Feb. 8, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – On opening day of the 2013 season, the Ohio State softball team split day one at the Sixth Annual Red and Black Showcase, defeating Elon, 10-2, in five innings in game one before falling, 6-1, against No. 8/9 Georgia in game two Friday at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Ga. The win vs. Elon marked the first victory at Ohio State for first-year head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly.
“The team came out off the bus swinging their bats and we started strong early vs. Elon,” Schoenly said. “The night game was electric under the lights, and although we came up short, we fought to the end.”
Game One: Elon 2, Ohio State 10 (5 Innings)
Highlighted by a seven-run, five-hit inning, the Ohio State softball team opened the 2013 campaign Friday afternoon with a 10-2 run-rule victory against Elon in the first contest of the Red and Black Showdown Tournament hosted by University of Georgia. The win marked for the first victory at Ohio State for first-year head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly – the eighth head coach in OSU history.
In her second career start, sophomore pitcher Olivia O’Reilly claimed the victory vs. the Phoenix after throwing five innings, allowing just four hits on two runs with five strikeouts.
Offensively, the Buckeyes were led by the heart of the batting order as junior first baseman Evelyn Carrillo went 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and a stolen base, while sophomore shortstop Maddy McIntyre posted a double, run scored and three RBI. Senior third baseman Megan Coletta also had a strong performance back in the Buckeye lineup, going 2-for-3 with two RBI.
After O’Reilly stranded two runners on base in the top of the first, the Scarlet and Gray jumped out to an early 3-0 lead when Carrillo sent a single down the right field line to plate sophomores Taylor Watkins and Shelby Pickett, respectively. The team scored its third run after Coletta singled to left field, allowing McIntyre to cross home plate.
Elon’s only scoring play of the contest came in the top of the second off one swing of the bat when Eng homered to centerfield following a lead-off walk. But O’Reilly, a native of Sylvania, Ohio, then settled down in the circle, putting away 12 of the next 15 Elon batters en route to her first win of 2013.
With the score 3-2 heading to the bottom of the fifth, the Buckeye bats came alive. Carrillo began the momentum when she homered to center field. After two Buckeyes then reached base, Coletta singled for the second time to left field to score pinch runner Alyson Mott to make it 5-2.
Freshman Cammi Prantl then had a memorable first game as a Buckeye when she notched her first career hit and RBI on the same play after she singled down the right field line to score sophomore Caitlin Conrad. After Coletta crossed the plate on an illegal pitch call, Ohio State loaded the bases for McIntyre. The native of San Diego, Calif., McIntyre cleared the bases when she doubled to left field to give the Buckeyes the 10-2 final score.
Overall, Ohio State had a 9-4 advantage in hits vs. Elon.
SOME NOTES VS. ELON
Game Two: Ohio State 1, No. 8/9 Georgia 6
Despite holding the lead through the first five innings, Ohio State fell, 6-1, at No. 8/9 Georgia in game three of the Sixth Annual Red and Black Showcase. The meeting was just the fourth between the Buckeyes and Bulldogs.
Just like game one, the Buckeyes struck first after Watkins scored from third base on a wild pitch with two down in the top of the first. Watkins, a native of Bonney Lake, Wash., began the inning with a lead-off single to left field to make it 1-0.
Making her first career start, sophomore pitcher Alex DiDomenico had a great performance in the circle for the Scarlet and Gray, throwing five innings of shutout work, while allowing just two hits with two strikeouts vs. the Bulldog bats.
DiDomenico, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, started strong against Georgia, allowing one hit, while fanning two through the first three innings. After a 1-2-3 first inning, DiDomenico limited Georgia to four baserunners in the next three innings to keep the Buckeyes ahead, 1-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Bulldogs had runners on first and second and two down against DiDomenico. Georgia shortstop Paige Wilson then hit a double to left field to plate both runners, but a jersey discrepancy negated the play and ended the inning with a catcher unassisted putout ruling to keep the score in favor of the Scarlet and Gray.
After the Buckeye bats left one on base in the top of the sixth, the Georgia offense rallied to post six runs on five hits vs. the OSU defense in the bottom half. All six runs were unearned and were scored with two outs.
Redshirt junior Melanie Nichols relieved DiDomenico in the circle to begin the inning. With no down and a runner on third base, Nichols posted the first out of the inning on a strikeout. The Buckeyes then caught the UGA runner off the bag and into a run down for the second out on a 5-2-6 putout. The Bulldogs continued to fight, however, loading the bases after a single and back-to-back walks, respectively.
With two outs, O’Reilly then came into the circle for Nichols. Georgia tied the game, 1-1, after Niaja Griffin worked a full count and walked. Georgia continued its momentum and took a 3-1 lead following a single and passed ball. The Bulldogs opened the game to a five-run lead after a three-run double to center field by Wilson.
The Buckeyes could not start a rally of their own in the top of the seventh to fall to 1-1 overall in the young 2013 season. Nichols received the loss for Ohio State, while freshman Geri Ann Glasco earned the complete-game victory for Georgia.
Ohio State is back in action at 10 a.m. Saturday in a contest vs. Winthrop before facing the Bulldogs at 3 p.m. from Jack Turner Stadium.