April 30, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s Jamee Juarez became the third player in school history to win 20 games in a season and pitched her 18th complete game of the season in the process to lead the Buckeye softball team past Indiana, 3-2, Saturday at Buckeye Field. Ohio State (26-14, 6-6 Big Ten), winner of seven of its last eight games, scored two runs in the sixth inning to erase a 2-1 deficit and complete the two-game series sweep of Indiana (13-37, 2-14 Big Ten).
The come-from-behind win was Ohio State’s sixth of the season and third in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes led, 1-0, in the top of the third inning, but Indiana took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the frame. From that point on, however, Juarez (so., La Puente, Calif./Wilson) would allow only two Hoosier base runners the rest of the way, while OSU’s Karisa Evans (sr., Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) homered in the sixth inning and two batters later Chelsea Baker (jr., Gahanna, Ohio/DeSales) doubled and scored on a wild pitch to put the Buckeyes on top for good.
“Jamee Juarez was just awesome today and pitched a heck of a game,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “Our defense played great behind her and kept us in the game. After trailing, the way we answered back with Karisa Evans’ home run and then the go ahead run, this was one of the biggest wins of the year helping us within the Big Ten standings.” After throwing a five-hit shutout Friday night against Indiana, Juarez came back to strike out nine more Hoosier batters Saturday to move past current Ohio State assistant coach Belinda Quisenberry for fourth place on the OSU all-time strikeout list. Quisenberry had 260 strikeouts from 1990-93, while Juarez now owns 268. Among Ohio State’s 20-game winners, Juarez joins Genice Turley (24 wins in 1994) and Katie Chain (23 wins in 2001, 22 wins in 2002).
With the Buckeyes down, 2-1, Evans led off the sixth inning with a shot over the right field wall to mark her first home run of the season and fifth of her career. With the score tied, 2-2, Indiana starter Megan Roark got a strikeout before Baker stepped to the plate and drilled a double off the wall in left centerfield. That prompted the Hoosiers to hand the ball to reliever Mariangee Bogado, who promptly threw a wild pitch to send Baker to third, walked junior Billie Jo Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina), then threw another wild pitch, which allowed Baker to score and give Ohio State the lead.
The Buckeyes would still go on to load the bases in the sixth inning and did it again the seventh, but Bogado was able to keep Ohio State from scoring any more runs. OSU stranded nine runners in the game, tying its season-high.
Ohio State scored its first run in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. Senior Natalie Hales (Canton, Ohio/Eastern Michigan) singled through the left side and sophomore Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut) followed with a bunt single to the third baseman, whose errant throw on the play allowed Hales to go to third. Pinch runner Nicole Lancaster (jr., Magnolia, Ohio/Sandy Valley) came on to run for Hales and Evans brought her home with a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Indiana’s Tory Yamaguchi put the Hoosiers up, 2-1, with a two-run homer with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the third inning.
Ohio State appeared to be mounting its comeback in the fifth inning when sophomore Christina Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson) led off with a double to left centerfield and moved to third on a ground out by Hales, but was stranded there to end the inning when Hoosier shortstop Mariangee Bogado scooped up a grounder by Koyano and made a throw on the run to nab Koyano at first base by less than half a step.
Ohio State will host Purdue Sunday in a double-header beginning at noon.
### GO BUCKS! ###