Buckeyes Blast Gophers, 14-6, in Six Innings
April 28, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team tallied a season-high 18 hits in a 14-6 win in six innings against Minnesota Sunday at Buckeye Field. With the victory, the Buckeyes improve to 30-19 overall and 9-11 in Big Ten play.
The contest was delayed in the top of the second with the score 3-0 in favor of Ohio State and play resumed after a 72-minute rain delay. Following the stoppage, the Buckeye bats posted four runs in the third, two in the fourth, three in the fifth and two additional runs in the sixth inning to earn the win. An impressive seven different Buckeyes tallied multi-hit performances, while eight different players crossed the plate vs. the Gophers (30-16, 11-6 Big Ten).
Offensively, sophomore Taylor Watkins posted a career-high three doubles and four runs scored, while junior Evelyn Carrillo went 2-for-4 with three RBI, run scored and two doubles. Junior Melissa Rennie had a three-hit day with two RBI and a run scored, while sophomore Shelby Pickett was 2-for-3 with three RBI. Sophomore Caitlin Conrad and Maddy McIntyre each had two hits with two runs scored and three runs scored, respectively.
In the circle, sophomore Olivia O’Reilly improved to 8-6 overall, throwing the first 3.1 innings, allowing four earned runs, two walks with three strikeouts. Redshirt junior Melanie Nichols claimed her first save of the year, throwing 2.2 innings allowing no hits with three strikeouts.
Rain showers then forced a 72-minute delay as the tarp was put on the field in the top of the second with no down. After the stoppage, O’Reilly went 1-2-3 vs. the Gophers.
The Buckeyes extended their lead to seven runs the bottom of the third, scoring four runs on five hits to end Anderson’s day in the circle early. Carrillo notched a one-out, two-run double to plate Watkins and McIntyre to make it 5-0. After Rennie claimed her second hit of the day, Coletta sent a single through the left side to score pinch runner Alyson Mott. Conrad then blasted a double off the bottom of the left field wall – her seventh of the year – to give Ohio State the 7-0 lead. Minnesota changed pitchers as Kelsey Kimminau relieved Anderson in the circle with two down.
However, the Gopher bats came alive in the following frame, plating six runs on four hits and one OSU error. O’Reilly retired eight-consecutive batters until Kaitlyn Richard notched a one-out single to left field, marking the first hit for Minnesota in the contest. After back-to-back doubles made it 7-2, Minnesota scored two runs on an OSU throwing error. The Gophers then struck within one run following a three-run home run by Erika Smyth over the left center field wall and ending O’Reilly’s afternoon. Redshirt junior Melanie Nichols stopped the rally any further when she struck out Richardson on a called strike three. Four of the six runs were earned for the Gophers.
The Buckeyes regained some cushion in the bottom half, plating two runs vs. Minnesota pitcher Sara Moulton. Carrillo collected her second double of the day to left center to score Watkins – her third run of the game. Pickett then laced a liner drive to left to allow McIntyre to score to make it 9-6.
After Nichols allowed no runs in the top of the fifth, the Buckeye bats continued to do work in the box, notching three runs vs. Moulton. Watkins collected her third double of the day to score Conrad from second base before Pickett boasted her third RBI of the game on an infield single, scoring Watkins who crossed the plate for the fourth time (career-high). Rennie then made it 12-6 after she collected her third of the contest with an RBI single to right field, allowing pinch runner Brittany Mills to touch home.
McIntyre claimed the run-rule victory in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI single up the middle. Overall, Ohio State outhit the Gophers, 18-4.
The Buckeyes close the home schedule vs. Wright State May 1 at Buckeye Field. As always, admission is free.