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Feb. 16, 2004

Box Score |  Notes

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Freshman Jamee Juarez drilled a grand slam homerun in the fifth inning and held tournament host Arizona State to just six hits to lead the Ohio State softball team to a 6-3 victory over the 19th-ranked Sun Devils Sunday afternoon at the Rose Mofford Softball Complex in Phoenix.

On her birthday, Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) notched two strikeouts and allowed just two Sun Devil base hits through the first five innings as Ohio State (3-2, 0-0 Big Ten) won for the second consecutive game over a nationally ranked opponent.

Ohio State took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as freshman Megan Schwab (Glendale, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain) led off the game with the first of her four base hits in the contest and later scored after a pair of Buckeyes drew walks and junior Natalie Hales (Canton, Ohio/Eastern Michigan) was hit by a pitch.

With a 1-0 lead, Juarez then proceeded to retire 15 of the first 19 batters she faced, thanks in part to the stellar defensive play of senior third baseman Breana Pozzi (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande), junior shortstop Jennifer Johnson (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada), freshman second baseman Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut) and junior centerfielder Meghan Rowlands (Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready), who crashed through the outfield fence making a homerun-saving catch in the fourth inning.

In the fifth inning, Schwab doubled off the fence, Koyano walked and junior Karisa Evans (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) collected an infield single to load the bases and set the stage for Juarez, who sent a changeup on a 1-1 count over the fence in right-centerfield to put the Buckeyes up 5-1.

“It was an unbelievable way to end the tournament,” Juarez said. “Having a game like that on my birthday was special, but it took a lot of girls stepping up big to beat a good team like Arizona State.”

Arizona State (10-5) would get a three-run homer in the sixth inning, but Juarez would allow just two more base runners the rest of the game, the last of which was thrown out at first base by Johnson in a line drive double play to end the game.

The Buckeyes scored their sixth and final run of the game as Schwab led off the top of the seventh inning with a single and later scored on a single by Evans.

Ohio State will return to action Feb. 27-29 at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga.