COLUMBUS, Ohio – With the bat of sophomore Megan Coletta, the Ohio State softball team won, 2-1, in eight innings against Youngstown State Thursday night at Buckeye Field. Coletta, a native of Fullerton, Calif., blasted a two-out RBI double to right center , scoring freshman Evelyn Carrillo to give the Scarlet and Gray (11-27, 2-8 Big Ten) the extra inning victory vs. the Penguins (21-17, 4-9 Horizon).
“I thought the Youngstown State pitchers made it tough on us and kept the ball down,” head coach Linda Kalafatis said. “We have to do a better job of executing this weekend and moving runners over. Both teams played solid. We just came up with the clutch hits at the end.”
Senior pitcher Karisa Medrano received the win and improved to 6-15 overall this season. The native of Albuquerque, N.M., threw four innings, allowing no hits, no runs and struck out seven YSU batters. Starting pitcher Kasie Kelly had a no decision in the game after throwing four innings of work, allowing three hits and just one run and a strikeout.
The late-inning rally began when senior Brittany Goodchild drew a walk followed by Carrillo who posted a single up the middle. With the game-winning hit, Coletta now has 16 RBI in 2011, which is third-most on the team.
The Buckeyes outhit the Penguins, 6-3.
After a scoreless first inning, Youngstown State threatened to take an early lead with runners on first and third and one down. After Haley Knight lined out to shortstop, Sarah Gabel notched an RBI single to left center off Kelly to give her squad a 1-0 advantage. Kelly limited the damage when Kristen Philen grounded out to Herron at shortstop to end the top of the second.
In the bottom of the inning, the Scarlet and Gray answered with a run of their own in the game to make it, 1-1. After Melissa Rennie drew a walk and Melaina Saalfeld singled up the middle, designated player Leesa Gresham connected on an 0-1 pitch for a two-out RBI single to center field. Rennie scored from second on the play.
The Penguins got a runner on in the top of the third. However, junior co-captain Alicia Herron ended the YSU at-bat when she fielded a ball up the middle while stepping on second for the force out and fired to Carrillo at first for the double play. Sophomore Brittany Mills ended the top of the fourth with another Buckeye double play when she came charging in shallow right field with a nice feet-first dive for the out and finished off the play firing the ball to first base when she caught the YSU runner off the bag.
In the bottom of the fourth, Goodchild led off the OSU at-bat with a single up the middle followed by her third stolen base of the year. But YSU starting pitcher Casey Crozier ended the inning with three-consecutive groundouts to third base.
Medrano relieved Kelly to begin the top of the fifth. She finished the game retiring 11-conseuctive YSU batters.
Hana Somogyi came into the circle for the Penguins to open the bottom of the inning. After Gresham walked, pinch runner Alyson Mott was caught stealing on a close play at second base for the first out. Somogyi ended the inning as Herron grounded out to third base.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Buckeyes got a runner on after senior co-captain Dee Dee Hillman reached base safely following an error by the YSU third baseman. However, with two outs, sophomore pinch runner Julia Pecina left first base early to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Ohio State stranded two runners as the Penguin defense forced extra innings. Rennie claimed a one-out single, while Saalfled moved her classmate over with a sacrifice bunt. Following an intentional walk to Gresham, Somogyi ended the OSU threat when Mills grounded out to the pitcher.
Ohio State will next travel to Evanston, Ill., for two Big Ten games against Northwestern Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. ET and 3 p.m. ET, respectively. The game Sunday will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.