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Buckeyes trail 2-0 until scoring twice in sixth inning, then win it in eighth

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Freshman Karisa Medrano’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning provided a walk-off ending and completed a late comeback from two runs down as the 19th-ranked Ohio State softball team topped Nevada Friday, 3-2, in the Buckeyes’ opening game of the Capital Classic at the Sacramento State Softball Complex. 

Both teams entered the game with six-game winning streaks. Ohio State extends its streak to a season-high seven in a row and is now 17-4 overall, while Nevada falls to 18-9.

The Wolf Pack scored twice in the top of the first and held that 2-0 lead through five innings as the Buckeyes had only one base runner in their first five at bats due to a throwing error. Sophomore Sam Marder and Medrano knocked RBI singles in the sixth to tie the game and neither team scored in the seventh as Reeder went 10+ pitches on three batters.

Ohio State junior Kim Reeder, who struck out nine in a complete-game effort, retired Nevada in order in the top of the eighth. The Wolf Pack’s base-runner placed at second because of the international tie-break rule reached third on a sacrifice bunt but stayed there on a groundout to OSU third-baseman Rachael Shepherd and a Reeder strikeout.

In the bottom of the eighth, OSU freshman Dee Dee Hillman was placed on second and senior Brittany Vanderink led off with a bunt single. After a strikeout, Marder was intentionally walked to load the bases, bringing Medrano to the plate and she knocked a grounder through the left side to score Hillman and give the Buckeyes their second walk-off win of the season and third come-from-behind victory.

Winning her fifth-consecutive decision, Reeder improves to 9-3 on the season. Only one of the two runs she allowed was earned. Reeder has allowed more than one earned run in only two of her 10 starts this season and both of those times she allowed only two earned runs.

In the top of the second, Nevada loaded the bases with one out but the Buckeyes turned a double-play to get out of the inning. Reeder fielded a grounder back to her in the circle and threw home to Marder, who touched the plate and fired to Haddad at first for the second out.

Vanderink and Medrano both went 2-for-4, while Marder and Hillman had Ohio State’s other two hits. Medrano’s two RBI matched her season high.

Ohio State returns to action at 3 p.m. PT Friday against Sacramento State.

Postgame Notes No. 19 Ohio State 3, Nevada 2 (8 innings) … March 14, 2008
– Without having played a home game yet, the current seven-game winning streak is Ohio State’s longest since 2005 when none of the wins came at home.
– Buckeyes at the plate: Senior Brittany Vanderink had two hits against Nevada for her 11th multiple hit game of the season. She has at least one hit in 19 of Ohio State’s 21 games this season.
– In the eighth inning, Vanderink stole her 12th base of the season in 12 attempts. She has stolen 28 bases in a row and is 58-for-61 in her career.
– Sophomore Sam Marder drove in one run against Nevada for her 32nd RBI of the season. She has at least one RBI in 18 of Ohio State’s 21 games this season.
– Buckeyes in the circle: Kim Reeder’s complete game was her eighth in 10 starts this season and her nine strikeouts tied her season high set last Saturday against New Mexico State.
– Buckeyes in the field: Ohio State turned its fifth double-play of the season Friday.
– Ohio State now leads the all-time series with Nevada 4-0.
– The Buckeyes are now 63-30 all-time when ranked in the Top 25.
– Ohio State has not been shut out in a school-record 57-consecutive games.
– Weather: Mostly sunny and 50 degrees at first pitch.

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Contact: Tim Stried, stried.3@osu.edu