Feb. 17, 2012
Las Vegas, Nevada –
The Ohio State softball team split two games at the 2012 UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic Friday at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park in Las Vegas, Nev. The Buckeyes (3-4, 0-0 Big Ten) fell in game one, 7-4, against Texas Tech, but bounced back with a 6-3 victory over San Jose State in game two.
“I thought the win vs. San Jose State capped a good day of softball for us, eliminating one inning,” head coach Linda Kalafatis said. “Our kids played a full seven innings in the second game and we will continue to grow as a team.”
Game One: Texas Tech 7, Ohio State 4 The score was tied for the majority of the game until Texas Tech notched a six-run rally in the top of the sixth inning vs. the Buckeyes. Ohio State notched three runs in its final at bat, but ran out of outs vs. the Red Raiders to fall to 2-4 overall.
Senior pitcher Mikayla Endicott, who was making her third start of the season, threw 3.2 innings of hitless action vs. the Red Raiders before allowing a single with two outs in the top of the fourth. However, Endicott’s start was cut short when she was relieved in the sixth inning during the Red Raider’s rally.
Ohio State had two chances to get on the board against the Red Raiders in the second and fourth innings, but could not capitalize, stranding two runners in both innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, Herron started off the inning with a screamer down the left field line for a double, while sophomore Evelyn Carrillo got on base after being hit by a pitch by TTU pitcher Brittany Talley. However, Talley settled down in the circle and got out of the jam, ending the OSU chance on a strikeout and fly out to right field.
In the fifth inning, the Red Raiders were the first to strike on the scoreboard when shortstop Raven Richardson notched a solo home run that carried over the left center field wall to make it 1-0 in favor of Texas Tech.
However, the Buckeyes rebounded to tie the game 1-1 after Herron placed an RBI opposite field single through the right side, scoring freshman Taylor Watkins, who started the rally on a two-out single to left field. Vanessa Spears then got on base on a bunt single to set up Herron at the plate.
But the Red Raiders went on to plate six runs the following inning on three hits and three errors to claim the eventual, 7-4, final score. Holley Gentsch extended the lead to 5-1 on a two-run RBI single to second base to end Endicott’s day in the circle as sophomore Melanie Nichols relieved the OSU starter. Texas Tech added two additional runs a two-run single to center field by Mikey Kenney.
Herron continued her hot bat at the plate when she blasted a three-run home run over the left field wall in the bottom of the seventh to make it 7-4. The long ball was the second of the season and 37th of her career.
In the top of the seventh, freshman pitcher Olivia O’Reilly made her first career appearance in the Scarlet and Gray uniform, allowing no runs on one hit.
Endicott receives the loss to fall to 0-3 on the season, throwing 5 innings, allowing five hits on three earned runs, while striking out two batters. TTU reliever Cara Custer improves to 2-3 overall in 2.1 innings of work.
Game Two: Ohio State 6, San Jose State 3 Down 2-0, the Buckeyes battled back to claim a 6-3 victory after scoring four runs in the fifth and one run in both the sixth and seventh innings to notch their third win of 2012.
The Spartans claimed an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. BranDee Garcia posted an RBI infield single, scoring designated player Breanna Lopez from third base to make it 1-0. The Spartans plated their second run when Amanda Schatz singled up the middle, scoring first baseman Amanda Stang. Endicott then relieved starting pitcher Melanie Nichols with one down and the bases loaded. The native of Roseburg, Oregon, Endicott ended the SJSU rally with back-to-back outs, stranding three Spartan base runners.
The senior transfer continued her momentum, retiring the first eight batters she faced heading into the fifth inning to set up the OSU offense for a rally.
In the top of the fifth, the Buckeyes got the rally they were looking for, scoring four runs on five hits highlighted by a two-run home run by sophomore Evelyn Carrillo, who sent a deep fly ball over the right field wall to make it 4-2. Senior Katie Simonton and Spears each posted singles and runs, while freshman Taylor Watkins notched an RBI double down the left field line.
The Buckeyes extended their lead to 6-2, the eventual final, after junior tri-captain Megan Coletta and Herron knocked solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
The Spartans added a third run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Endicott was able to close the door on San Jose State to claim her first victory as a Buckeye. Endicott threw 5.2 innings, allowing one run with three strikeouts.
Freshman Anne McGowan also claimed her first career hit as a Buckeye in the top of the fifth inning with a rocket to center field.
UP NEXT The Buckeyes continue the 2012 UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic with two games Saturday at the UNLV Softball Stadium. Ohio State plays host-UNLV at 1:30 p.m. PT before facing Long Beach State at 6:00 p.m. PT.