May 10, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. – Ohio State’s 2014 Big Ten Tournament run came to an end with a 9-0 loss to No. 15 Minnesota in the semifinal round on Saturday afternoon. The Buckeyes finish their season 30-25 and with victories in 10 of their last 12 games.
Minnesota’s Tyler Walker led off the game with home run to right field, but the Buckeyes quickly recovered thanks to their defense, highlighted by Anna Kirk grabbing a sharply-hit line drive and capped by Olivia O’Reilly deflecting a line drive to Keelia Nester, who threw out Taylor LeMay at first.
Following the leadoff home run, O’Reilly settled in and retired the next five batters. A two-out walk in the top of the second to Erica Meyer brought up Bree Blanchette, who hit a two-run home run just over the center field fence to make the score 3-0.
Walker hit her second home run of the game to lead off the top of the third and extended Minnesota’s lead to 4-0 and brought on Shelby Hursh in relief of O’Reilly. Hursh walked two batters, but struck out Hannah Granger looking with two on and two outs to end the third.
In the bottom of third, Melissa Rennie worked a leadoff walk and reached second when Nester grounded out unassisted to first. Rennie was eventually tagged out on a fielder’s choice and the inning ended of a Taylor Watkins strikeout.
The Gophers struck for five runs on two hits in the top of the fifth, the biggest blows coming on a RBI double by Kaitlyn Richardson and a two-run home by Erica Meyer. Melanie Nichols came on in relief of Shelby Hursh and struck out pinch hitter Madie Eckstrom to end the frame.
In the bottom of the fifth, Moulton retired the first two batters but back to back Gopher errors put Rennie and Nester on base but Caitlin Conrad grounded out to second to end the game.
Despite the loss, the Buckeyes finished in the top six in the Big Ten and compiled its most conference wins in four years. The senior class was a part of 109 victories.