Buckeyes Head to Pittsburgh for Midweek Doubleheader
March 24, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Fresh off a sweep of Michigan State to open the Big Ten schedule, the Ohio State softball team heads to Pittsburgh to take on the Pitt Panthers in a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday beginning at 3 p.m.
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
At the plate, junior Caitlin Conrad leads Ohio State in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.376), home runs (six), doubles (eight), RBIs (23), slugging percentage (.706) and total bases (60). Senior Evelyn Carrillo checks in with a .356 average, 18 RBIs, six doubles and two home runs. Carrillo had a productive weekend against Michigan State, hitting .700 with two home runs and six RBIs.
In the circle, four different pitchers have seen significant playing time – junior Olivia O’Reilly (5-2, 2.58 ERA), junior Alex DiDomenico (3-3, 2.92 ERA), senior Melanie Nichols (4-5, 3.96 ERA) and freshman Shelby Hursh (2-4, 3.98 ERA).
FOLLOWING FROM HOME
Top Hitter: Carly Thea, .368, 11 RBI, four doubles, three home runs; Carissa Throckmorton, .273, eight RBI, four doubles, two triples
Top Pitcher: Savannah King, 5-10, 4.02 ERA, 56 Ks
Last Time Out: Dropped both games of a doubleheader to North Carolina on March 15.
All-Time Series: Buckeyes lead 10-3.
OHIO STATE VS. PITTSBURGH: A LOOK BACK TO 2013
Offensively, Ohio State was led by Leesa Gresham, who posted a double and one RBI, while Maddy McIntyre was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBI. Taylor Watkins was 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks.
The Buckeyes scored their first run in the bottom of the second when Watkins walked with the bases loaded, allowing McIntyre to cross the plate.
In the third inning, Ohio State jumped out to the 4-0 eventual final, scoring three runs vs. the Panthers. Gresham doubled to right center to begin the at bat before McIntyre notched a two-run single, allowing pinch runner Alyson Mott and Carrillo to score runs. The Buckeyes got out to a 4-0 advantage after Megan Coletta sent a sacrifice fly to right field to score McIntyre.
Ohio State 9, Pittsburgh 0
Olivia O’Reilly had another solid performance in the circle, throwing five innings while allowing just one hit, no runs with nine strikeouts.
Offensively, Ohio State was led by Maddy McIntyre, who posted a home run, three RBI and a run scored and Cammi Prantl, who went 2-for-3 with one RBI and two runs scored. Shelby Pickett notched a triple and a run scored, while senior Megan Coletta had a double vs. the Panthers.
CAREER RECORDS WATCH
In addition, senior Evelyn Carrillo is also climbing her way up the career lists in hits and runs batted in. The senior from Corona, Calif., has started 182 of 183 career games and currently ranks 17th in hits (176), just one shy of 16th place. Her 125 RBIs are good for eighth place.
BUCKEYES’ BAT COME ALIVE VS. MSU
Overall, seven different players hit over .300 for the series.
A MARKED IMPROVEMENT
Player........................................ 12-13 13-14 Diff.
PLAYING THE BEST
EXPERIENCED COACHING STAFF
MICHIGAN STATE REWIND
Ohio State struck for four runs in the first inning on five hits, the biggest coming from Caitlin Conrad, who ripped a double into left center and a two-run double by catcher Erika Leonard. Taylor Watkins, Jayla Saibene and Carrillo also had hits during the inning.
The Buckeyes proved their big first inning was just a preview of things to come, as they scored four more times in the bottom of the second. This time, all the damage came with two outs as Saibene started the rally with a double to right center, followed by a single up the middle by Carrillo. Leonard then singled to the shortstop and Melaina Saalfeld doubled to right center, scoring Carrillo. Prantl plated two more runners with a double to make the score 8-0.
Overall, five different Buckeyes recorded multiple hits. Carrillo’s four hits matches her career high (also set this year vs. Long Beach State) and her two home runs are a career high.
Ohio State 11, Michigan State 7
The Buckeye comeback began in the bottom of the fourth when they trailed 7-1. Jesse Machovina led off the frame with a triple and following a Keelia Nester walk, Conrad drove Machovina home with a single up the middle. Evelyn Carrillo singled down the left field line to drive home two runs to make the score 7-4.
In the sixth, Saibene reached second base on an error by the right fielder and eventually was driven home on a single by Erika Leonard. A sacrifice fly by Machovina tied the score 7-7 and Nester’s RBI single completed the comeback, giving Ohio State an 8-7 lead. Conrad then stepped to the plate with two on and belted the first pitch of her at bat over the right field fence to give the Buckeyes an 11-7 lead.
Ohio State 4, Michigan State 3
The Spartans got on the scoreboard first thanks to a two-run home run by Carly Nielsen in the top of the second. In the bottom of the frame, Ohio State struck for three runs, keyed by a three-run home run by Prantl that scored Saalfeld and Anna Kirk.
In the fourth, Michigan State pushed across the equalizer on an RBI single from pinch hitter Stephanie Sanders. The score remained tied at 3-3 until the bottom of the fifth when Conrad started off the inning with a single to right center. Watkins followed with a sacrifice bunt, advancing Conrad to second. She took third base on a wild pitch and then was driven home when Carrillo laced a single to right center that hit the wall.
Michigan State had a base runner in both the sixth and seventh innings but neither of them advanced past first. O’Reilly pitched a complete game, giving up six hits while striking out five. She earned her team-leading fifth win of the year.
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