April 2, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Scoring four runs in the sixth inning, the Ohio State softball team overcame a 7-3 deficit and went on to take host Wisconsin into extra innings, but the Badgers (11-11, 2-0 Big Ten) scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to knock off the Buckeyes (16-10, 0-2 Big Ten) Saturday at Goodman Diamond in Madison, Wis.
Wisconsin, which topped Ohio State 2-1 Friday in the Big Ten opener for both teams, got an RBI double from Ricci Robben and an RBI sacrifice fly from Anastasia Miller in the eighth inning to give Badger reliever Eden Brock (9-4), who also got the win Friday, another victory, this time in relief.
OSU sophomore Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) made her sixth start in the circle in the Buckeyes’ last seven games and pitched into the fourth inning before Wisconsin scored four runs in that frame to take the lead, 4-3. Buckeye freshman Nicole Gragson (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson) came on in relief for Juarez and worked into the eighth inning before the Badgers put two runners on board with no outs. Juarez returned to the circle to take over the pitching duties, but was greeted by Robben’s RBI double.
With one out in the eighth inning, OSU senior Karisa Evans (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) reached base on an infield single but was stranded at third base as the game ended.
In Ohio State’s four-run sixth inning, freshman Brittany Vanderink (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood) smacked an RBI double, Cutcliff and senior Natalie Hales (Canton, Ohio/Eastern Michigan) singled, Evans walked with the bases loaded to send Hales across the plate and sophomore Megan Schwab (Glendale, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain) hit a two-RBI single, which tied the game at seven runs apiece.
Ohio State had taken a 3-0 lead with two runs in the second inning and one in the third. In the second inning, Juarez walked and later advanced to third base on a throwing error by Badger starting pitcher Katie Layne on a ball hit by senior Ashley Cutcliff (Zionsville, Ind./U. of Florida). Freshman Stephanie Hill (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) came into the game as a pinch-runner for Cutcliff, and Juarez and Hill turned a first-and-third double-steal, scoring Juarez. Hill then scored on an RBI double by junior Billie Jo Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina).
In the third inning, Schwab notched a two-out single up the middle, advanced to third on a Badger error on a ball hit by sophomore Christina Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson), then scored on an RBI single from Juarez.
Carder also doubled in the seventh inning to notch her first career two-double game. She finished the contest 2-for-4. Gragson took the loss to see her record slip to 1-2, but tied her career high in strikeouts with four in her 3.2 innings of work.
Schwab, who saw her 10-game hitting streak snapped in the loss Friday, finished the game 2-for-5 with two RBI, giving her 30 runs driven in on the season, which is tied for second-best in the Big Ten.
Juarez singled in the third inning to extend her career-best hitting streak to 10 games, which ties Schwab for best on the squad this season.
Wisconsin, which overcame an early 1-0 deficit Friday, was led by Kris Zacher’s 3-for-4, three-run day at the plate. Robben, however, had the two biggest hits with her home run in the fourth inning and RBI double in the eighth.
Ohio State travels to Minnesota Saturday night for a double-header against the Golden Gophers Sunday. The Buckeyes play their first six Big Ten games all on the road, marking just the second time in program history OSU has played such a league-opening road schedule.
### GO BUCKS! ###