April 1, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Ohio State senior Billie Carder hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high five runs and freshman Kim Reeder struck out a career-best 10 batters to lead the Ohio State softball team past Indiana 6-3 Saturday at the IU Softball Complex. After dropping their Big Ten opener Friday, 4-1, the Buckeyes salvage a two-game split and improve to 17-13 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten, while the Hoosiers fall to 16-12-1 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten.
Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina) hit her second career grand slam in the second inning to put OSU up 4-0 and she added an RBI single in the third inning to extend the Buckeyes’ lead to 6-2.
“We played with much better energy than yesterday,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “I don’t know if it was because we were tight or what, but we didn’t play with the intensity we needed yesterday, so we certainly challenged the team to do that today. Everyone stepped up and we had much better at bats. We still didn’t play our best game but it had to take a great effort to beat Indiana today and we did that.”
Now 8-6 in the circle, Reeder (Salinas, Calif./Notre Dame H.S.) scattered four hits, matching her lowest total of the season for the third time, and retired 14 of the last 16 hitters she faced. Only one of her runs was earned and her 10 strikeouts in the game are one better than her previous season best against Robert Morris March 19 and Long Beach State March 24.
“Billie is playing as good as any shortstop in the Big Ten that I’m aware of right now,” Kalafatis said. “Her grand slam got us going and defensively she has been making incredible plays lately and today was no different. And Kimmy was throwing hard and set the tone and the team really fed off her energy.”
Ohio State has now won 10 of its last 12 games against Indiana in the series and avoided what would have been the Hoosiers’ first sweep of OSU since 1999. Indiana has already topped its win total from all of last season when it went 13-41.
In the second inning, OSU juniors Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) and Lauren Daykin (Melbourne, Australia/Manatee C.C., Fla.) singled and senior Chelsea Baker (Gahanna, Ohio/DeSales) walked, setting the stage for Carder’s blast to left field that cleared the bases. The homer was her second of the season and sixth of her career.
After Carder’s grand slam, Indiana scored twice in the top of the third inning, but the Buckeyes pushed their lead back to four on RBI singles by Daykin and Carder, who bettered her previous career high of four RBI set twice last year, first against Mississippi State with her first career grand slam and then again against Illinois at Buckeye Field.
“We needed to come back strong after losing yesterday,” Carder said. “We needed to capitalize on hitting runners in when we needed to because yesterday we didn’t. I felt confident at the plate today and there were runners on base when I came up in the second. We needed a big hit. I wasn’t going for a grand slam but it felt great.”
Daykin and Carder both went 2-for-3 in the game, which for Daykin tied her best performance as a Buckeye.
Indiana starter Megan Roark gave up all six OSU runs to see her record slip to 6-8 on the season. Reliever Mariangee Bogado, who beat Ohio State Friday, pitched the final 3.1 innings without allowing a hit. Ohio State is now 14-0 this season when leading after four innings.
Ohio State moves on to West Lafayette where the Buckeyes will take on Purdue at noon Sunday in a doubleheader.
### GO BUCKS! ###