Junior Evelyn Carrillo
March 31, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Highlighted by back-to-back home runs in the tenth inning, the Ohio State softball team claimed the final win of a three-game series vs. Purdue, defeating the Boilermakers, 5-3, Sunday afternoon at Buckeye Field. With two down, junior Evelyn Carrillo and sophomore Maddy McIntyre launched back-to-back long balls in the top of the tenth to help Ohio State to the conference win.
The Buckeyes improve to 21-11 overall and 3-3 in Big Ten play, while Purdue falls to 13-19 overall and 2-4 in Big Ten action. Offensively the team was guided by Carrillo, who went 4-for-5 with a run scored and three RBI, while McIntyre notched a home run and walk. Sophomore Taylor Watkins was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and RBI. Overall, Ohio State outhit the Boilermakers, 9-6, in the contest.
In the top of the tenth after two OSU strikeouts, Carrillo crushed an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall for her second home run of the season vs. Purdue relief pitcher Lilly Fecho. The following at bat, McIntyre boasted her third home run of the year over the center field wall to make it 5-3. It's the first time Ohio State has had back-to-back home runs since former Buckeyes Alicia Herron and Sam Marder went back-to-back during the 2010 campaign.
In the circle, sophomore Olivia O'Reilly had a solid relief outing for the Scarlet and Gray to improve to 4-2 overall. The outing was actually her longest of the year, throwing 8.2 innings, allowing just one run, while scattering four hits with a strikeout.
The Buckeyes lit up the scoreboard first with two runs in the top half of the first after Carrillo knocked a one-out single to center, plating both Watkins and Gresham. The scoring opportunity was set up after Watkins began the at bat with a bunt single followed by Gresham who doubled off the right center wall.
Purdue plated a run in the bottom half when Lindsey Rains scored on a wild pitch by Ohio State starter Melanie Nichols. She got out of the jam with a runner on third after striking out Maia Monchek.
After the Buckeyes went in order in the following frame, the Boilers tied the game, 2-2, when Erika Petruzzi scored on a fielder's choice and OSU throwing error. Sophomore pitcher Olivia O'Reilly left two on when she claimed a groundout back at the circle to end the second and keep it a tied contest. O'Reilly came into relief with the bases loaded and one down in the inning.
After the next two innings went scoreless, the Buckeyes and Boilers each plated runs on lead-off home runs in the fifth. Watkins knocked her sixth of the year when she sent a shot over the center field wall for her sixth long ball of 2013. But Purdue answered to tie the game at 3-3 when Burkhardt carried a line drive just over the right field wall to begin the bottom frame.
After a scoreless top half of the sixth, O'Reilly got out of a bases loaded jam when she induced a fielder's choice to McIntyre who threw a quick toss to Saalfeld on the force out at second base. The Buckeyes went in order in the top of seventh after Gresham flied out to deep center vs. Fecho.
The eighth inning went scoreless after junior Melaina Saalfeld posted a double play on a line out at second to keep it all even at 3s.
After the back-to-back homers in the top of the tenth, O'Reilly closed the door on the Boilers when she got Petruzzi to line out to McIntyre at short to strand two runners on base.
Ohio State will next travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., next weekend to face No. 14 Michigan Friday-Sunday.
Buckeye Spotlight - Shelby Hursh