April 22, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team outhit defending national champion and 12th-ranked Michigan, 10-6, but the Wolverines topped the Buckeyes, 6-1, Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader at Buckeye Field. After dropping a 3-2 decision in the opener, Ohio State (30-17, 8-4 Big Ten) suffers its first Big Ten sweep of the season, while Michigan (30-11, 8-2 Big Ten) improves to 19-3 in its last 22 games.
Ohio State honored its four seniors, Chelsea Baker (Gahanna, Ohio/DeSales), Billie Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina), Stacy Hibma (Buena Park, Calif./Valley Christian) and Nicole Lancaster (Magnolia, Ohio/Sandy Valley) in a postgame Senior Day ceremony.
Ohio State scored its run in the third inning when Michigan starting pitcher Lorilyn Wilson allowed three consecutive singles before giving way to reliever Jennie Ritter, the returning Big Ten Pitcher of the Year who had the win in game-one. Ritter then retired the first 13 batters she faced and did not get into trouble until the seventh inning when the Buckeyes had three hits, but a base running error and a line-drive double-play kept OSU from a comeback.
“Ritter is a first-team All-American and in the Olympic program and it showed,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “We had a game plan against her but we didn’t stick to it too well when she came back in. I give our girls credit for battling and coming out with a lot of intensity. That’s just a very good Michigan team.”
Juniors Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut), Megan Schwab (Glendale, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain) and Christina Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson) and sophomore Brittany Vanderink (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood) all had two hits each for the Buckeyes. Koyano stole her Big Ten leading 24th base of the season, which was the 55th in her career to tie Cheryl Palaroan for third-most all-time at Ohio State. Vanderink’s 2-for-4 effort gave her a five-hit day against the Wolverines (3-for-3 in game one) to raise her batting average in Big Ten games to a team-leading .447 (17-for-38) in league games.
Koyano led off the third inning with a single up the middle, stole second, moved to third on a bunt single by Vanderink and scored on a single up the middle by Schwab.
OSU junior Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) threw her 11th complete games of the season and 46th of her career but suffered the loss. She struck out three, allowed six hits and six runs, four of which were earned. A three-run home run by Michigan’s Tiffany Haas was the deciding blow in the second inning.
Ohio State hosts Michigan State at noon Sunday in a doubleheader at Buckeye Field.
### GO BUCKS! ###