Junior Leesa Gresham
March 15, 2013
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team swept day one of the Cherry Blossom Classic, shutting out both Pittsburgh (4-0) and George Mason (10-0) Friday in Fairfax, Va. With the two shutout victories, Ohio State is now 15-8 overall in 2013.
Game One: Pitt 0, Ohio State 4
Sophomore Alex DiDomenico fanned seven batters in a two-hit, complete-game shutout vs. Pitt in game one at the Cherry Blossom Classic helping the Buckeyes defeat the Panthers, 4-0. DiDomenico, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, scattered two hits to claim her third complete-game shutout of the season.
Offensively, Ohio State was led by junior Leesa Gresham, who posted a double and one RBI, while sophomore Maddy McIntyre was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBI. Sophomore Taylor Watkins was 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks.
The Buckeyes scored their first run in the bottom of the second when Watkins walked with the bases loaded, allowing McIntyre to cross the plate.
In the third inning, Ohio State jumped out to the 4-0 eventual final, scoring three runs vs. the Panthers. Gresham doubled to right center to begin the at bat before McIntyre notched a two-run single, allowing pinch runner Alyson Mott and Carrillo to score runs. The Buckeyes got out to a 4-0 advantage after senior Megan Coletta sent a sacrifice fly to right field to score McIntyre.
The four runs would be all the Scarlet and Gray would need as DiDomenico cruised throughout the game in the circle. She sent down seven-consecutive batters between the first and third innings, while stranding three Panther runners on base in the sixth after inducing an infield pop-up to end the top half.
Overall, Ohio State outhit Pittsburgh, 6-4.
Game Two: Ohio State 10, George Mason 0 (Five Innings)
The Buckeye bats notched 10 runs on 13 hits to defeat host-school George Mason, 10-0, in five innings in game two of the Cherry Blossom Classic Friday evening. In the circle, sophomore Olivia O’Reilly pitched her first complete-game shutout of 2013, throwing five innings, fanning four batters, while scattering three hits vs. the Patriots.
Offensively, Ohio State notched a season-high nine extra-base hits with three home runs. Leesa Gresham was 2-for-3 with a home run, triple, three RBI and two runs scored, while freshman Cammi Prantl was 3-for-3 with three RBI, two runs scored and a double. Sophomore Taylor Watkins went 2-for-3 with a double, triple and two runs scored, while classmate Caitlin Conrad was 1-for-2 with a solo home run. Junior Melaina Saalfeld also had a solid outing at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.
Ohio State did not wait around to score runs, posting a 4-0 lead in the top of the first vs. the Patriots. The Buckeyes began the night with back-to-back doubles from Watkins and Prantl to make it a 1-0 score. Gresham then homered to left center for her fifth long ball of the year to make it 3-0. The Buckeyes continued the hot bats after McIntyre notched her first home run of the season for the four-run lead.
After O’Reilly left one runner on in the bottom half, Ohio State opened the game to 6-0 with two runs in the top of the second. The team’s third long ball was by Conrad who homered to center field to make it a 5-0 game. After Watkins tripled, Prantl singled to second base, allowing Watkins to cross the plate for the sixth run.
Ohio State added to its lead with four runs in the top of the fourth for the 10-0 advantage. Saalfeld doubled to start the inning when she sent a rocket to left center to set up Prantl, who singled up to the middle to make it a 7-0 contest. Gresham then hustled her way around the bases for her first second-career triple to push the lead to eight runs in favor of the Buckeyes. Gresham then crossed the plate when junior Evelyn Carrillo collected an RBI double for the 9-0 score. Junior Melissa Rennie then reached on an error to score Carrillo to put the Buckeyes at 10 runs on the evening vs. the Patriots.
O’Reilly claimed the run-rule win for the Scarlet and Gray when posted her fourth strikeout of the evening before fielding her position nicely with a putout to first on a ground ball back to the circle to end the contest, 10-0, in five innings. Overall, she stranded three on base, while the 3 through 9 hitters went a combined 0-for-14 against the OSU sophomore.
Ohio State returns to action with two games Saturday at the Cherry Blossom Invitational. The Buckeyes face Canisius at 10:30 a.m. and George Mason at 3 p.m. in Fairfax, Va.
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