April 8, 2005
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Ohio State softball team scored all six of its runs in the third inning, and all with two outs, en route to a 6-1 win over Michigan State Friday at Old College Field in East Lansing, Mich. Ohio State sophomore Jamee Juarez pitched her 14th complete game of the season and upped her record to 15-7 in the circle as the Buckeyes improve to 19-10 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten, while Michigan State falls to 11-20-1 overall and 2-3 in the league.
Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) scattered eight hits, seven of them singles, and worked out of several jams, leading Michigan State to strand 10 runners on base during the contest. Starting in Ohio State’s sixth-consecutive game, Juarez struck out three hitters and has been the Buckeye’s pitcher of record in 11 of the last 12 contests.
Ohio State’s six runs in the third inning are the most the Buckeyes have scored in the third frame this season. Four of the runs were charged to Michigan State starter Rachel Turney, marking just the second time this season in her 21 appearances she has given up more than three runs. Turney entered the game with a 1.74 ERA overall and a 4-2 record in her last six decisions, but left with the loss, moving her record to 7-11 on the season.
OSU senior Ashley Cutcliff (Zionsville, Ind./U. of Florida) and junior Billie Jo Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina) both had two-RBI base hits in the third inning, Cutcliff’s a double and Carder’s a single, to lead the eight-hit Buckeye attack and help Ohio State to its third consecutive win, all within the Big Ten.
Michigan State, which left at least one runner stranded in every inning but the seventh, notched two hits in the first inning but left runners at second and third. MSU then left the bases loaded in the third inning after the Spartans scored their only run, and left two runners stranded in the fifth.
In Ohio State’s six-run third inning, the first two Buckeyes were set down in order, but that brought the top of the OSU lineup to the plate. Sophomore Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut) laid down a bunt single, then scored on a double down the left field line by senior Karisa Evans (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin). Sophomores Megan Schwab (Glendale, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain) and Christina Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson) both walked to load the bases, prompting a Spartan pitching change. Juarez greeted new MSU hurler Christy McGrew with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Evans, before Cutcliff’s double and Carder’s single brought four more Buckeyes across the plate.
Michigan State answered with a run in the bottom of the frame when Elizabeth Peterson drew a bases-loaded, full-count walk, but Juarez induced a weak pop-up one batter later to end the Spartan threat with the bases loaded.
Koyano and Evans finished the game with two hits each. Senior shortstop Jennifer Johnson (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) led the Ohio State defense with six assists and three put outs. Her assists match the team’s single-game season-high, first set by Carder in a game against Oregon State Feb. 26.
Ohio State improves to 12-2 when holding its opponent to two or fewer runs. The Buckeyes are now 17-4 when they score first and 18-1 when leading after four innings.
Juarez held Michigan State’s Nicole Mercado, last week’s Big Ten Co-Player of the Week, to an 0-for-3 day at the plate, while MSU’s Caitlin Mahoney, the only Spartan hitting over .300 (.324), was just 1-for-4.
The series this weekend is a match-up of two of the Big Ten’s career 500-win coaches in Ohio State’s Linda Kalafatis (555 wins) and Michigan State’s Jacquie Joseph, who won her 500th career game this past Wednesday.
### GO BUCKS! ###