Feb. 7, 2003

Box Score

Miami, Fla.-The No. 16 Ohio State softball team opened up the 2003 season with a 3-2 loss to the Florida Atlantic Lady Owls Friday at University Field in Miami, Fla. at the Golden Panther Invitational. The loss drops the Buckeyes to 0-1 while the Lady Owls improve to 2-5.

The Buckeyes had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the seventh when Kristine Himes (Sr., Bolivar, Ohio) doubled to right field with one out. Himes then advanced to third when pinch hitter Breana Pozzi (Jr., Petaluma, Calif.) grounded out to third base but the Buckeyes were unable to bring Himes home as Billie Jo Carder (Fr., Celina, Ohio) was retired to end the game.

The Buckeyes drew first blood, jumping on the Lady Owls in the first inning as Karisa Evans (So., Franklin, Ohio), Kristi DeVries (Jr., Corona, Calif.) and Himes all hit consecutive singles to load the bases. Rogeanna Hottinger (Sr., Newark, Ohio) then grounded back to the pitcher, but an error by FAU catcher Callie Piper allowed Evans to score from third, giving Ohio State the early 1-0 lead.

Florida Atlantic came back to tie the game in the top of the third when Pam Mazzarella singled through the right side scoring Jessica Sachs from second.

The game remained tied until the top of the sixth inning when FAU put two more runs on the board. Jessica Braggins and Ebony Gray started the inning with back-to-back singles and Jennifer Cavanaugh walked to load the bases. Amy Bellisari then connected on a two out double down the left field line, scoring Braggins and Gray to give the Lady Owls a 3-1 advantage. On the same play OSU’s Meghan Rowlands (So., Hillard, Ohio) threw out Cavanaugh attempting to advance to third, ending the inning and the FAU rally.

The Buckeyes battled back in the bottom half of the inning when Rowlands hit a one out double down the left field line. Annie Dedic (Sr., Yorba Linda, Calif.) followed with a walk before Jennifer Johnson (So., La Mirada, Calif.) singled down the left field line, scoring Rowlands from second and cutting FAU’s lead to 3-2.

Johnson led the way for the Buckeyes offensively, going 2-for-3 with one RBI. DeVries and Himes also had two hits for Ohio State.

Katie Chain (Sr., North Canton, Ohio) pitched a solid 6 2/3 innings for the Buckeyes, allowing three runs on seven hits and striking out four. Freshman Chelsea Baker (Gahanna, Ohio) also made an appearance in the circle, retiring the only batter she faced to end the FAU seventh.

The Buckeyes will look to bounce back when they play their second game of the Golden Panther Invitational at 6:30 p.m. as they take on the Florida International Golden Panthers.