March 21, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Led by senior Evelyn Carrillo (4-for-4, two home runs, three RBIs) and sophomore Cammi Prantl (3-for-3, two RBIs), the Ohio State softball team erupted for a season-high 18 hits on its way to a 13-6 victory over Michigan State in the Big Ten opener for both teams. The Buckeyes are now 13-14 overall and 1-0 in conference while the Spartans fall to 7-16, 0-1.
Ohio State struck for four runs in the first inning on five hits, the biggest coming from Caitlin Conrad, who ripped a double into left center and a two-run double by catcher Erika Leonard. Taylor Watkins, Jayla Saibene and Carrillo also had hits during the inning.
The Buckeyes proved their big first inning was just a preview of things to come, as they scored four more times in the bottom of the second. This time, all the damage came with two outs as Saibene started the rally with a double to right center, followed by a single up the middle by Carrillo. Leonard then singled to the shortstop and Melaina Saalfeld doubled to right center, scoring Carrillo. Prantl plated two more runners with a double to make the score 8-0.
With an eight-run lead, starting pitcher Olivia O’Reilly settled in and Michigan State did not have its first hit until the top of the third inning. O’Reilly worked perfect 1-2-3 innings in the first and fourth innings. Overall, she pitched 5.1 innings and gave up just one earned run to earn her fourth win of the year.
In the bottom of the fourth, Carrillo made the score 9-0 with a home run to straight away center field and Jesse Machovina drove home Prantl with an RBI double. Michigan State refused to go away, however, plating six runs in the top of the fifth, the biggest blow coming on Sarah Gutknecht, who hit a grand slam to left field, making the score 10-6.
Ohio State got a run back in the bottom of the fifth thanks Carrillo’s second home run of the game, this one a shot to right field. In the bottom of the sixth, Keelia Nester connected on a two-run home run, the first of her career.
Overall, five different Buckeyes recorded multiple hits. Carrillo’s four hits matches her career high (also set this year vs. Long Beach State) and her two home runs are a career high.
Ohio State and Michigan State continue their series tomorrow afternoon at Buckeye Field with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. The second game will start approximately 20 minutes after the first game.