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Ohio State takes on North Florida and Florida Atlantic Saturday

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The No. 16 Ohio State softball team fell twice Friday, dropping an 11-3 decision to Syracuse in five innings and a 4-3 contest to Long Island at the 2010 USF ‘The Game’ Tournament at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. The Buckeyes are now 13-8 on the season.

As the home team vs. Syracuse, the Scarlet and Gray fell behind 3-1 in the first and trailed the Orange the remainder of the game. Redshirt junior Lindsay Bodeker started the game for Ohio State on the mound but faced just three batters. SU’s Lisaire Daniels hit a three-run homer after the Buckeye pitcher was charged with multiple illegal pitches. Senior pitcher Megan Miller was called into the game and ended the inning with two strikeouts and jamming a batter into a 6-3 putout.

In the bottom of the first, senior first baseman Sam Marder scored from second as sophomore shortstop Alicia Herron hit a single to deep left field to cut Syracuse’s lead to two.

The Buckeyes put another run on the board in the second to make it a one run game. Junior Karisa Medrano took first after a dropped-third strike and advanced to second on an illegal pitch before catcher Rachael Shepherd was walked. With Julia Pecina pinch running for Shepherd, the freshman stole second before Brittany Goodchild loaded the bases with another dropped-third strike. Medrano was thrown out at home in a fielder’s choice situation before Syracuse pitcher Jenna Caira was charged with another illegal pitch, advancing the runners a base and bringing Pecina in for a run.

Defensively, Miller and the Buckeyes held Syracuse from scoring again until the top of the fourth when the Orange had a four hit, five run inning to make it an 8-2 game. Miller threw just one third of the inning before freshman pitcher Melanie Nichols came in to finish the game with Syracuse adding on three more runs in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Ohio State was able to tack on a third and final run as Goodchild scored as senior Courtney Pruner hit into a fielder’s choice situation.

For the game, SU held a 10-1 advantage in hits while OSU recorded two errors.

Ohio State vs. Long Island
In game two, a Buckeye rally in the sixth inning fell just short of catching the ULI Blackbirds. With Bodeker back on the mound, the West Chester, Ohio, native pitched all six innings, fanning five batters.

Ohio State’s Hillman and Herron each singled to put runners on first and second but with two outs already, the Buckeyes were left on base in the first. In the bottom of the second, Long Island posted two runs off of three hits before adding two more in the third. Besides senior Leah Ledford advancing to second on an error in the top of the second, the Buckeyes were held off the bases in the next three innings.

It was not until the sixth that the OSU bats got going. Marder started things off, singling to center and Herron moved sophomore Katie Simonton, who was pinch running for Marder, to third after she took second on a passed ball. With the calmness of a senior, Whitney Cooper sailed one over the left field fence for a three-run shot, her fourth home run of the season.

Bodeker curbed the Blackbird’s bats in the second half of the game, allowing a combined three hits in the fourth, fifth and six innings. Within one of tying the game, the Buckeyes fell short, going down in order in the top of the seventh.

Long Island held a 10-5 advantage in hits with Blair Porter striking out seven and walking zero for her eighth win of the season.

Ohio State jumps right back into action Saturday, playing North Florida at noon and Florida Atlantic at 3 p.m.