April 29, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Ohio State softball team fell in a doubleheader at Northwestern Sunday at Sharon J. Drysdale Field in Evanston, Ill. The Buckeyes (28-20, 7-10 Big Ten) lost game one, 3-1, before dropping game two, 8-5, against the Wildcats (21-26, 8-10 Big Ten).
The Scarlet and Gray will now prepare to close out the home schedule next weekend at Buckeye Field in a three-game series vs. Iowa May 5-6. The Buckeyes will play Iowa in a doubleheader at 6 p.m. May 5 live on BTN before wrapping up the series at 2 p.m. May 6 live on BTN.com. The final game vs. the Hawkeyes will be Senior Day for Ohio State.
Game One: Ohio State 1, Northwestern 3
In game one, the Buckeyes and Wildcats were tied, 1-1, heading to the bottom of the fourth, but a two-run home run by NU first baseman Adrienne Monka was the difference in the contest as Ohio State could not recover from its two-run deficit.
The Wildcats took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after a sacrifice fly to left by Marisa Bast. But Endicott limited the damage when she ended the inning with the bases loaded after getting Meghan Lamberth to pop up behind the plate to freshman catcher Shelby Pickett.
Northwestern loaded the bases again in the bottom of the second, but Endicott denied the Wildcats with back-to-back impressive strikeouts against Monka and Bast to maintain the 1-0 score after two innings.
Pickett claimed the Buckeyes' first hit to begin the third with an infield single and advanced to third following sacrifice bunts by sophomore Melaina Saalfeld and senior Katie Simonton, respectively. However, Lamberth stranded Pickett on third after a strikeout.
After Endicott left the Wildcats' seventh runner on base in the bottom half, Ohio State tied the game, 1-1, on two hits in the top of the fourth. Senior Vanessa Spears started the rally with her team-leading 10th double of the season off the left center wall and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Sophomore Evelyn Carrillo then tied up the game, 1-1, when she sent a 2-0 pitch up the middle for an RBI single - her 41st RBI of 2012.
Northwestern claimed its second lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth when Monka sent a 3-2 pitch with two down over the left field wall to make it 3-1. After a walk to Bast, Endicott was then replaced by freshman Olivia O'Reilly.
The Buckeyes had a chance to tie the game in top of the fifth with runners on second and third, but failed to push any runs across the plate against Lamberth. In their final at-bat, Pickett notched her second hit the day, but the Buckeyes couldn't put a rally together to fall to 7-9 in conference play. Pickett, a native of Temecula, Calif., claimed her second multi-hit performance of her career, going 2-for-3 at the plate.
Endicott received the loss to fall 16-12, throwing 3.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, five walks and six strikeouts. O'Reilly finished the game for the squad, throwing very efficient in the circle. In her 11th appearance, O'Reilly allowed no runs on three hits with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings of work.
Overall, Ohio State had four hits, while Northwestern posted eight hits. The Buckeyes left four on base, while the Wildcats stranded 12 runners.
Game Two: Ohio State 5, Northwestern 8
Despite posting a run in the first, third and fourth innings and two in the seventh, the Buckeyes fell, 8-5, against the Wildcats in game two at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.
In the top of the first, Herron posted a 1-0 lead for the Buckeyes when she blasted a line drive home run over the left field wall for her 12th home run of the season vs. NU starter Sammy Alabanese. The native of Cypress, Calif., Herron now has 47 career home runs, which is second on the OSU all-time career home run list.
The `Cats rebounded quickly to tie the game, 1-1, after Bast notched an RBI single vs. starting pitcher Melanie Nichols, who struck out three in the opening frame. After Ohio State stranded two runners, Northwestern then extended its lead to 4-1 in bottom of the second on three runs and four hits highlighted by a two-run single by Monka with two outs in the inning.
Down 4-1, the Buckeyes cut their deficit to 4-2 in the top of the third following a two-out RBI double by LeBeau, scoring Carrillo. LeBeau, who collected her 10th multi-hit game of 2012, now has 22 BRI in 2012. However, the Wildcats battled right back at the plate with a run in the bottom half to make it 5-2 after a lead-off home run by Olivia Duehr.
But just like the third, the Buckeyes sliced their deficit to two runs after Pickett lead off the fourth with a solo home run over the center field wall on a 2-1 pitch vs. Albanese. The home run was Pickett's second of the season. Yet the Wildcats were able to regain a three-run lead for the third time of the afternoon when Mari Majam claimed an RBI groundout, scoring Kristin Scharkey.
Ohio State had the tying run at the plate in the fifth following a walk to LeBeau and a single by junior Megan Coletta, but stranded both runners after Albanese recorded a groundout for the Northwestern defense. In the bottom half, Spears made the defensive play of the game when she came up with the first out of the inning in foul territory in left field with a feet-first slide.
The Wildcats added two insurances in the bottom of the sixth following a two-out, two-run single by Duehr to make it 8-3.
The Buckeyes notched a pair of runs in their final at-bat after LeBeau collected an RBI single and Coletta claimed an RBI groundout, however, the squad ran out of outs vs. Lamberth, who relieved Alabanese in the final inning.
Nichols falls to 11-8 overall, throwing five innings, while allowing five earned runs on 11 hits with a walk and four strikeouts. O'Reilly pitched the last three outs of the game for the Scarlet and Gray, allowing two runs on one hit.
Overall, Ohio State claimed six hits, while Northwestern notched 12 hits.