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Buckeyes score twice in last at bat to take two-run lead, but Badgers answer with three for walk-off win

MADISON, Wis. Scoring twice in the top of the seventh inning to take a two-run lead, it appeared the Buckeyes would knock off Wisconsin in their final at bat for the second-consecutive game in Madison Saturday. But the Badgers scored three runs in the seventh and won it on a walk-off infield single that allowed Jennifer Krueger to slide into home safely to give Wisconsin a 4-3 win over the Ohio State softball team in the second game of a doubleheader at Goodman Diamond.

After winning 6-3 in the first game with all six runs coming in the seventh inning, Ohio State (30-21, 6-12 Big Ten) had won four in a row over the Badgers (15-38, 3-15 Big Ten). With only a doubleheader at Minnesota tomorrow remaining on Ohio State’s Big Ten schedule, the Buckeyes were aiming for a sweep Saturday to bolster their place in the Big Ten standings, which currently has them in ninth place. The top eight teams make the conference tournament.

“I thought we showed a lot of heart to be able to really in our last at bat of both games,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “But in the second game, it apparently wasn’t enough. I wish we would have gotten to work earlier on offense.”

Wisconsin tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning off a double and a single, but Ohio State reclaimed the lead with two runs in the top of the seventh, scoring both runs with two outs. Sophomore Sam Marder doubled to right-centerfield and scored from second on a single to shallow left-center by freshman Dee Dee Hillman. The throw from the outfield was in time to beat Marder to the plate, but she side-stepped the tag and reached back for the plate just before the tag. Hillman went all the way to third on the play and scored one batter later when senior Brittany Vanderink singled to center.

The Buckeyes quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Hillman walked, stole second, went to third on a single up the middle by Vanderink and scored when freshman Karisa Medrano walked with the bases loaded.

Ohio State starting pitcher Megan Miller flirted with danger from the get-go, watching Wisconsin load the bases in each of the first three innings, but a double-play in the first inning, a fly out in the second and a strikeout in the third kept the Badgers from scoring each time. Miller got through the fourth with only one hit allowed, but when she gave up a double to lead off the fifth, she was replaced in the circle by junior Kim Reeder.

Reeder, who threw a complete game in earning the win in game one, got a pop out, but then allowed a two-out RBI single to tie the score at 1-1. She struck out two in the sixth, but in the seventh Wisconsin’s Lynn Anderson singled and then Livi Abney blasted a two-run homer to right-centerfield to tie the game at 3-3. A walk and a double later and the Badgers were poised for a walk-off win and they got it when Theresa Boruta singled on a slow roller to third base. The throw went to first and Krueger, who walked, raced home and slid into Marder as the slow arrived.

Marder and Vanderink both had two hits their 15th and 20th multiple-hit games of the season, respectively.

The Buckeyes will bus to Minneapolis Saturday evening in preparation of a doubleheader against Minnesota that begins at noon Sunday. The two games will mark the final Big Ten games of the season for Ohio State.

Postgame Notes Wisconsin 4, Ohio State 3 GAME TWO … April 26, 2008
– Not in the Box Score: The Badgers’ walk-off win marked the first time this season the Buckeyes were defeated in walk-off fashion. Ohio State had won five games this season on walk-off base hits.
– Ohio State scored in the top of the first inning, but falls to 21-7 this season when scoring first.
– Buckeyes at the plate: Sophomore Sam Marder’s 2-for-3 day at the plate upped her current hitting streak to six games. She went 3-for-6 against Wisconsin Saturday and is batting .526 (10-for-19) during her hitting streak.
– Marder is now 5-for-12 (.417) in her career against Wisconsin.
– The RBI single by Dee Dee Hillman in the seventh inning was her second career RBI. Her first game in the second game of the season.
– Senior Brittany Vanderink’s first-inning single up the middle was her 211th career hit, which gives her sole possession of sixth place all-time at Ohio State. Vanderink had been tied with Nycole Koyano (2004-07). Now with 212 hits after a seventh-inning single, she is three hits away from No. 5 on the list, Krinon Clark (1991-04) with 215.
– Weather: Mostly sunny and 50 degrees at first pitch. Wind 15 MPH out to right-centerfield.
– The Buckeyes are now 15-17 all-time against Wisconsin, including 3-11 at Goodman Diamond.

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