May 4, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State broke open a scoreless game with two runs in the sixth inning and tacked on four more in the seventh to back up Jamee Juarez, who pitched a one-hitter and her 11th career shutout as the Buckeye softball team handed host Pittsburgh a 6-0 loss in game one of a double-header in Pittsburgh, Pa., Wednesday afternoon. Ohio State improves to 30-15 for the school’s ninth 30-win season, while Pittsburgh falls to 22-27.
Five of those 30-win seasons have come under the direction of Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State’s ninth-year head coach. The Buckeyes are now 11-2 in their last 13 games and improve to 19-2 against their last 17 non-conference opponents.
In what was a true pitchers’ dual until late in the game, Juarez (so., La Puente, Calif./Wilson) struck out seven and walked only one, while Pittsburgh’s Christa Hunter was perfect into the fifth inning before Ohio State’s bats came alive in its final two at bats.
The win for Juarez was her 23rd of the season (23-11), which is now just one win shy of the Ohio State single-season record of 24 set by Genice Turley in 1994. The shutout for Juarez was her eighth of the season, which is tied for third-best among Ohio State’s single-season performances. Her 11 career shutouts are tied for seventh all-time.
Ohio State senior Karisa Evans (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin), who drove in three of Ohio State’s runs and ended the game 2-for-3, and junior Chelsea Baker (Gahanna, Ohio/DeSales) hit back-to-back RBI singles in the sixth inning to kick-start the Buckeye offense before senior Ashley Cutcliff (Zionsville, Ind./U. of Florida) hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning, followed by a double by junior Stacy Hibma (Buena Park, Calif./Valley Christian) and a two-RBI double by Evans.
Ohio State finally got to Hunter in the sixth inning when sophomore Megan Schwab (Glendale, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain) singled and sophomore Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut) walked to put runners on first and second base with one out. That brought Evans to the plate, who knocked a single up the middle to score Schwab and move Koyano to second. Baker then lined a single up the middle to score Koyano for the Buckeyes’ second run of the inning.
In the seventh, Juarez reached on an error, bringing to the plate Cutcliff, who blasted her 14th career home run to center field to put Ohio State up, 4-0. That chased Hunter from the game, but Pittsburgh reliever Meghan Bostick was promptly greeted by a double from Hibma. Schwab then singled and stole second, then scored along with Hibma on Evans’ double to center field.
Ohio State, which had already beat Pittsburgh twice this season entering the twin bill, will tangle with the Panthers in game two at approximately 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
### GO BUCKS! ###