SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Ohio State softball team fell, 9-1, against Louisville in five innings Sunday morning at SDSU Softball Stadium to conclude play at the San Diego Classic II Tournament. The Buckeyes (7-17, 0-0 Big Ten) will now travel north to Los Angeles to play at Loyola Marymount at 1 p.m. PT Tuesday.
The Cardinals (18-9) posted runs in every inning, including two in the first, one in the second, two in the third and four in the fourth inning to claim the victory by the run rule. Louisville starting pitcher Tori Collins limited the Buckeye bats to two hits as she picked up her 11th win of the season. OSU starting pitcher Kasie Kelly received the loss to fall to 3-4 overall, allowing three runs and three hits in one inning of work.
In the bottom of the first, the Cardinals struck first when left fielder Jennifer Esteban hit an RBI triple to left center field on a 2-2 count off Kelly, scoring lead-off hitter Katie Keller, who reached base on a walk. Following a walk to Chelsea Bemis, shortstop Colby Wherry sent a fly ball to short center field. However, Brittany Goodchild could not handle the catch as she ran in on the play, allowing Esteban to plate a run to make it 2-0 on the sacrifice fly. The Buckeyes ended the Louisville momentum with the help of Megan Coletta who turned a groundout double play from third base.
In the bottom of the second, Louisville extended its lead to three runs. After back-to-back singles to begin the inning, freshman pitcher Audrey Plant came into the game to relieve Kelly. The next batter, right fielder Hannah Kiyohara placed a sacrifice bunt in front of the plate to move both runners to second and third. Keller then roped an RBI line drive to center field to make it 3-0. However, Plant was able to limit the damage as she got out of the jam with a groundout and flyout.
In the third inning, Louisville posted two solo home runs off Plant. Keller began the inning with home run to left field, while third baseman Alicja Wolny blasted a home run over the center field wall to make it 5-0. Goodchild then came into pitch for the Buckeyes and ended the inning with two groundouts.
The Buckeyes cut the Cardinals’ lead to 5-1 in the fourth inning. After Herron drew her second walk of the day, freshman catcher Melissa Rennie knocked a two-out double down the left field line to claim the team’s first hit of the morning off Collins. Herron sprinted around the bases from first base on the play to claim the OSU run.
In the fifth, Louisville got its momentum right back with four runs in the fourth – all with two outs. Wolny began the offense with a two-out RBI single to center field to score Wherry to make it 6-1 in favor of the Cardinals. With the bases loaded, Ruckenburd slapped a chopper in front of the circle for an RBI infield single. During the next at bat, a wild pitch that skipped down the third base line allowed Wolny to score to make it 8-1. The Cardinals claimed the eight-run lead following an RBI walk by Keller.
The Buckeyes finish with a 2-3 record in San Diego in their last early tournament of the 2011 campaign.