SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Ohio State softball team dropped two games Saturday at the San Diego Classic II Tournament at SDSU Softball Stadium. The Buckeyes (7-16, 0-0 Big Ten) lost, 6-1, to Cal State Northridge in game one and suffered a heartbreaking 4-2 loss against San Diego State in game two to fall to 2-2 overall in the tournament.
“I thought our kids played pretty hard today,” head coach Linda Kalafatis said. “We didn’t make the offensive adjustments in the first game and Cal State Northridge came up with some big hits. I thought Medrano threw so well against San Diego State, but we just didn’t close out the game and I thought we let one slip away there. San Diego State has played a tough schedule and is a good program.”
In the first contest, the Matadors came up with several big hits and that would be the eventual difference maker in the game. Cal State Northridge scored one run in the second, three in the third and two in the fifth off home runs by four different batters.
In the top of the second, the Matadors took a 1-0 lead after center fielder Kristen Mihm connected on the first pitch she saw from starting pitcher Audrey Plant and sent it just over the left field wall. In the bottom of the inning, the Buckeyes had their first scoring opportunity of the afternoon with runners on first and second. However, CSNU starting pitcher Mia Pagano claimed a strikeout to end the OSU threat.
In the third, Cal State Northridge added three runs to its lead with two homeruns in the inning – both with two outs. Carleson ripped her third home run of the season with a shot to center field to make it 2-0. After Mikayla Thielges drew a walk off freshman pitcher Kasie Kelly, Tracey Allen brought her home with a two-run home run to center to make it 4-0.
In the fifth, the Matadors threatened to extend their four-run lead after Korinne Randazzo led off the inning with a triple down the right field line – the ball landed just inside the chalk line. Carlsen then put down a safety squeeze in front of catcher Melissa Rennie, who made the out at first, but Randazzo was able to plate the run. The following batter, Theilges stepped up to the plate and sent a opposite field home run to right field to make it 6-0.
In the sixth, freshman Evelyn Carrillo got the Buckeyes on the board after blasting a lead-off home run over the right field wall for her third long ball of the season. She went 2-for-4 in the game with one RBI. Also having a solid outing at the plate was senior Brittany Goodchild, who went 2-for-3 vs. the Matador pitching.
Plant received the loss and falls to 1-3 on the season, throwing 2.2 innings with three hits and two earned runs. Goodchild had some good relief work for the Buckeyes in the later part of the game as she threw two innings and allowed just one hit and no runs.
In game two, the Buckeyes were guided by senior pitcher Karisa Medrano, who threw six outstanding innings for the Scarlet and Gray. However, San Diego State rallied with four runs in the final inning that was capped off by a two-out two-run walk-off home run to left field by Jen Wisneski, clinching the 4-2 come-from-behind victory for the Aztecs.
In the first six innings of the contest, Medrano allowed just two hits as only four SDSU batters reached base safely. The native of Albuquerque, N.M., Medrano sat down eight-consecutive batters at one part in the game as well as 12 of the first 13 batters she faced.
The Aztecs began the seventh inning with a lead-off home run by Lorena Klopp to cut their deficit to 2-1. The next batter, Hayley Miles singled up the middle to continue the San Diego State rally. Kamerin May then reached base safely on a fielder’s choice. Miles advanced to second after a throwing error at second base on the play. After a sacrifice bunt, pinch hitter Kristin May hit a sacrifice fly off Medrano to left field scoring Miles from the third to tie the game, 2-2. Three of the Aztecs’ four runs were unearned. Medrano falls to 2-8 on the season, pitching 6.2 innings with five hits, one earned run and four strikeouts.
The first four innings of the game went scoreless as both starting pitchers were in the zone early, throwing strikes and limiting batters to few opportunities.
The Buckeyes broke the scoreless game in the top of the fifth. Sophomore Brittany Mills began the OSU momentum with an opposite-field single to left field, while senior Dee Dee Hillman followed with another opposite-field hit to left field. With runners on first and second, Herron ripped a one-out double to left center, scoring both Mills and Hillman to give Ohio State the first lead of the game. Herron was thrown out on the relay as she tried to stretch the play into a triple.
The Buckeyes outhit the Aztecs, 8-5, in the game. Herron led the Buckeyes offensively as the junior co-captain went 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and two RBI. She now has a team-high eight multi-hit performances this season.
Ohio State will conclude tournament play at the San Diego Classic II at 10 a.m. Sunday when the team takes on Louisville at SDSU Softball Stadium.