Feb. 8, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A five-run seventh inning allowed the Ohio State softball team to pull away from Charleston Southern for a 10-6 victory in the final game of the Charleston Southern Tournament on Sunday. With the win, the Buckeyes are now 4-0 on the year and claimed the season-opening Charleston Southern Tournament Championship.
At the plate, Caitlin Conrad (2-for-4, three-run HR), Cammi Prantl (3-for-4, RBI) Taylor Watkins (2-for-5) and Taylor White (2-for-4) all had multiple hits, while Anna Kirk added a critical two- run RBI double in the seventh inning. In the circle, all four Buckeye pitchers saw action, with sophomore Shelby Hursh going 2.2 innings in relief of Lena Springer to secure the win. Alex DiDomenico struck out the last batter of the game with the bases loaded for her first save of the season.
Charleston Southern was first on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second when Stephanie Barro hit a two-out solo home run to straight away center field, giving the Bucs a 1-0 lead. Springer was able to minimize the damage by getting the next batter, Natalie Yoman, to ground out to second.
Charleston Southern’s lead was short-lived, however, as the Buckeyes came back to score four runs on four hits in the top of the third, highlighted by a three-run home run by Conrad, her second round-tripper in as many days. Kirk also scored Watkins on a sacrifice fly. Other key hits were delivered by Erika Leonard (single to right field), Watkins (bunt single) and Prantl (single to left field).
The Bucs threatened to come right back in the bottom of the third when two singles and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out. Hursh came on in relief of Springer and worked out of the jam with getting a fielder’s choice (lead runner out at home) and two strikeouts.
Ohio State tacked on another run in the top of the fifth on a two-out single by McIntyre that scored Prantl, who had reached second on an error by the center fielder. The Bucs came right back in the bottom of the fifth, connecting on a two-out, two-run home run to center by Georgi Delio that cut the lead to 5-3. The next batter, Cheyenne Gandara, hit a solo shot to right center, making the score 5-4. Olivia O’Reilly then came on in relief and got an inning-ending strikeout of Bergmann.
In the sixth, O’Reilly gave up a two-out walk to Brooke Lein and pinch runner Brook Richardson moved to second on a wild pitch, but Amanda Matsumoto grounded out to O’Reilly to end the threat.
Ohio State’s offense put up five runs in the seventh, keyed by a two-run RBI double from Anna Kirk and a RBI single from Prantl. Conrad walked to lead off the inning, followed by a Watkins single, Prantl RBI single, McIntyre walk and Kirk’s two-run scoring double. Jayla Saibene also delivered a pinch-hit RBI single and Conrad beat out an infield single that scored Kirk.
In CSU’s seventh, the Bucs scored on an RBI single and bases loaded walk, but DiDomenico came in to shut the door with a strikeout of Lexie Vandana.
Ohio State is back in action on Friday, Feb. 13 against Sam Houston State in the opening game of the Maverick Invitational in Arlington, Texas.