April 16, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State sophomore Christina Douglas hit a two-RBI double in the first inning to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead, but 20th-ranked Iowa shut down the Buckeye softball team the rest of the way as the Hawkeyes came from behind for a 6-2 win Saturday at Buckeye Field. Ohio State falls to 19-13 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten, while Iowa improves to 35-9 and 6-4 in the conference.
The Buckeyes left at least one runner on base in every inning except the seventh and loaded the bases in the fourth, but Iowa pitchers Ali Arnold and Lisa Birocci were able to work out of every jam and force Ohio State into leaving a season-high-tying nine runners stranded. Arnold got the win in 3.1 innings of work to improve to 14-2 on the season, while Birocci earned her sixth save.
Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson) hit her double with two outs in the first inning, scoring senior Karisa Evans (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin), who had singled, and freshman Brittany Vanderink (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood), who had reached on a fielder’s choice.
Sophomore Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) started in the circle for the Buckeyes for the ninth-consecutive game and saw her record slip to 15-10. She pitched into the third inning before junior Chelsea Baker (Gahanna, Ohio/DeSales) entered in relief. Freshman Nicole Gragson (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson) then tossed 1.2 innings of hitless relief to close out the contest.
Ohio State entered the game 8-1 when scoring in the first inning and 17-4 when scoring first, but saw a loss tacked onto those records after Iowa came back to win. The Hawkeyes scored three in the third inning on four base hits, then added two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth.
Baker doubled off the wall in left field in the fourth inning and junior Stacy Hibma (Buena Park, Calif./Valley Christian) walked to put two runners aboard with no outs. Iowa collected an out on a fielder’s choice grounder by sophomore Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut), who then stole second base. Evans, who finished the day 2-for-3 for the Buckeyes, then walked to load the bases with two outs, but Birocci snagged a line drive up the middle by Vanderink to end the Ohio State threat.
OSU freshman Liz Caputo (Riverside, Calif./Riverside Poly) singled in the fifth inning and senior Natalie Hales (Canton, Ohio/Eastern Michigan) singled in the sixth to round out the Buckeyes’ six hits.
Ohio State returns to action Sunday as the Buckeyes host Illinois in a double-header beginning at noon at Buckeye Field.
### GO BUCKS! ###