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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 22/24 Ohio State softball team fell to DePaul, 5-4, in eight innings Sunday morning in its fifth and final game of the 2011 FIU Combat Classic in Miami, Fla. The Buckeyes finish their first tournament of the season with a 2-3 record.

In the first inning, the Blue Demons advanced a runner to third, but Ohio State pitcher Kasie Kelly got out of the inning with a ground out to second base.

The Buckeyes were the first ones to strike in the game with two runs in the bottom half of the inning off DePaul’s pitcher Bree Brown. Following a walk by senior co-captain Dee Dee Hillman, fellow co-captain Alicia Herron tripled to right center, scoring Hillman from first base. With one out, senior Rachael Shepherd followed with a single up the middle to put the Scarlet and Gray ahead, 2-0.

The Blue Demons answered their 2-0 deficit with two runs of their own in the top of the second. With a runner on first and second and two outs on the board, Lynsey Ciezki doubled to left center to cut the lead to 2-1. The following batter, the Blue Demons tied the game at 2-2 following a wild pitch by Kelly.

The Scarlet and Gray took their second lead of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Herron began the offense with a single on the left side for her second hit of the morning. Freshman Evelyn Carrillo then stepped up the plate and hit a double to left center, scoring Herron for the 3-2 lead. However, Ohio State could not continue their offensive momentum as Brown sat down the next three Buckeye batters to end the inning.

Just like in the second, DePaul answered Ohio State’s score with a run in the top of the fourth inning. With a runner on second base, Brittney Yniguez reached on an error by Pecina allowing the Blue Demons’ runner to advance all the way around third to home to tie the game, 3-3.

In the following three innings, both teams could not capitalize on their opportunities at the plate. In the top of the fifth with one out and a runner on second, the Buckeye defense came up with a big play. Following a ground out to Herron at shortstop, first baseman Carillo fired the ball across the infield to third baseman Megan Coletta, who was able to get the tag down on the DePaul runner and complete the double play.

With the score still tied 3-3, the Buckeyes were forced to play their second extra-inning game in 24 hours. With senior pitcher Karisa Medrano on the mound for the Scarlet and Gray, DePaul scored two runs in the eighth inning following a double by Samantha Dodd and a Buckeye error to take the 5-3 lead.  

Ohio State was able to cut its deficit to 5-4 in the bottom half of the inning after Pecina grounded out to shortstop, scoring pinch runner Melaina Saalfeld from third. However, the Buckeyes ran out of outs and the final score read, 5-4, in favor of the Blue Demons.

Medrano picks up the loss and drops to 1-2 on the season. Kelly pitched six and two thirds innings, allowing eight hits on two earned runs and struck out three batters.