May 3, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Cammi Prantl and Evelyn Carrillo combined to go 6-for-7 with two RBI and three runs scored as Ohio State scored five times in the final three innings and held on for a 7-6 win over Iowa on Saturday at Pearl Field. With the triumph, the Buckeyes extended their season-best winning streak to eight games and improved to 28-23 overall (13-9 Big Ten).
Prantl and Carrillo each had three hits while Melissa Rennie and Anna Kirk provided key RBI in the seventh inning to extended Ohio State’s lead. Over the first two games of the series, the Ohio State offense has scored 10 runs from the fifth inning on and pounded out a combined 24 hits. In the circle, Shelby Hursh started the game and eventually came back in the seventh to get the game’s final two outs. Olivia O’Reilly earned the win, her 15th of the year.
Ohio State threatened in the top of the first following a walk and bases hits from Cammi Prantl and Evelyn Carrillo that loaded the bases with one out. Iowa was able to get out of the jam, however, when Leesa Gresham grounded into a fielder’s choice and Melaina Saalfeld grounded back to the pitcher.
In the bottom of the second, Iowa’s Alyssa Navarro hit a two-out triple to right field, and following a walk by Claire Fritsch the Hawkeyes had runners at the corners. Navarro and Fritsch tried a double steal, but Nester threw a strike home to Rennie who tagged Navarro out and ended the threat.
The Buckeyes were first on the scoreboard in the top of the third thanks to two runs on three hits and one Iowa error. The biggest blows of the inning were a RBI single to centerfield from Prantl and a run-scoring single by Gresham.
Iowa took its first lead of the game thanks to a three-run fourth inning. The runs were aided by an Ohio State error, a passed ball and a fly ball that was lost in the sun. Ohio State was able to even the score in the top of the fifth on an RBI single from Gresham and then went ahead for good in the top of the sixth. Melissa Rennie started things out with a one-out single and after a Nester strikeout for the second out, Conrad kept the inning alive when she walked. Watkins drove home Rennie with an RBI single to left field and Prantl made the score 5-3 when she blooped a single into left field that scored Conrad. Watkins was out attempting to take third base, ending the inning.
Ohio State tacked on two important insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Carrillo led off the frame with a stand up double and following two outs, Anna Kirk singled to center field, scoring Carrillo. Rennie then drove home Kirk with an RBI single to center field, making the score 7-3.
Those two runs would prove to be critical, as Iowa threatened in the bottom of the seventh. After the first batter, Erin Erickson grounded out to third, three straight singles plated a run for the Hawkeyes to make the score 7-4. Hursh, who came on to relieve O’Reilly, got a sacrifice fly from Holly Hoffman to make the score 7-5 and Kayla Massey followed with a RBI single through the left side to bring Iowa within one, 7-6. That is as close as Iowa would get, however, as Alyssa Navarro pop out to second base to end the game.
Ohio State looks to complete the sweep of Iowa tomorrow when the two teams meet for the series finale beginning at 1 p.m.