April 27, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Seniors Evelyn Carrillo and Leesa Gresham made sure their last game at Buckeye Field was one to remember, as the duo combined 5-for-8 with five RBI in Ohio State’s 7-4 victory of No. 25 Northwestern on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Buckeyes complete a three-game sweep of the Wildcats and improve to 25-23 overall (11-9 Big Ten).
Carrillo went 4-for-4 with two RBI while Gresham was 1-for-4 with a key three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning that gave Ohio State a 7-3 advantage. Junior Taylor Watkins also continued her hot hitting, going 1-for-2 with a two-run home run in the first inning. In the circle, Shelby Hursh picked up her fifth win of the year, going five innings in relief of starter Olivia O’Reilly and allowing just one hit.
Watkins’ two-run blast, her seventh of the season, gave Ohio State a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Northwestern quickly knotted the game at 2-2 in the top half of the second on solo home runs by Marisa Bast and Anna Edwards. The Buckeyes were able to regain the lead in the bottom of the second on a two-run single by Carrillo that scored Caitlin Conrad and Keelia Nester.
In the top of the third, Northwestern loaded the bases with no outs but were only able to push across one run on an RBI groundout. Hursh came in to relieve O’Reilly and got a consecutive pop ups to second base that ended the threat.
The score remained 4-3 into the Buckeye half of the sixth inning. Watkins started things off with a walk and then Carrillo hit a high fly ball to center field that Emily Allard lost in the sun for a base hit. Gresham then stepped to the plate and belted her second home run of the season, this one over the left field fence to give Ohio State a 7-3 lead. Melaina Saalfeld and Anna Kirk extended the inning singles, but the Buckeyes were unable to push across any more runs.
In the seventh, Cammi Prantl made a nice play in left field to run down a line drive for the first out. The next batter, Marisa Bast, homered to left field to make the score 7-4, but Hursh struck out Andrea DiPrima for the second out and Edwards flew out for the game’s final out.
With this weekend’s sweep of Northwestern and Wednesday’s two wins over Penn State, the Buckeyes have now won five straight headed into next weekend’s final regular season series at Iowa. For the week, Carrillo hit .529 with four RBI, one home run and a .529 on base percentage. Watkins was 7-for-15 (.467) with three home runs and a 1.200 slugging percentage. O’Reilly went 3-0 on the week with a 2.29 ERA while Hursh picked up two wins and a save.
The last time Ohio State swept a ranked team was May 2-3, 2009 against 12th-ranked Northwestern.