April 22, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team took an early 1-0 lead and a home run by Christina Douglas tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth inning, but defending national champion and 12th-ranked Michigan scored once in the top of the seventh and held on to take a 3-2 win over the Buckeyes Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader at Buckeye Field. Ohio State (30-16, 8-3 Big Ten) suffers its first home loss of the season in its 16th game at Buckeye Field, while Michigan (29-11, 7-2 Big Ten) improves to 18-3 in its last 21 games.
Michigan pitcher Jennie Ritter, a finalist for the USA Softball National Player of the Year Award, struck out 12 and allowed one earned run to improve to 17-5.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the top of the seventh inning, Michigan put together three hits, a walk and a hit batter to take a one-run lead. A bases-loaded single up the middle by Alessandra Giampaolo pushed across the winning run for the Wolverines.
OSU sophomore Brittany Vanderink (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood), who tied her career high with three hits in the game, doubled in the first inning and later scored on a passed ball to put the Buckeyes up, 1-0. Vanderink’s 3-for-3 effort at the plate upped her average to a team-leading .442 (15-for-34) in Big Ten games this season.
Douglas (Jr., Mesa, Ariz./Dobson) tied the game at 2-2 with her third home run of the season over the wall in right-centerfield. It was her second homer this season off an All-American pitcher (Alabama’s Stephanie Van Brakle March 3).
Michigan put together four consecutive hits in the top of the fifth inning, including back-to-back doubles, to take a 2-1 lead. With one out, Teddi Ewing and Tiffany Haas hit doubles, with Haas getting an RBI and later scoring on an RBI single by Becky Marx.
Suffering her first Big Ten loss in her fifth decision, OSU freshman pitcher Kim Reeder (Salinas, Calif./Notre Dame H.S.) struck out four and sees her record slip to 13-7 overall.
Michigan’s Tiffany Haas led off the game with a double off the wall in centerfield and Grace Leutele doubled off the wall down the right field line in the second inning, but Reeder let neither score.
Ohio State put two runners on in the third inning on a single through the right side by junior Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut) and an infield bunt single by Vanderink, but Ritter got a pop out and a ground out to end the threat. The Wolverines countered with two base-runners in the top of the fourth but a groundout to Juarez at third kept Michigan scoreless.
Ohio State and Michigan will meet again at 2:15 p.m. Saturday.
### GO BUCKS! ###