Feb. 8, 2003
Miami, Fla.-Despite a terrific pitching performance by junior Kristi DeVries (Jr., Corona, Calif.), the No. 16 Ohio State softball team (1-3) fell in nine innings to the Florida Atlantic Lady Owls (4-5), 2-1. Both teams had their share of opportunities to win the ball game as No. 2 seed FAU left 15 runners on base compared to 13 for the No. 3 seeded Buckeyes. FAU, though, finally made their efforts pay off when Callie Piper smacked a bases loaded single to right center field in the bottom of the ninth to score Ebony Gray from third and win the game.
DeVries (1-1) pitched 8.1 innings, recording eight strikeouts and only one earned run. Jennifer Link (Sr., Yorba Linda, Calif.) once again led the Buckeyes offensively, going 3-for-4 for the second-consecutive game. Link went 6-for-8 on the day with a triple and 2 RBI’s.
The Buckeyes scored first in the top of the second when Karisa Evans (So., Franklin, Ohio) delivered a two out RBI single to center field, scoring Meghan Rowlands (So., Hilliard, Ohio) from third and giving Ohio State the early 1-0 lead.
Florida Atlantic battled back in the bottom half of the fourth when Amy Bellisari doubled to right center field to score Lauren Evans who singled through the right side the previous at bat, tying the game at 1-1.
The Buckeyes best chance to take the lead was in the sixth inning. Jennifer Johnson (So., La Mirada, Calif.) walked to open the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Amy Ellis (Sr., Erie, Pa.). Pinch hitter Ashley Cutcliff (So., Zionsville, Ind.) then walked to put runners at first and second with one out. Beth McAbier (Jr., Carrollton, Ohio) then grounded to the FAU third baseman Callie Piper who stepped on third and threw out McAbier at first to turn the double play and end the OSU threat.
The Buckeyes will play in the consolation game of the Golden Panther Invitational at 10:30 a.m. Sunday against the No. 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide who earlier lost to host Florida International. FIU will meet FAU for the championship at 1 p.m.