Feb. 24, 2007
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CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Senior Jamee Juarez tossed a four-hit, complete game and drove in what proved to be the deciding run to lead the Ohio State softball to a 2-1 upset of No. 22 Fresno State Friday night at the Palm Springs Classic at Big League Dreams Sports Complex in Cathedral City, Calif. The Buckeyes (4-3) win for the second time Friday and beat the Bulldogs (6-5) for the first time since 1996.
In a duel with Fresno State’s Robin Mackin, the 2006 Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year, Juarez shined, setting down 16 of the first 17 batters she faced and walking none. Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) pitched with the lead for the entire game thanks to an RBI double in the first inning by senior Megan Schwab (Glendale, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain) and then put the Buckeyes up 2-0 herself with an RBI single in the sixth.
“We scored early in both games today and that was key,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “We wanted to key in on a couple things to work on and we accomplished all of them. We met with our pitchers and catchers this afternoon and told them it starts with them. They make us go and Kim Reeder (win vs. BYU earlier Friday) and Jamee Juarez responded well. We fed off of that.”
The complete game is the 52nd of Juarez’s career and the win is her 56th, which is three shy of reaching the No. 2 spot on the Ohio State career wins list. Friday marked the 13th time Juarez has gone the distance without allowing a walk.
“I just went out there trying to hit my spots and I did a pretty good job of that,” Juarez said. “I had good defense behind me and we were really focused every time we took the field. We had a lot of positive talk and believed in each other that we could win this game.”
In the first inning, OSU junior Brittany Vanderink (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood) walked and scored on Schwab’s double. In the sixth, freshman Sam Marder (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas) was robbed of a home run by FSU right fielder Brooke Phillips, but Juarez put the Buckeyes up 2-0 nonetheless with an RBI single to leftfield to score senior Christina Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson), who had singled and stole second to move into scoring position.
The Bulldogs got one run back in the seventh thanks to two hits and an OSU throwing error, but it was too little too late.
“I thought that last tournament in Tempe, we improved game to game and last week we got a little better and that all paid off today,” Kalafatis said. “We got some good clutch hitting today and if Kim and Jamee throw like that, we’ll be in position to win a lot of games.”
Saturday at the Palm Springs Classic, Ohio State takes on No. 11 Texas at 1 p.m. (PT) and No. 17 California at 3:30 p.m. (PT).
### Go Bucks! ###