley and pitched a shutout against Fordham to lead Ohio State to a pair of victories on Friday in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. With the wins, the Buckeyes improve to 6-6 overall and have won five of their last seven contests.
Game One: Ohio State 5, Bradley 3
Evelyn Carrillo went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Nichols proved a key two-run single in the third inning as Ohio State knocked off Bradley, 5-3.
Ahead 2-1 entering the third, Carrillo doubled to center field, scoring Prantl to give OSU a 3-1 advantage. After Anna Kirk popped out to shortstop, Nichols came in to pinch hit for Keelia Nester and delivered a two-run single just over the head of the third basemen. Those two runs proved to be the winning runs, as pitchers Alex DiDomenico and Olivia O'Reilly combined to allow just one run the rest of the game.
O'Reilly relived DiDomenico in the bottom of the sixth as Bradley led off the inning with a double. The next batter, Shannon King, lined out to Nester, who then tagged out Alyson Clemente for a key double play. O'Reilly then struck out Alex Chandler to end the inning.
Bradley went down in order in the seventh as O'Reilly earned her second save of the year. DiDomenico is 3-1 on the season with a 2.62 earned-run average.
Game Two: Ohio State 1, Fordham 0
Nichols tossed seven shutout innings to earn her first win of the year while also striking out nine. Ohio State scored the game's only run in the bottom of the first when Erika Leonard laced a double to right field, scoring Taylor Watkins.
From there, Nichols settled in and stymied every Fordham scoring opportunity. In the sixth, the Rams led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Nichols then struck out Gabby Luety and got Kayla Lombardo flied out to center field, but moved the lead runner to third base. From there, Nichols got Paige Ortiz to strike out looking and end the threat. Nichols struck out a career-high nine batters in the game, topping her pervious mark of eight against St. Bonaventure on March 18, 2012.
Ohio State managed three hits in the game, one each from Watkins, Leonard and Jesse Machovina.
The Buckeyes continue play tomorrow in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic against No. 23 Notre Dame and No. 1 Florida.
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