LAS VEGAS Senior Brittany Vanderink led off the first, third and fifth innings and scored all three times to put the Buckeyes ahead, 3-0, then added a career-high fourth run in a four-run sixth inning to lead the No. 20 Ohio State softball team past Oregon, 7-0, Friday at Eller Media Stadium in the UNLV Invitational.
Ohio State (12-4) got a two-hit, complete game shutout from junior Kim Reeder, who struck out five Ducks and worked a three-pitch final inning to end the game. Reeder improves to 6-3 with her ninth career shutout.
Oregon (14-11), which had won eight of its last 11 games coming into the contest, had only six base runners in the game and only one of them advanced past second.
“(Oregon pitcher) Alicia Cook kept us in check and that’s a credit to our kids for hanging in there,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “We did a good job battling at the plate, which is one of the things we have been focusing on. We walked seven times, which is a good sign that our young team is maturing. And Kim Reeder did an excellent job down the stretch and had a very good outing.”
With Reeder limiting the Ducks to only one base runner an inning through five, it appeared as if Vanderink’s three runs might win the game by themselves. But the Buckeyes batted around in the bottom of the sixth to put the game out of reach.
“When Liz Caputo came up to lead off the sixth inning I told her that is she got on we were going to score her,” Kalafatis said. “But little did I know that we would score three more times there.”
OSU sophomore catcher Sam Marder threw out Oregon’s top-two base runners to end the Duck’s scoring chances in the first and third inning, the second of which marked the first time Oregon’s Cortney Kivett had been caught in 17 chances this season.
The Buckeyes struck first with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Vanderink led off with a walk, stole second and scored on a bloop single down the right-field line by sophomore Whitney Cooper.
Vanderink created Ohio State’s second run in the third inning when she grounded to second but she reached second base on the play via an Oregon error. She went to third on a groundout by freshman Brittany Goodchild and scored on an RBI grounder by sophomore Tory Haddad.
Vanderink did it again in the fifth inning when she led off with a walk, went to second on a grounder by Goodchild, went to third on a single to left by Haddad and scored when Cooper got hit by a pitch.
In Ohio State’s four-run sixth inning, Caputo reached on an error, freshman Rachael Shepherd singled up the middle, freshman Dee Dee Hillman laid down a bunt single and Vanderink singled to shortstop and all four would eventually come around to score. Three Oregon errors in the inning led to three of the runs being unearned, but Marder drove in one run with a sacrifice fly and Haddad singled up the middle to score another.
The Buckeyes return to the diamond at 8:15 p.m. PT Friday night when they take on tournament host UNLV.
Postgame Notes No. 20 Ohio State 7, Oregon 0 … March 7, 2008
– The Buckeyes took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Oregon Friday and improve to 5-2 this season when they score in the first inning and 11-2 when they score first in the game overall.
– Ohio State has now gone a school-record 52-consecutive games without being shut out. The previous school record was 28-straight games.
– Buckeyes at the plate: Ohio Stat tied a season-high with seven walks issued by Oregon’s Alicia Cook.
– OSU senior Brittany Vanderink stole her eight base in eight attempts this season in the first inning. She has stolen 24-consecutive bases dating back to last season and is 54-for-57 in her career. Two more stolen bases will tie Vanderink for fourth all-time at Ohio State in stolen bases with Cheryl Palaroan (1996-99).
– Vanderink set a career high with four runs scored, including the first three OSU runs in the game, to move into a tie for seventh place on Ohio State career runs scored list with 110. Vanderink moved past Kristine Himes (2000-03) and into a tie with All-American Krinon Clark (1991-94).
– Vanderink has at least one hit in 15 of Ohio State’s 16 games this season.
– Sophomore Whitney Cooper’s first inning RBI single would prove to be her third game-winning RBI of the season.
– Buckeyes in the circle: Junior Kim Reeder struck out five Oregon batters Friday and has struck out at least one batter in all 62 of her collegiate starts. She has struck out at least one batter in 74 of 76 appearances overall. The shutout was the third of the season and marked her fifth complete game in seven starts.
– Buckeyes in the field: Sophomore catcher Sam Marder threw out both of Oregon’s top two base stealers Friday. Marder threw out Sari-Jane Jenkins in the second inning and Cortney Kivett in the third inning. Jenkins entered the game 16-for-20 in stolen bases this season, while Kivett was a perfect 16-for-16.
– Ohio State is now 58-30 all-time when ranked.
– Weather: Sunny and 65 degrees at first pitch. No wind.
– Ohio State now leads the all-time series with Oregon 6-2. The Buckeyes have outscored the Ducks 13-0 the last two meetings.
– Oregon has seven starters back this season from its 2007 team that went 44-19 overall and was the runner of the South Carolina regional.
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