April 1, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Ohio State softball team claimed its first series sweep of the season Sunday after defeating Michigan State, 6-4, at Secchia Stadium. The Buckeyes (21-11, 5-1 Big Ten) posted two runs in the first and added four runs in the fifth en route to the victory.
Offensively, Ohio State was led by sophomore Evelyn Carrillo, who went 4-for-4. Carrillo completes an impressive series against the Spartans, going 11-for-12 with eight RBI, three runs scored and a 1.250 slugging percentage. Senior captain Alicia Herron posted a home run and two RBI, while freshman Taylor Watkins was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
In the circle, senior pitcher Mikayla Endicott improved to 13-7 overall and 4-0 in Big Ten play, throwing four innings, allowing three runs with three strikeouts.
For the third-consecutive game vs. the Spartans, Ohio State struck first on the scoreboard with two runs in the top of the first. After senior Vanessa Spears walked, Herron sent a deep fly ball over the left field wall on a 2-0 pitch vs. MSU starting pitcher Cassee Layne.
Michigan State rebounded with a run in the bottom half following back-to-back doubles by Kylene Hopkins and Brett Williams.
After the next three innings went scoreless, the Buckeyes extended their lead to 6-1 in the top of the fifth with four runs. Freshman Maddy McIntyre made it 3-1 on a sacrifice fly to left field to score pinch runner Brittany Mills. With the bases loaded and two down and a 3-2 count, Watkins notched a two-run single through the left side to score Carrillo and junior captain Megan Coletta to make it 5-1. Spears claimed the Buckeyes’ sixth run on an RBI single up the middle to score freshman Caitlin Conrad.
In the bottom half with two MSU runners on base and nobody down, sophomore Melanie Nichols replaced Endicott in the circle, making her 16th appearance for the Buckeyes. The Spartans were able to plate three runs on two hits and one error against Nichols, who stranded two MSU runners on a fly out to left field.
Nichols went on to claim her first save of the year, throwing three innings, allowing three hits and no earned runs with one strikeout.
Overall, Ohio State outhit the Spartans, 11-8.
The Buckeyes begin a six-game homestand with a doubleheader against Buffalo at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Buckeye Field.
• Alicia Herron notched her 10th home run of the season on a two-run long ball in the top of the first. With the home run, Herron has now reached base safely in 27-consecutive games.
• Herron claimed two RBI in the game and now has 37 RBI this season.
• Herron posted her ninth multi-hit game and 10th multi-RBI performance.
• Evelyn Carrillo extended her hit streak to nine-consecutive games, while Megan Coletta pushed her hit streak total to six-consecutive games.
• Taylor Watkins pushed her hit streak total to a season-high 13 consecutive games with an infield single in the fourth. Watkins claimed her 10th multi-hit game and fifth multi-RBI performance.
Buckeye Spotlight - Anna Kirk