March 23, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State softball team posted its first Big Ten series win of the season after splitting a doubleheader against Indiana Saturday afternoon at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes (20-9, 2-1 Big Ten) were edged by the Hoosiers (16-16, 1-2 Big Ten), 6-4, in nine innings in game one before coming back to win game two, 8-2.
Game three was moved to a doubleheader Saturday due to predicted weather Sunday in the Columbus area.
Game One: Indiana 6, Ohio State 4 (9 Innings)
The first contest vs. the Hoosiers lasted close to three hours with a combined 94 at bats and 30 runners left on base as both teams had several opportunities to claim the victory throughout the nine-inning game one of the twin bill. Indiana was able to come up with the clutch two-out hit in the top of the ninth with a two-run home run to defeat Ohio State, 6-4, in nine innings.
Ohio State held a 4-1 lead after the after the third inning, but the Hoosiers were able to notch five unanswered runs with a pair in the fourth, one in the sixth to tie the game and two additional runs in the ninth to earn the victory. Overall, Ohio State left 14 runners on base, while Indiana left 16 runners on base.
Sophomore Alex DiDomenico fell to 7-3 overall, throwing the final 4.2 innings, allowing three runs (one earned), five hits, four walks and two strikeouts.
The big hit for Indiana was by lead-off hitter Brianna Meyer, who connected on a 3-2 pitch vs. DiDomenico in the top of the ninth for a two-run homer over the right field wall. In the bottom half, the Buckeyes had runners on second and third, including the tying run on second, but failed to continue the game as relief pitcher Meaghan Murphy claimed a strikeout and pop out to end the game, 6-4.
The Hoosiers struck first in the top of the first with an against Ohio State starting pitcher Olivia O'Reilly. However, just like yesterday, the Buckeye bats rebounded in a hurry to tie the game, 1-1, against IU starter Brooke Boetjer in the bottom of the second. With one down, pinch runner Brittany Mills took off down the line from third on a bunt placed in front of the plate by Pickett and beat the toss to score the first run for the Buckeyes. Carrillo began the inning with a lead-off double to right center. McIntyre then advanced the runner to third base on a perfectly placed sacrifice in front of the circle.
In the bottom of the third, the Scarlet and Gray got to Boetjer to knock her out of the game after posting three runs on three hits. All three runs were unearned as Ohio State capitalized on a drop ball at first base to begin the frame. Gresham gave her squad its first lead of the day when she sent a single up the middle to make it 2-1. The Buckeyes then scored two runs on back-to-back RBI singles by Pickett and Coletta with the bases loaded to end Boetjer's outing. The inning ended when Saafeld lined out to second to strand three runners on base.
But the Hoosiers continued to battle against O'Reilly at the plate and cut the lead to 4-3 in the top of the fourth with two runs. Lexi Reese knocked a solo shot to left to lead off the frame, while Amanda Wagner singled to score Indiana's third run.
In the fifth, the Hoosiers left two on base, while the Buckeyes stranded the bases loaded for the second-consecutive inning to keep it at 4-3. A ball that would have been a home run yesterday with the wind was an out this afternoon as Watkins flew out to deep right field to end the frame. Sophomore pitcher Alex DiDomenico relieved O'Reilly in the top half with one down.
Indiana was able to tie the game, 4-4, in the top of the sixth on an RBI single to left field, but DiDomenico was able to induce a groundout to keep it all knotted up heading to the bottom half. Gresham doubled in the bottom of the sixth with one out, but Ohio State couldn't get the go-ahead run across the plate vs. Murphy.
DiDomenico left three on base in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded, Coletta got the force out at home plate after snagging a ground ball down the third base line for the second out. DiDomenico then fanned Lexi Reese for the final out. In the bottom half, Ohio State had runners on first and second and one down, but Murphy was able to get Gresham and Carrillo to pop out to force a ninth frame.
Overall, Indiana had 11 hits, while Ohio State posted nine hits in game one.
Game Two: Indiana 2, Ohio State 8
The Ohio State offense notched 11 hits on eight runs against Indiana in game two, while DiDomenico limited the IU bats to two runs on three hits to improve to 8-3 overall in 2013 as Ohio State won 8-2 to wrap up the opening weekend at Buckeye Field.
Offensively, Ohio State was led by Watkins, who went 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, three runs scored and a season-high four RBI. Gresham was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, while Pickett went 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored.
Ohio State did not mess around to take an early lead as Watkins crushed a lead-off homer run over the right field wall to make it 1-0 in the bottom of the first. She now has five long balls in the 2013.
The Buckeyes added four runs to push their lead to 5-0 in the following frame after Coletta sent a single up the middle to score Pickett before Watkins laced a one-out, three-run double to the opposite field in left center. Indiana starter Meaghan Murphy was relieved before the OSU double by Lora Olson.
Both teams plated a pair of runs in the fourth inning. After Indiana made it 5-2, Ohio State regained its five-run advantage when Gresham pulled a ball to left center for a two-run double, plating both Watkins and Prantl.
In the sixth with no down and IU runners on first and second, DiDomenico got a quick two outs after snagging a liner back at the circle and then threw it over to first to Carrillo to complete the double play. DiDomenico then immediately got the final out of the top of the sixth when she induced a groundout to Pickett at second base.
The Scarlet and Gray added a run in the bottom of the sixth when Prantl singled up the middle to score Watkins, who doubled in the previous at bat.
DiDomenico finished the game in the seventh to claim her fifth-complete game win of the season, limiting the IU bats to two runs (one earned) on three hits with five strikeouts.
Ohio State hits the road for its first Big Ten trip with a three-game series at Purdue March 29-31 in West Lafayette, Ind. Game two Saturday will be televised live on BTN.
Humphrey Highlights | Taylor White