May 13, 2005
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The No. 4 seed Ohio State softball team was handed a 6-1 loss by No. 5 seed Wisconsin Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Buckeyes (32-17, 9-7 Big Ten) now wait to see if their season will continue when the NCAA tournament selection committee selects the field of 64 Sunday at 7 p.m.
Wisconsin (31-21, 11-9 Big Ten), which had a season-high 13 hits in the game, advances to a semifinal game Friday night against No. 1 seed and No. 1 ranked Michigan. Badger pitcher Eden Brock (12-8) struck out three Buckeyes and allowed four Ohio State hits and one unearned run. Earlier this season, Brock struck out seven Buckeyes April 1 in a 2-1 Wisconsin win in Madison that marked the first Big Ten game of the season for both teams and came on in relief to get the win in a 9-7 Badger win in extra innings April 2.
Ohio State sophomore pitcher Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson), the reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, shut out the Badgers for the first four inning and went a total of six innings, allowing three runs on five hits, and sees her record slip to 25-12 on the season. Junior Chelsea Baker (Gahanna, Ohio/DeSales) worked the seventh inning for the Buckeyes, giving up three runs.
Junior Billie Jo Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina), senior Karisa Evans (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin), sophomore Christina Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson) and Juarez had Ohio State’s four hits, with Juarez’s hit being a double in the seventh inning that scored Douglas.
In the top of the first inning, third baseman Billie Jo Carder made a grab over the fence along the third base line for the first out, and after a single up the middle by Samantha Polito, Juarez notched two strikeouts to strand Polito at first. In Ohio State’s half of the first, sophomore Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut) led off with a walk but was the victim of a Badger double-play on a pop-out by Evans followed by a hard ground-out by freshman Liz Caputo (Riverside, Calif./Riverside Poly).
Evans hauled in a long fly ball on the warning track in the second inning, while senior shortstop Jennifer Johnson (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) and Carder scooped up Badger grounders for the next two outs. Eden then set down the Buckeyes 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second.
With one out in the third inning the Badgers notched their third hit of the game, a single by Kris Zacher who then stole second, but again Juarez struck out the next two batters to end the scoring threat. Carder singled up the middle in the bottom half of the third for the Buckeyes’ first hit of the game and moved to second thanks to a sacrifice bunt by senior Natalie Hales (Canton, Ohio/Eastern Michigan), but was stranded at third when Koyano lined out to left field.
After Juarez pitched a perfect fourth, Evans reached on a bunt single but was thrown out stealing. Caputo reached on a fielding error by the Wisconsin first baseman but Brock recorded a strikeout and fly out for the second and third outs.
Ricci Robben doubled off the fence in left centerfield to lead off the fifth for the Badgers and moved to third when Natalie Phillips sent a line drive bunt past Carder at third. Juarez then notched three consecutive outs, but the second, a grounder to deep shortstop, was enough to score pinch runner Nicole Simmons to put Wisconsin up, 1-0. Brock was then perfect in the bottom of the fifth to hold the one run lead.
Three Badger base hits and a pair of walks built Wisconsin’s lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth, but a double-play by Carder on a grounder hit to third were good for the second and third outs of the inning with the bases loaded.
Wisconsin tacked on three more runs in the top of the seventh to claim a 6-0 lead before Douglas and Juarez knocked back-to-back hits in the bottom of the seventh to produce Ohio State’s lone run.
### GO BUCKS! ###