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Feb. 27, 2004

Box Score |  Notes

Columbus, Ga. – Ohio State sophomore pitcher Chelsea Baker held No. 13 LSU without a hit over the last five innings of the game, but the Buckeyes were unable to overcome the Tigers’ five-run second inning as the Ohio State softball team was defeated, 5-0, in the opening game of the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., Friday afternoon.

In the second inning, LSU (13-3) got a solo homerun from Lauren Delahoussave, a three-run double from Leslie Klein and an RBI single from Stephanie Hill to account for all of the game’s runs. Ohio State (3-3) was held to one hit on the afternoon, that coming from junior Meghan Rowlands (Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready) in the third inning.

“It was our poorest offensive performance of the season,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “We are hoping to be able to rebound and play the way we are capable of playing.”

Ohio State will be aiming to bounce back at 7:30 p.m. Friday night against No. 3 California.

“We now have the challenge of playing the third-ranked team in the country,” Kalafatis said. “But more than the wins and losses right now, I am focusing on execution and discipline at the plate.”

Ohio State freshman pitcher Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) pitched the first two innings for the Buckeyes and suffered her first loss of the season. Her record slips to 3-1.

Baker, a native Gahanna, Ohio, struck out three LSU batters and retired 10 of the last 11 Tigers she faced. Her five innings of relief marked a career-high for the DeSales High School graduate. “I didn’t have much time to warm up, but once I got going I felt good,” Baker said. “I just tried to change speeds and keep them off balance.”

Baker walked two of the first four hitters she faced, but notched an assist on a grounder back to the mound for the second out of the inning and struck out a Tiger for the final out.

“Chelsea came in with a little bit of nerves,” Kalafatis said. “But she settled in there and did a exceptional job of keeping LSU off balance. We’re going to depend of Chelsea to do that this season.”