April 30, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Junior Olivia O’Reilly tossed a two-hitter to earn her team-leading 13th win of the year as the Ohio State softball team (26-23) ran its winning streak to six games with a 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh (15-26) on Wednesday evening at Buckeye Field.
O’Reilly gave up just a solo home run in the fifth inning and a single in the fourth inning. She struck out five Panthers and had three 1-2-3 innings. Freshman Shelby Hursh came on after a lead-off walk in the seventh and got two strikeouts and a fly out to end the game. At the plate, junior Caitlin Conrad picked up two hits, including her 13th double of the season, and three RBI in the winning effort. Junior Taylor Watkins also had a RBI single in the third inning.
After a scoreless first two innings, Ohio State struck for two runs in the bottom of the third on four hits. Anna Kirk led off the inning with a bunt single, and Melissa Rennie followed with a sacrifice bunt that moved Kirk to second. Keelia Nester then grounded out to the pitcher, but Kirk advanced to third and eventually came home on a double by Conrad. Watkins then drove Conrad home with a single to right field.
Holding a slim 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the sixth, Ohio State got three important insurance runs in the inning. Evelyn Carrillo led off the inning with a double and Leesa Gresham followed with a single. The Buckeyes loaded the bases on a bunt single from Melaina Saalfeld. Pinch hitter Erika Leonard walked to make the score 3-1 and Conrad brought two more runs home with a single up the middle.
In the bottom of the seventh, O’Reilly walked the first batter, which brought on Hursh to close out the game. Hursh struck out Taylor Henry, got Kaila Balatgek to fly out to center, walked Morgan Choe and struck out Lauren Vinson.
The Buckeyes will take their season-best six game winning streak to Iowa City, Iowa, for a three-game series with the Hawkeyes Friday-Sunday. First pitch of the opening game is set for Friday at 7 p.m. EST.