March 9, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team closed out the Red and Black Classic by splitting its games on Sunday, defeating Massachusetts, 9-7, before falling to host Louisville, 11-5. The Buckeyes are now 9-11 overall on the season.
Game One: Ohio State 9, Massachusetts 7
The Buckeyes started fast out of the gate versus the Minutewomen, scoring seven times in the top of the first inning on six hits and one UMass error. Taylor Watkins started things off with a single back to the pitcher and Keela Nester followed with a single to left field. The next batter, Cammi Prantl, singled to left field, loading the bases for Evelyn Carrillo, who came through with a two-run RBI to right field. Erika Leonard was hit by a pitch, allowing Prantl to come home, and Jayla Saibene followed with a RBI to third base, scoring Carrillo. Anna Kirk singled to the pitcher, scoring Leonard, and Watkins followed by getting hit by a pitch, allowing Saibene to score.
UMass answered with a run in the bottom of the first but Ohio State was able to plate a run in the top of the second thanks to a double by Saibene that scored Leonard, who reached base via a walk.
The Minutewomen scored on a two-run RBI in the bottom of the third to cut OSU’s lead to 8-3, but the Buckeyes answered with an RBI double to left field by Saalfeld, scoring Caitlin Conrad.
UMass scored three times in the sixth inning thanks to four walks and a hit batter. Olivia O’Reilly came in and got the final out of the inning and then was able to work around a lead-off triple in the seventh inning to earn the save. Melanie Nichols was the winning pitcher, going 2.1 innings and giving up one hit and three earned runs.
Offensively, Saibene and Melaina Saalfeld each had two hits. Nine different Buckeyes recorded hits while Carrillo and Saalfeld each had two RBIs.
Game Two: Louisville 11, Ohio State 5
The Cardinals scored seven runs in the first two innings and that deficit proved to be too much to overcome as the Buckeyes fell, 11-5.
In the first inning, Louisville four runs came on five hits, the biggest of which was a bases-loaded, two-run double by Maryssa Becker. In the second, the Cardinals struck for three runs, two of came on a home run by Kelsi Becker.
The Buckeyes refused to go away, however, and scored four runs in the top of the third inning to cut Louisville’s lead to 7-4. Saalfeld started out the inning with a walk and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. The next batter, Kirk, walked, as did Watkins, to load the bases. Nester walked, scoring Saalfeld, and Prantl followed with a two-run double down the left field line. A sactifice fly by Carrillo plated the fourth run, but the inning ended when Conrad fouled out and Erika Leonard grounded out.
The Buckeyes’ fifth run of the game came on a sacrifice fly by Saibene in the sixth inning. Louisville tacked on two run in both the fifth and sixth inning for the close out its scoring.
Plantl went 2-for-3 in the game with two RBIs and a run scored. Other Buckeyes to record hits were Conrad and Saibene. Olivia O’Reilly took the loss, pitching one inning and giving up five earned runs. Audrey Plant and Shelby Hursh pitched in relief.
Ohio State heads to California next week for Spring Break, facing California in a single game on Wednesday, March 12 and then traveling to Fresno, Calif., for the Bulldog Classic March 14-16 on the campus of Fresno State University.