Ohio State Edged by Illinois, 6-4
May 3, 2013
URBANA, ILL. – The Ohio State softball team fell, 6-4, in game one of a three-game conference series at Illinois Friday night at Eichelberger Field. Leading 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth, the Fighting Illini (21-25, 10-11 Big Ten) were able to capitalize on three Ohio State errors in the bottom of the sixth to plate three runs and take a two-run advantage en route to the victory.
With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 32-20 overall and 9-12 in Big Ten play. Offensively, freshman Cammi Prantl went 2-for-2 with her first career home run, two runs scored, two walks and three RBI. In the circle, sophomore pitcher Alex DiDomenico fell to 14-10 overall, throwing five innings and allowing five runs, two earned runs, three walks with 10 strikeouts.
DiDomenico was in the zone to start the contest vs. Illinois. She began the game retiring the first seven Illini batters in order on strikeouts. With one down in the bottom of the third, junior catcher Melissa Rennie made a great full-extension catch in foul territory on a pop up down the first base line to retire the first Illini batter not on a strikeout. DiDomenico then stranded a runner on first after inducing a groundout to senior Megan Coletta at third base.
The Fighting Illini cut the lead to three runs in the bottom half, scoring one run on an RBI walk by Jessica Davis. The bases were loaded after DiDomenico walked two batters and hit a batter. McIntyre claimed the second out of the frame on a nice play on an in-between hop at shortstop to get the lead runner at the plate before DiDomenico made Jenna Mychko chase a ball out of the zone for the final out of the fourth with her eighth strikeout.
After Ohio State stranded a pair of runners in the top of the fifth, the Illinois momentum continued as the home squad scored a pair of runs on a two-run, two-out single by Jess Perkins through the left side. One of the runs was earned for DiDomenico However, she kept it a one-run contest when claimed a called strike three.
In the sixth, Prantl reached base safely for the fourth-consecutive at bat with a walk, but Ohio State couldn’t push her around the base paths as Pepper ended the OSU chance on a strikeout.
Ohio State and Illinois return to action at 3 p.m. ET Saturday in game two of the league series. The contest will be streamed on BTN.com.