Sept. 29, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team continued its fall season with a pair of wins over Kent State at Buckeye Field Sunday afternoon. The Buckeyes claimed a 4-1 win in the first game before earning a 2-1 win over the Golden Flashes in the second game.
Game One: Kent State 1, Ohio State 4
Ohio State started the first game of the doubleheader with an early scoring opportunity. Junior Maddie McIntyre hit a double to center field in the first inning, advancing to third base on a wild pitch from Kent State’s Emma Johnson. Senior Leesa Gresham followed McIntyre, advancing to first base after being hit by a pitch. With runners at first and third, the Buckeyes narrowly missed capitalizing and claiming the early lead.
Despite the early opportunity for the Buckeyes, Kent State would be the first team on the scoreboard after senior Caitie Kilbane singled to left field in the top of the fourth to score teammate Shelbi Tilton.
The Buckeyes had an answer in the bottom of the fifth. Junior Taylor Watkins hit a single to center field, advancing to the second base after teammate sophomore Cammi Prantl singled to left field. With one out and two runners on base, McIntyre tripled to right field, scoring Watkins and Prantl and giving Ohio State a 2-1 lead.
The Scarlet and Gray would add to their lead in the bottom of the sixth after freshman Anna Kirk reached first base on an infield single. With one out, senior Melaina Saalfeld hit a two-run home run over the left field wall to double the Buckeyes’ lead, bringing the score to 4-1 with one inning of play remaining.
Kent State would not be able to reclaim the lead, as senior Melanie Nichols closed out the seventh inning without giving up any hits. In seven innings pitched, Nichols allowed one run on two hits. She had three strikeouts and no walks.
Game Two: Kent State 1, Ohio State 2
Kent State took the early lead in the second game of the fall doubleheader, scoring first after freshman Maddy Grimm hit a home run over the left center wall in the top of the first inning.
The Buckeyes had an opportunity to answer in the bottom of the first, as Watkins doubled to right field, advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt from Kirk. Ohio State was unable to take advantage, however, trailing the Golden Flashes, 1-0, at the end of the first.
The Scarlet and Gray would have more opportunities to tie the game in the fourth and fifth innings. In the bottom of the fourth, junior Caitlin Conrad hit a double to center field, but the Buckeyes were unable to advance her further. In the fifth, Kent State pitcher Janel Hayes walked Watkins, who advanced to third base following a double to center field from Kirk. Ohio State was unable to capitalize, however, and headed into the sixth inning down 1-0.
Senior Evelyn Carillo opened the sixth inning for the Buckeyes, reaching first base on a Kent State error. With two outs and redshirt junior Kirstie Fehrenbach on base as a pinch runner, redshirt sophomore Erika Leonard hit a two-run home run over the left field wall to give the Buckeyes the 2-1 lead.
Buckeye pitcher Shelby Hursh closed out the game, securing the win for Ohio State after allowing a pop-up, one walk and notching two strikeouts in the seventh inning. Overall, Hursh allowed one run on two hits and had five strikeouts.