April 16, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team scored five runs in the first inning on its way to a 9-5 win over Minnesota Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader at Buckeye Field. Senior Chelsea Baker added a two-run home run in the fourth inning as the Buckeyes improved to 27-14 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten, while Minnesota falls to 12-24 overall and 1-10 in the league.
Ohio State spotted the Gophers two runs in the top of the first inning on two hits and an OSU error, but the Buckeyes responded with five runs in the bottom of the frame on five hits and a Minnesota error. Having won their last nine games, the Buckeyes are now 12-0 at home this season and 18-4 in its last 22 games.
The home run by Baker (Gahanna, Ohio/DeSales), the 13th of her career and third in her last five games, gave the Buckeyes a 9-2 lead.
OSU junior Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) improved to 13-8 in the circle and won her fourth-consecutive decision with 6.2 innings of five-hit pitching. She struck out four and becomes the seventh pitcher in OSU history to pitch 500 career innings (505.0). After the Gophers scored their two runs, Juarez retired 11 of the next 12 batters she faced.
The Buckeyes began their 11-hit attack early, with five of them in their five-run first inning. Delivering the RBI were freshman Courtney Pruner (Akron, Ohio/Ellet) with a two-RBI triple and RBI singles by senior Billie Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina) and Juarez. A double by Carder and a walk by junior Lauren Daykin (Melbourne, Australia/Manatee C.C., Fla.) led to two OSU runs in the third inning, the first coming on an RBI single by Juarez and the other on a wild pitch.
Sophomore Brittany Vanderink (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood) led off the fourth inning with her second single of the game and later scored when Baker sent her shot over the left field wall.
Juarez, Carder, Vanderink and junior Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut) all had two hits for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State and Minnesota will meet in game two at 2:20 p.m. Sunday.
### GO BUCKS! ###