March 31, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio- The Ohio State softball team swept a doubleheader at Michigan State Saturday at Secchia Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. The Buckeye bats erupted at the plate for a combined 23 runs on 31 hits against the Spartans, claiming a 9-4 victory in game one before winning, 14-1, in five innings in game two.
"I thought the kids played with an enormous amount of energy and passion today," head coach Linda Kalafatissaid. "You don't plan on a day like this, but we found holes at the plate and hit the ball solid when we needed to against them. Our pitchers executed well today and that's as well as I've seen Nichols throw since her surgery."
With the two victories, Ohio State improved to 20-11 overall and 4-1 in Big Ten play.
Game One: Ohio State 9, Michigan State 4
Led by sophomore Evelyn Carrillo, the Buckeye bats were alive right out of the gate against the Spartans, posting one run in the first followed by a five-run second inning and a three-run sixth inning en route to the team's third conference win.
Offensively, Carrillo had a game to remember at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run and a career-high six RBI vs. the Spartans. The native of Corona, Calif., Carrillo capped off the day with a three-run home run in the sixth inning to give the Buckeyes a 9-0 advantage.
Junior captain Megan Coletta went 2-for-4 with a double, while junior Danielle LeBeaucollected a double and two RBI against Michigan State. In all, eight different Buckeyes crossed the plate in game one.
Senior pitcher Mikayla Endicottimproved to 12-7 overall after tossing seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts. The OSU starter improves to 3-0 in Big Ten play.
The Buckeyes claimed the first run of the game following a two-out, RBI single by Carrillo against MSU starting pitcher Cassee Layne. Spears scored the run after posting her sixth double of the season.
In the second, Ohio State extended its lead to 6-0, scoring five runs on four hits. Coletta began the offense on a lead-off double down the left field line on the first pitch she saw from Layne. Following a walk to Katie Simonton and a single by Taylor Watkins, senior captain Alicia Herronwalked to plate Coletta from third base to make it 2-0.
LeBeau followed with a double down the right field line to score Simonton and Watkins. Following a MSU pitching change, Carillo continued her hot bat with a two-out, two run single vs. relief pitcher Rebecca Rogers. All five runs vs. the Spartans were scored with two outs in the second.
In the top of the third, the Spartans used their third pitcher of the game, Shelby Wise, after the Buckeyes loaded the bases for the second-consecutive inning. Wise got out of the jam after a deep fly out by Herron on the warning track in right field.
After the next two innings went scoreless, the Buckeyes scored three runs on Carrillo's third home run of the season over the center field wall in the top of the sixth.
The Spartans rallied to score four runs on five hits in the bottom of the sixth vs. Endicott, but she was able to claim her 10th complete game of the season with a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
Overall, Ohio State had 10 hits, while the Spartans had seven hits.
Game Two: Ohio State 14, Michigan State 1 (Five Innings)
Highlighted by a grand slam by senior Vanessa Spears during an eight-run third inning, the Buckeyes defeated the Spartans, 14-1, in five innings in game two.
The Buckeye bats knocked a season-high 21 hits against the MSU pitchers, while sophomore pitcher Melanie Nicholsimproved to 7-4 overall, throwing all five innings, allowing no earned runs with five strikeouts.
The grand slam by Spears was the first Buckeye grand slam since Courtney Pruner (2006-10) cleared the bases on a homer at Illinois April 11, 2010. Spears, a native of Brea, Calif., tied her career high with four RBI in game two vs. the Spartans, going 3-for-4 at the plate.
Carrillo went 4-for-4 with two RBI, while Coletta went 4-for-4 with one RBI and three runs scored. Freshman Caitlin Conrad knocked went 2-for-4 with a home run, while classmate Shelby Pickettwas 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
For the second-consecutive game, Ohio State struck first with two runs in the second inning. Freshman Maddy McIntyrecollected an RBI single to score Carrillo followed by a fielder's choice by Conrad which plated Coletta.
After Michigan State notched one run in the bottom of the second, the Buckeyes opened the game with an eight-run third inning. LeBeau began the eight-run rally on a single up the middle followed by a single to right field by Carrillo. Coletta then made it 3-1 on an RBI single to score pinch runner Brittany Mills.
After Pickett posted an RBI single through the left side to make it 4-1, Spears then cleared the bases with two outs with the grand slam to open the game, 8-1. Carrillo then sent a two-run double to right field to make it 10-1. In all, Ohio State collected nine hits in the third inning.
Conrad, a native of Richwood, Ohio, scored the Buckeyes' 11th run when she blasted her third home run of the year over the left field fence for a solo shot. Herron then rocketed an RBI single to center field to make it, 12-1, in favor of the Scarlet and Gray.
After Nichols put down the Spartans in order in the fourth, the Buckeyes added with two runs on four hits in the top of the fifth. Carrillo claimed her four-hit game on a lead-off single to right field followed by Coletta's single to right field to mark down her four-hit performance against the Spartans. With the bases loaded, Conrad then singled to the shortstop to make the score, 13-1. Freshman Taylor Watkins gave the Buckeyes the 14-1 eventual final on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Ten different Buckeyes had at least one hit on the box score, while nine different Buckeye runners crossed the plate at least once vs. the Spartans.
Ohio State concludes its three-game series vs. the Spartans at 1 p.m. Sunday at Secchia Stadium.
NOTES FROM THE DOUBLEHEADER
• Evelyn Carrillo posted a career-high six RBI in game one vs. the Spartans. She extended her hit streak seven-consecutive games with her eighth multi-RBI game and seventh multi-hit performance of 2012.
• Taylor Watkins extended her hit career-high hit streak to 11-consecutive games.
• Senior captain Alicia Herron reached base safely for the 25th-consecutive contest (career-high) with her two walks.
• With one run scored, Herron passed former Buckeye Sam Marder (2006-10) for third on the OSU runs scored career list with 148.
• Junior captain Megan Coletta notched her third multi-hit game of 2012.
• Junior Danielle LeBeau notched her seventh multi-RBI game following a two-run double in the second.
• Ohio State collected a season-high 21 hits vs. the Spartans in game two.
• Evelyn Carrillo extended her hit streak to eight consecutive games with a single in the top of the second. She collected two RBI to increase her total on the day to 8 RBI in two games vs. the Spartans.
• Vanessa Spears tied her RBI career high with four on a grand slam in the top of the third. The grand slam was the first Buckeye grand slam since Courtney Pruner (2006-10) cleared the bases on a homer at Illinois April 11, 2010.
• With two singles, Alicia Herron has now reached base safely in 26-consecutive games.
• Taylor Watkins extended her hit streak to 11-consecutive games.
• Carrillo collected her eighth-multi hit game, while Coletta collected notched her fourth multi-hit performance.