April 13, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Training 5-0 after five and a half innings, the Ohio State softball team fought back to within a run but could not push across the equalizer in a 5-4 loss to Purdue on Sunday afternoon in front of a season-high crowd of 1,598. The Buckeyes are now 20-20 overall and 6-6 in the Big Ten while Purdue improves to 22-20-1, 9-3.
At the plate, Ohio State was paced by junior Caitlin Conrad and senior Evelyn Carrillo, who each had two hits. Leesa Gresham hit a two-run pinch hit home run in the bottom of the sixth, while Melissa Rennie, Erika Leonard, Jayla Saibene and Cammi Prantl each contributed hits. In the circle, junior Olivia O’Reilly started her third game of the series and went 5.2 innings, giving up four hits and five earned runs. Shelby Hush pitched 1.1 innings in relief.
On a windy day at Buckeye Field, Purdue got off to a fast start thanks to a two-run home run by Tori Chiodo. Neither team was able to generate any offense for the next three innings until the Boilermakers scored three times in the top of the fifth to take a 5-0 lead. Purdue runs came on a RBI groundout and a two-run double by Ashley Burkhardt.
The Buckeyes began to chip away at the Purdue lead in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a RBI double by Leonard, who was pinch hitting. In the sixth, Prantl got things started with a single up the middle and Carrillo followed with another single. Melaina Saalfeld when grounded out to second, but Prantl came home from third to make the score 5-2. Gresham then came in to pinch hit for Anna Kirk and belted the second pitch she saw over the left centerfield fence. It was her first home run of the season and the 11th of her career.
In the seventh, Ohio State once again threatened when Conrad tripled to center field with one out. A Taylor Watkins ground out and Prantl fly out ended the game, however.
Over the last week (a three-game series with Purdue and doubleheader vs. Ohio), O’Reilly pitched 25.2 innings with three complete games, two shutouts and just six earned runs. Prantl was the Buckeyes’ top hitter, going eight-for-18 (.444) with a home run and five RBI.
Ohio State returns to action on Tuesday, April 15, when it travels to Wright State for a single game beginning at 6 p.m.