April 11, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior Chelsea Baker’s first career grand slam ignited a seven-run first inning and propelled the Ohio State softball team to a 13-8 win over Toledo Tuesday in the second game of a doubleheader at Buckeye Field. Notching a season high for runs scored, Ohio State (26-14, 6-2 Big Ten) improves to 11-0 at Buckeye Field this season and sweeps Toledo (11-25, 1-5 Mid-American Conference) for the fourth-consecutive time dating back to 1996.
The Buckeyes added five runs in the fourth inning and one in the sixth and are now 17-4 in their last 21 games. At the 40-game mark of the season, Ohio State’s 26-14 record is tied for the third-best record at this point in the season in program history (32-8 after 40 games in 2002, 28-12 in 2001).
The Rockets scored twice in the fifth inning and three times in the sixth in a comeback effort.
The home run for Baker (Gahanna, Ohio/DeSales) was her fifth of the season and 12th of her career and helped the Buckeyes improve to 94-10 in non-conference home games under OSU 10th-year head coach Linda Kalafatis. Baker ended the game with a career-high six RBI.
OSU freshman pitcher Courtney Pruner (Akron, Ohio/Ellet) improved to 3-0, striking out six. Junior Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) worked the final 1.1 innings in relief.
The two teams combined for 10 runs in a 38-minute first inning. The Rockets sent eight batters to the plate in their half of the frame before the Buckeyes sent 13. Baker, whose walk-off home run beat No. 15 Northwestern Sunday, drove in juniors Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut) and Christina Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson), who had singled, and junior Megan Schwab (Glendale, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain), who was hit by a pitch. After Baker’s grand slam, senior Billie Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina) tripled and scored on an RBI single by freshman Cortney Cannon (Hilliard, Ohio/Darby), whole scored on an RBI single by Douglas.
In the fourth inning, a double by Pruner, a triple by Baker and singles by junior Lauren Daykin (Melbourne, Australia/Manatee C.C., Fla.), senior Stacy Hibma (Buena Park, Calif./Valley Christian) and Koyano were the big hits in OSU’s five-run inning. Cannon drove in her second run of the game in the sixth inning with a fielder’s choice grounder.
Hibma went 3-for-3 in Ohio State’s 14-hit attack. Koyano, Baker and Carder all added two hits.
Ohio State returns to action at noon Sunday when the Buckeyes host Minnesota in a doubleheader.
### GO BUCKS! ###