Buckeyes get two hits from Brittany Vanderink
COLUMBUS, Ohio Michigan sophomore Nikki Nemitz tossed a three-hit shutout Friday night and her fifth-ranked Wolverines plated six runs in the fourth inning on their way to an 8-0 win over the Ohio State softball team at Buckeye Field.
Facing their highest-ranked opponent of the season, the Buckeyes fall to 26-18 overall and 4-9 in the Big Ten. Michigan, now 14-0 on opponent’s home field this season, is now 40-4 overall and 12-1 in conference play.
Nemitz threw her 14th complete game, striking out six to improve to 19-2 overall and 7-1 in Big Ten play.
Ohio State junior pitcher Kim Reeder zipped through the first inning and allowed two base runners in the second and third, though she held the Wolverines off the scoreboard in both frames thanks to a strikeout in the second and a sensational, diving grab in left field by freshman Dee Dee Hillman.
Michigan finally got to Reeder in the top of the fourth, with Dorian Shaw providing the big hit a three-run homer to left field and the Wolverines would go on to bat around and chase Reeder from the game. Michigan put together six hits and used three walks in the inning to score six runs.
Sophomore Megan Miller relieved Reeder with two outs in the fourth and closed the door on the Wolverines in the fourth and fifth inning and should have got out of the sixth with allowing a run, but the Buckeyes committed three errors in the frame, allowing in two more Michigan runs to build the deficit to 8-0.
Reeder went 3.2 innings, striking out three to see her record slip to 14-12.
The Buckeyes got their lead-off batter aboard in the bottom of the fourth when senior Brittany Vanderink led off with a single up the middle her sixth base hit in nine career at bats against Michigan. But Nemitz got a pop out and two strikeouts looking to end the inning and repel Ohio State quietly.
Vanderink notched her second hit of the night with one out in the sixth inning, but Nemitz got a long fly out to centerfield by sophomore Tory Haddad for the second out and then Vanderink was caught stealing to end the game.
Ohio State and Michigan will finish the two-game series at 1 p.m. Saturday at Buckeye Field.
Postgame Notes No. 5 Michigan 8, Ohio State 0 … April 18, 2008
– Not in the Box Score: Only three Buckeyes in the starting lineup Friday had played against Michigan before Friday. Seniors Liz Caputo and Brittany Vanderink both faced Michigan as sophomores in 2006 but the 2007 games in Ann Arbor were snowed out. Kim Reeder entered the game with one career appearance against Michigan (0-1, 3.00 ERA).
– Buckeyes at the plate: Senior Brittany Vanderink went 2-for-3 in the game and is now 7-for-9 (.778) in her career against Michigan.
– Vanderink extended her current hitting streak to five games and now has 18 multiple-hit games this season to lead the Buckeyes.
– Buckeyes in the circle: Kim Reeder has started nine of Ohio State’s 13 Big Ten games so far this season.
– Buckeyes in the field: Freshman leftfielder Dee Dee Hillman turned in the defensive play of the game in the top of the third inning when, with two on and two out, she dove for and caught a low line drive down the left-field line off the bat of Samantha Findlay.
– The attendance of 661 Friday marked Ohio State’s season-high for a home game and is the second-highest attendance overall (813 vs. Oregon State Feb. 23 in Palm Springs, Calif.)
– Weather: Sunny and 75 degrees at first pitch. Wind 6 MPH out to left-centerfield.
– Michigan, the 2005 national champion, has made eight trips to the NCAA Women’s College World Series and owns 10 Big Ten titles.
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