March 9, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team swept day one at the Miken Invitational, defeating Maryland, 10-9, before downing Radford, 5-2, Saturday in College Park, Md. With the two victories, the Buckeyes improve to 11-6 overall in 2013.
Game One: Maryland 9, Ohio State 10
The Buckeyes battled back to claim a thrilling 10-9 victory against Maryland in game one walk-off fashion. With two down in the bottom of the seventh, junior Leesa Gresham knocked an RBI single to left field, scoring the gamewinning run by sophomore Taylor Watkins.
Offensively, Ohio State had a 15-6 advantage in hits vs. Maryland. Watkins went 2-for-3 with a three-run home run and a career-high four runs scored and two stolen bases, while senior Megan Coletta was 3-for-4 with a stolen base and a RBI. Gresham posted two hits, including a double, while freshman Cammi Prantl was 2-for-4 with two RBI and one stolen base. The Terrapins were able to tie the game, 9-9, after five runs crossed the plate in the top of the seventh.
Sophomore Olivia O’Reilly claimed the win for Ohio State to improve to 3-3 overall. She posted the final two outs of the top half of the seventh on strikeouts.
After Maryland plated a pair of runs in the top of the third, Ohio State scored its first run when sophomore Caitlin Conrad singled to left center to score Watkins from third base. Maryland then rebounded with two runs in the fourth to make it a 4-1 game. In the bottom half, Ohio State cut its deficit to 4-2 when Maddy McIntyre scored on an error by the pitcher.
The OSU momentum continued in the fifth when the Buckeyes tied the game a two-run single to center by Prantl, scoring both Watkins and pinch runner Alyson Mott.
The Scarlet and Gray then took a 9-4 lead following fifth-run sixth inning. Junior Melissa Rennie began the momentum when she singled down the left field line followed by Conrad who reached base safely following a Maryland fielding error. Watkins then claimed the big hit when she sent a deep, fly-ball over the center field wall for her team-best fourth home run of the year. Coletta made it 8-4 after she singled down the right field line, allowing pinch runner Jesse Machovina to cross the plate. Gresham sent up the scoring opportunity after doubling to right center.
Ohio State’s fifth run of the inning was tallied after some heads-up base running by the Buckeyes. With two down, pinch runner Brittany Mills advanced to third following a fly-out by Prantl to put runners on the corners. McIntyre and Mills then stole home and second, respectively, to make it a 9-4 contest.
But Maryland continued to fight and tied the game, 9-9, with its own five-run rally in top of the seventh. The Maryland at-bat was highlighted by a grand slam by Lindsey Schmeiser. In the bottom half, the gamewinning play was set up after Watkins walked and Conrad was hit by a pitch, sending Gresham to the plate for the eventual walk-off win.
Sophomore Alex DiDomenico started for the Buckeyes and received a no decision, throwing 3.1 innings, allowing four earned runs and five strikeouts. Redshirt junior Melanie Nichols threw the next three innings, allowing one hit and three earned runs. Junior Kasie Kelly also had an appearance of the Scarlet and Gray.
Game Two: Radford 2, Ohio State 5
Olivia O’Reilly led the Buckeyes to a 5-2 victory over Radford in game two in College Park, Md. The OSU sophomore pitcher posted a career-high 15 strikeouts to improve to 4-3 overall, scattering three hits in seven innings of work against the Highlanders.
O’Reilly, a native of Sylvania, Ohio, becomes just the fourth pitcher in Ohio State history to post at least 15 strikeouts in a game and the first since former Buckeye Jamee Juarez had 16 strikeouts in a win over Minnesota during the 2004 season.
Offensively, the Scarlet and Gray guided by Watkins, who went 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and two RBI, while Gresham was 1-for-3 with a three-run home. Prantl and Rennie each had two hits as well.
Gresham continued her hot bat from game one when she knocked a three-run home run in the bottom of the third to make it a 3-0 game. Watkins and Coletta both singled to set up the big offensive play for the Buckeyes. The home run was Gresham’s third of the season.
Ohio State pushed its lead to 4-0 after Watkins sent an RBI single to center field, plating pinch runner Jesse Machovina. Rennie began the offense with a single through the left field.
After Radford was able to post two runs in the top of the sixth, Ohio State got its insurance run in the bottom half when Watkins doubled to right field to score Rennie, who singled in the inning, to make it a 5-2 eventual final.
Overall, outhit Radford, 9-3, in the contest.
Ohio State is back in action with two games Sunday at the Miken Invitational. The Buckeyes play Iowa at 11 a.m. before taking on St. John’s at 3 p.m. from Robert E. Taylor Stadium.