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Megan Coletta, Rachael Shepherd hit back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the sixth

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Saving the best for last, freshman Megan Coletta and junior Rachael Shepherd hit back-to-back doubles, Shepherd’s an RBI, to break a 2-all deadlock in the bottom of the sixth as the No. 16/17 Ohio State softball team (9-5) downed Cal State Fullerton (3-11), 5-2, Sunday morning at the 2010 Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.

After a tough outing the night before, freshman pitcher Melanie Nichols bounced back in a big way, striking out the Titans first three batters of the game. The rookie would pitch five innings, allowing just two runs on six innings before senior Lindsay Bodeker replaced her for the remainder of the game.

In the bottom of the first, the Buckeyes went to work early with Dee Dee Hillman singling through the left side and stealing second before Sam Marder and Alicia Herron were walked, loading the bases with one out. Leah Ledford and Vanessa Spears both worked the count to earn walks and bring in a run each.

But Cal State Fullerton responded, getting a leadoff home run from Trina Harrison and pitcher Krystal Heinle knocked down a RBI single over shortstop Alicia Herron’s head to tie things up in the top of the second.

Although the Titans threatened with runners in scoring position in the third, the Buckeye defense remained strong, denying CSF another tally. The two teams played three scoreless innings before Ohio State’s crucial bottom of the sixth.

In her first at-bat, Coletta hit a line drive deep into right centerfield for a double and Shepherd followed taking one the other way for an RBI double. Up next, Hillman drove a RBI single through the right side to put the Buckeyes up 5-2.

Bodeker and the Ohio State defense closed out the game with a perfect three-up, three down.

The Buckeyes next conclude the classic against No. 3/5 UCLA, starting at 1:40 p.m. EST.