Redshirt junior Melanie Nichols
April 24, 2013
Game highlights available on BTN.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State softball team improved to 9-3 at home in 2013 after sweeping Michigan State in a doubleheader on a chilly Wednesday evening at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes (29-17, 8-9 Big Ten) won game one, 4-1, before downing the Spartans (21-20, 7-6 Big Ten), 6-3, in game two to claim their third series victory of the Big Ten season.
The twinbill had a little bit of everything. In game one, freshman Cammi Prantl made a spectacular grab (click here to watch the play) in foul territory, while sophomore Shelby Pickett notched a three-run blast in the bottom of the sixth in a 1-1 contest for the eventual gamewinner. In game two, redshirt junior Melanie Nichols claimed her fourth victory of the season, allowing no earned runs, while sophomore Taylor Watkins posted a two-run single in the fourth to give Ohio State the eventual win.
To top it off, a double rainbow and full moon were both seen around the confines of Buckeye Field during game two, giving both fans at the game and viewers at home watching on BTN a sight to see. The doubleheader will be rebroadcasted at 2 am. ET Thursday and 6 a.m. ET Friday on BTN, respectively.
GAME ONE: Michigan State 1, Ohio State 4
With the bat of sophomore Shelby Pickett, the Ohio State softball team won game one, 4-1, against Michigan State. Pickett, a native of Temecula, Calif., notched a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth with one down in a 1-1 contest to help the Buckeyes improve to 28-17 overall and 7-9 in Big Ten play.
Offensively, Pickett went 2-for-3 with her second home run of the season, tying her career high with three RBI. Freshman Cammi Prantl notched a double in the third, while sophomore Maddy McIntyre was 1-for-2 with a walk and double. Junior Melissa Rennie went 1-for-2 with a sac fly RBI, walk and run scored.
In the circle, sophomore pitcher Alex DiDomenico improved to 13-7 overall, limiting the MSU bats to three hits, one earned run, two walks and 10 strikeouts. DiDomenico, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, collects her 11th complete game victory of the season.
Ohio State took a 1-0 lead when Rennie sent a fly ball to center field, allowing pinch runner Brittany Mills to cross the plate from third base. Mills pinch ran for Carrillo, who began the inning with a lead-off double to left center. The OSU senior advanced to third base following a pass ball by vs. MSU starter Kelly Smith.
After DiDomenico retired the side in order in the top of the third, Ohio State had a chance to extend its lead when Prantl doubled to left center, but Smith was able to induce a fly out left center at the warning track to end the frame. With the hit, Prantl extended her hit streak to a season-high 11-consecutive games.
In the fourth, the Spartans tied it, 1-1, when third baseman Jayme O'Bryant and pinch hitter Stephanie Sanders posted back-to-back doubles vs. DiDomenico with two down. McIntyre double to left in the bottom half, but the Scarlet and Gray could not push her around the bases to take the lead.
After DiDomenico went 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth, Pickett came up with the big hit for the Buckeyes when she connected on a first pitch for a three-run home run in the bottom half with pinch runner Jesse Machovina and Rennie on base.
DiDomenico claimed the win in the top of the seventh when she claimed the final out on her 10th strikeout of the day, stranding two MSU runners.
Overall, Ohio State outhit the Spartans, 6-3, in game one.
GAME TWO: Michigan State 3, Ohio State 6
Down 3-1 after three innings, the Ohio State bats notched three runs in the fourth and two runs in the sixth, while redshirt junior Melanie Nichols limited the MSU bats to two hits, three runs, zero earned runs and six strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work en route to a 6-3 win over the Spartans in game two. Nichols, a native of San Jacinto, Calif., improved to 4-1 overall in 2013, while DiDomenico claimed her first career save, throwing the final 2.1 innings, allowing one hit on no runs with five strikeouts.
Offensively, sophomore Caitlin Conrad when 2-for-3 with a stolen base, run scored and two RBI, while junior Melissa Rennie was 1-for-3 with a run scored, triple (first of her career) and RBI. Freshman Cammi Prantl went 2-for-4 to extend her hit streak to 12-consecutive games and now has a team-best 17 multi-hit performances.
Ohio State jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Prantl scored following a fielding error by the MSU third baseman.
After MSU took a 3-1 lead on a three-run home in the top of the third, the Ohio State bats battled back to collected a combined five runs on six hits in the following four innings to earn the win.
The Buckeyes took a 4-3 advantage in the bottom of the fourth following an RBI single by Conrad, scoring Machovina followed by a two-run single by Watkins with two down to score both Conrad and senior Megan Coletta. In the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and two down, DiDomenico relieved Nichols in the circle and took just one pitch to get out of the jam after Sanders lined out to Pickett at second base for the final out. She went on to limit the MSU bats to one hit and no runs in 2.1 innings of work.
The Buckeyes added two additional runs in the sixth when Conrad posted an RBI single on a perfect suicide squeeze in front of home plate, allowing Rennie to score who posted an RBI triple to left center earlier to make it 6-3 in favor of the Scarlet and Gray.
Overall, Ohio State outhit the Spartans, 7-3.
Ohio State will host Minnesota in a three-game series Friday-Sunday at Buckeye Field.