Senior pitcher Megan Miller throws a two-hitter in five innings, Sam Marder ties all-time RBI record
ORLANDO, Fla. – Behind two six-run innings, the No. 22 Ohio State softball team (16-9) blew past Cornell, 18-0, in five innings Wednesday afternoon in its first of two games at the University of Central Florida.
“Megan pitched a great game for us and it was our day up to bat,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “Our kids did a nice job and gave us the opportunity to clear the dugout. All that experience is so important.”
Senior Megan Miller earned her sixth win of the season, allowing just two hits in five innings, striking out one and walking one. The senior was throwing a no hitter threw three innings, with the only two Big Red runs coming in the bottom of the fourth. Miller has lowered her ERA to 2.04, pitching 48 innings in 12 appearances.
From the start, the Ohio State batters were aggressive at-bat. In a big first inning, the Buckeyes batted through the order, posting six runs off of five hits. Leadoff hitter Dee Dee Hillman, who went 2-3 on the day, doubled into centerfield to start things as the next four batters got on base and scored. Sophomore Vanessa Spears laid down a perfect bunt before Sam Marder hit into a fielder’s choice situation where all base runners were safe as the Big Red were not able to make the play at home as Hillman scored on a bad throw by the third baseman. Next up, sophomore shortstop Alicia Herron ripped an RBI line drive through the left side and senior Courtney Pruner loaded the bases. Everyone was safe and Marder scored as senior Whitney Cooper hit into a fielder’s choice and the Cornell shortstop’s throw into third was late for the tag on Herron. The Big Red took care of the next two batters but junior Brittney Goodchild, batting in the nine spot, sneaked a grounder up the middle to bring in Ohio State’s sixth and final run of the inning.
The Buckeyes added three more runs off of two hits in the second. Herron, who went 4-5 at the plate and scored four runs, again singled up the left side after Marder was hit by a pitch. Cooper loaded the bases as Marder slid safely into third. Senior Rebecca Schultz hit a two RBI single through the right side and freshman Megan Coletta hit a fly ball into deep left field to score Cooper from third.
After a quick three outs, the Scarlet and Gray were back at-bat, adding three more runs in the third. With junior Karisa Medrano pinch running for Marder who walked, Herron, who made six outs in the field, singled to the pitcher before Pruner hit an RBI single to center. Cooper followed with a double to center, scoring Herron and Mills, pinch running for Pruner, to end the day with three RBI.
Working runners around the bases throughout the sixth inning, Ohio State posted another six run inning in the fourth to end the day with a season-high 18 runs off of 18 hits. With an RBI in the fourth, Marder now has 166 in her career to tie the all-time program record.
With a comfortable lead, the Buckeyes were able to give its young players some valuable playing experience, including freshman Brittany Mills who went 2-2 with an RBI while getting seeing action in left field. Sophomore Katie Simonton, a crucial pinch runner for Ohio State, earned time in right field while freshman Julia Pecina took over at second base.
For the game, Herron led the squad with four runs scored and an RBI while Schultz recorded four RBI. Coletta and Cooper chipped in three RBI each.
The Buckeyes wrap up their spring break schedule against Central Florida at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Orlando, Fla.