April 3, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State sophomore Christina Douglas went 4-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI to lead the Buckeyes to a 13-1 five-inning mercy-rule victory over Minnesota Sunday in the first game of a double-header at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. Ohio State (17-10, 1-2 Big Ten) scored three runs in the third inning, three more in the fourth and exploded for six runs in the sixth inning to slam the door on the Golden Gophers (16-15, 1-2 Big Ten), who committed five errors in the game.
The win for Ohio State helps erase losses at Wisconsin Friday and Saturday as the Buckeyes began a six-game road stretch to begin Big Ten play. The Buckeyes’ seven hits in the sixth inning ties the team’s season-high for hits in an inning, while the six runs scored in the fifth inning are the most OSU has scored in the fifth frame this season.
The four-hit game was the first for Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson) and led Ohio State’s 14-hit offensive outburst. Douglas’ two doubles also marked a new career high, while OSU senior Ashley Cutcliff (Zionsville, Ind./U. of Florida) and freshman Liz Caputo (Riverside, Calif./Riverside Poly) both hit solo home runs and tied their career highs with three hits each.
Sophomore Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) had one hit to extend her career-best hitting streak to 11-consecutive games. She started in the circle for the seventh time in Ohio State’s last eight games and held Minnesota to just four hits and one unearned run to see her record improve to 13-7 on the season. The victory already ties her win total from a year ago when she was 13-10 as a freshman. Sophomore Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut) smacked an RBI triple during Ohio State’s six-run sixth inning, marking her sixth triple of the season, which moves her into a third-place tie for triples in a season at Ohio State. The home run for Cutcliff was the 11th of her career, which moves her into a tie for sixth place on the OSU career home runs list.
Sophomore Megan Schwab (Glendale, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain), who entered the game as the Big Ten’s leading hitter with a .423 average, seven home runs and 30 RBI, was walked three times by Minnesota and scored twice. Senior Karisa Evans (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) scored three runs in the game, tying her career high.
Ohio State took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Koyano walked and later scored on an RBI sacrifice fly from Juarez. An Evans sacrifice bunt and a single by Douglas had moved Koyano to third base. Minnesota answered with its only run of the game in the bottom of the first inning when Stephanie Sward, one of the Big Ten’s leading hitters in 2005, notched a leadoff infield single and later scored on a Buckeye error. However, Juarez would allow only four Golden Gopher base runners the rest of the game.
In the third inning, Douglas drilled a two-RBI double and then also scored on an RBI single by Cutcliff. Caputo led off the fourth inning with her third home run of the season, which chased Minnesota starting pitcher Lyn Peyer, who sees her record evened at 9-9 on the season. Gopher reliever Rene Konderink went the rest of the way for Minnesota, giving up a two-RBI double later in the fourth inning to Douglas and then all six OSU runs in the sixth inning.
Cutcliff homered to lead off the sixth inning and added an RBI single later in the same frame. Junior Billie Jo Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina) and senior Natalie Hales (Canton, Ohio/Eastern Michigan) followed up Cutcliff’s home run with singles, which preceded Koyano’s triple. Douglas then singled and Juarez knocked an RBI single.
The Buckeyes and Golden Gophers will meet in game two of the double-header later Sunday afternoon.
### GO BUCKS! ###