Feb. 9, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Highlighted by a 5-4 upset win in extra innings at No. 8/No. 9 Georgia, the Ohio State softball team posted two victories Saturday afternoon at the Sixth Annual Red and Black Showcase in Athens, Ga. The Buckeyes (3-1) defeated Winthrop, 17-5, in game one before claiming their first road win of 2013 in dramatic fashion vs. the Bulldogs (2-2) in game two.
Guided by first-year head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly, the win marked the first victory in Ohio State history against Georgia. It is also the first road win against a Top 10 non-conference opponent since the Buckeyes defeated No. 3 UCLA, 7-0, during the 2010 campaign.
“We were just tenacious today,” Schoenly said. “The game had so many momentum swings and we were able to fight it out. Georgia is a great hitting team and I am proud of our pitchers for gritting it out for us.”
Game Two: Ohio State 5, No. 8/9 Georgia 4 (Eight Innings)
With the bat of senior Megan Coletta, the Buckeyes picked up their biggest road win in recent memory in extra-inning fashion. After Georgia tied the game, 4-4, in the bottom of the seventh, the Buckeyes rebounded with a run in the top of the eighth when Coletta sent an RBI single through the left side to score freshman Cammi Prantl for the eventual gamewinning run. The big play was set up after Prantl began the inning with a lead-off double – her first extra base hit of her career.
Junior designated player Leesa Gresham gave the Buckeyes a 4-0 lead in the top of the first when she posted a two-run double. In two games today, Gresham batted .500 with a home run, double, four RBI and three runs scored.
“We are so ecstatic for this win,” Gresham said. “We have worked hard during the offseason and have found motivation through our coaching staff and alumni. This is a great stepping stone for the rest of our season.”
Sophomore pitcher Alex DiDomenico came into the game in the seventh inning and claimed her first victory of her career, throwing 1.2 innings, allowing no runs on two hits with a strikeout. In the bottom of the eighth, the Bulldogs got a runner on following a single, but DiDomenico then claimed back-to-back outs to close the door on Georgia.
Sophomore pitcher Olivia O’Reilly started for the Scarlet and Gray and received a no decision, limiting the UGA bats to two earned runs in 6.1 innings of work with two strikeouts. Offensively, Carrillo was 3-for-5 with an RBI, while Watkins and Pickett each had a pair of hits.
Ohio State got off to a great start vs. the Bulldogs, plating four runs in the top of the first. After back-to-back walks to Coletta and McIntyre, Carrillo sent a single to center field to score Coletta, while Pickett followed with an RBI single up the middle to score the second OSU run. Following a Georgia pitching change, Gresham posted an RBI double to right field to score both Pickett and pinch runner Alyson Mott to make the score, 4-0.
The Bulldogs cut the OSU lead to two-runs in the bottom half following an RBI double and RBI single, respectively. But O’Reilly stopped the UGA rally when she claimed a groundout to second base to end the first.
The score remained, 4-2, until the bottom of the fifth when Wilson led off the UGA at-bat with a solo home run to make it a 4-3 game. However, O’Reilly continued to stay focused in the circle and kept it a one-run game after claiming three-consecutive outs following the UGA home run.
In the sixth inning, Ohio State got on a runner on, but failed to capitalize with any runs. In the bottom half, Georgia’s Niaja Griffin tried to stretch a single into a double with two down, but Prantl came up firing from left field to claim the final out of the sixth at second base to end the UGA offensive threat.
In the final inning with the Buckeyes looking for some insurance runs, the OSU bats came alive to start the seventh. The offense started with three-consecutive singles by McIntyre, Carrillo and Pickett to load the bases with nobody down. However, the Scarlet and Gray failed to capitalize on the offensive chance after Georgia claimed a strikeout, a force out at home plate and a groundout.
With three outs to go, O’Reilly and the OSU defense had to go through the top of the UGA batting order to earn the win. She claimed the first out quickly on a groundout to shortstop. However, the Bulldogs didn’t back down, collecting a one-out double to put the tying run in scoring position.
Ohio State then relieved O’Reilly in the circle DiDomenico came into the game for the save situation. After a pop-up to center field, the Bulldogs tied the game, 4-4, when Glasco sent a two-out RBI single to left field. DiDomenico then concentrated on the batter and got the last out of the seventh with a strikeout to force extra innings.
Overall, Ohio State posted 11 hits, while the Bulldogs had 12 hits.
NOTES VS. GEORGIA
Game One: Ohio State 17, Winthrop 5
The Buckeyes began day two of the Red and Black Showcase with an offensive clinic, posting 17 runs on 11 hits vs. Winthrop in a 17-5 victory. Overall, 10 different Buckeyes plated runs, while three Buckeyes each had three runs scored vs. the Eagles.
Offensively, Ohio State was led by sophomore Taylor Watkins, who went 3-for-5 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored, while junior Evelyn Carrillo went 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBI and a run scored. Junior Leesa Gresham had a solid game at the plate as well, going 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored. The team plated two runs in the third, four in the fourth, three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings and closed out the contest with five additional runs in the seventh en route to the win.
The Eagles took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Schoenfeldt posted a two-run home run. But the Buckeyes rebounded quickly to tie the game, 2-2, in the top of the third. With freshman Cammi Prantl on third base, sophomore Maddy McIntyre singled to the pitcher, allowing Prantl to cross the plate and score the team’s first run. After a Winthrop pitching change, senior Megan Coletta then scored on a Winthrop fielding error – one of the three times Coletta crossed the plate.
Ohio State would then score a combined seven runs in the next two innings vs. the Eagles pitching staff. In the top of the fourth, Carrillo singled through the left side to plate Watkins to give OSU a 3-2 advantage. The Scarlet and Gray added two more runs following back-to-back walks by sophomore Shelby Pickett and junior Melissa Rennie with the bases loaded. The Buckeyes collected a fourth run in the top of the fourth following a wild pitch, allowing Carrillo to score and make it 6-2.
However, Winthrop battled back to cut its deficit to a one-run game after plating three runs in the bottom half. With the bases loaded, Ryder forced a walk to make it 6-3. The Buckeyes then made a pitching change as junior Kasie Kelly replaced starting pitcher Melanie Nichols in the circle. After claiming the second out of the inning on a force-out at home plate, the Eagles made it 6-5 on back-to-back walks with the bases loaded. However, Kelly maintained the OSU lead with a strikeout to end the inning, leaving three Eagle runners on base.
But the Buckeyes regained a four-run lead in their next at-bat highlighted by a lead-off, pinch-hit home run by Gresham. After Watkins walked and Coletta was hit by a pitch, Carrillo continued her hot start to the season with a two-run single to make it 9-5 Buckeyes.
Kelly worked her way out of a jam in the bottom half of the fifth when she got Glover to pop up to second to end the frame.
In the top of the sixth, Ohio State continued its momentum when Watkins connected on a pitch for a three-run home run, scoring Gresham and junior Melaina Saalfeld. The Buckeyes added five additional runs in the final inning to improve to 2-1 overall in 2013.
Kelly, a native of Wooster, Ohio, improved to 1-0, throwing 3.2 innings with no runs, one hit and four strikeouts. Nichols, who started for the Buckeyes, received a no decision in 3.1 innings of work with three hits, five runs and two strikeouts.
The Buckeyes outhit the Eagles, 11-4, in the contest.
SOME NOTES VS. WINTHROP