May 7, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sophomore Jamee Juarez won her Ohio State record-tying 24th game of the season Saturday with a four-hit shutout to lead the Buckeye softball team (31-16, 8-7 Big Ten) to a 3-0 win over Penn State (34-19, 10-8 Big Ten) at Buckeye Field. Ohio State scored a run in the third inning and two more in the fifth, with sophomore Christina Douglas having a hand in both innings.
Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson), who improves to 24-11, pitched her 21st complete game of the season and her ninth shutout in tying the school record for single-season wins set by Genice Turley in 1994. Juarez, owner of 12 career shutouts, did not walk a batter and struck out five. Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson) went 2-for-2, doubling and scoring in the third inning and knocking an RBI single and scoring again in the fifth.
Ohio State, which clinched a spot in the Big Ten tournament last week, improves to 13-2 in its last 15 games and to 5-2 in its last seven Big Ten games as the Buckeyes battle for seeding in the tournament next weekend.
“Jamee Juarez pitched another great game,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “She has been pitching great lately and it is a good time to be doing it so late in the season. Christina Douglas had a big game with those two hits and the team came up big with a few good bunts that helped move runners around the bases. With the team leading off innings with extra base hits it makes it a lot easier to score.”
Ohio State took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Douglas led off with a double to right centerfield, moved to third base on a sacrifice by senior Natalie Hales (Canton, Ohio/Eastern Michigan) and scored on an RBI single line drive through the right side by sophomore Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut).
The Buckeyes added two more in the fifth inning when freshman Liz Caputo (Riverside, Calif./Riverside Poly) led off with a line drive slap triple to the gap in right center. Douglas sent her across the plate one batter later with a single to right field and moved into scoring position herself when Hales laid down another sacrifice bunt. Senior Karisa Evans (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) then drove in Douglas with a double over the head of the Nittany Lion right fielder.
Juarez and the Ohio State defense came up big inning after inning to keep the Nittany Lions off the scoreboard. Junior Billie Jo Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina) made a leaping grab of a line drive off the bat of Penn State’s Hollee Haines to end the first inning, and after Penn State got two runners aboard in the second inning with just one out, Juarez induced a long fly ball to Caputo for out No. 2 and struck out Hollee Jackson looking to end the Nittany Lion threat.
Evans made a diving catch in right field for the first out of inning No. 3 and Carder made the putout or had the assist in three more plays in the game. Senior Jennifer Johnson (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) picked up two PSU grounders at shortstop for outs in the third and fourth inning and started a double-play in the seventh inning off a Nittany Lion line drive, which she snagged and threw across the diamond to Douglas to nab the second out at first base.
Penn State’s Missy Beseres sees her record slip to 15-11 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten as the Nittany Lions see their four-game conference winning streak halted.
Ohio State and Penn State will meet at Buckeye Field Sunday at 1 p.m. in the regular-season finale for both teams. The game will mark Senior Day for Ohio State seniors Ashley Cutcliff (Zionsville, Ind./U. of Florida), Evans, Hales, Johnson and Meghan Rowlands (Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready).
### GO BUCKS! ###