May 21, 2004
The No. 6-seed Ohio State softball team (35-25) lost to No. 5-seed California State-Northridge (CSUN) (35-18), 4-2, Friday evening night in Region No. 4 of the 2004 NCAA Softball Tournament at Tallahassee, Fla. Ohio State went up 1-0 after two innings, but one CSUN run in the fourth and three runs in the fifth gave the Matadors the postseason victory. Ohio State’s Chelsea Baker was credited with the loss and fell to 6-4 overall. CSUN’s Erin Sigala improved to 11-3 for the season. Freshman outfield Megan Schwab went 2-for-3 with one RBI and junior outfielder Karisa Evans batted 2-for-4 with one run scored.
In the bottom of the second, Buckeye designated player Ashley Cutcliff walked and shortstop Jennifer Johnson was brought in to pinch run for her at first. A sacrifice bunt by Beth McAbier put Johnson on second. Johnson scored when catcher Natalie Hales reached first on an error by CSUN shortstop Jenny Cochran. The Buckeyes led, 1-0, after two innings complete.
CSUN responded at the top of the third, but the Buckeye defense escaped by maintaining its 1-0 advantage. Shannon Acevedo singled to third base and moved to second off a Buckeye error by starting pitcher Kristi DeVries, which put Laura Hovestreydt on first base. Jade Abel was walked, which loaded the bases with two outs for CSUN. Ohio State’s DeVries caught the final CSUN batter swinging to end the half-inning. The Matadors tied things up in the top of the fourth. Sondra Milchiker reached first off an error by OSU’s Johnson, advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt by Monique Lovell. An RBI single by Acevedo brought home the tying run when Milchiker crossed home plate. Buckeye pitcher Baker was brought in to replace DeVries on the mound and Baker caught Jen Dishner swinging for the third out of the inning.
In the top of the fifth, CSUN took a 4-1 lead by scoring three runs. Hovestreydt singled to left field, moved to second off sacrifice bunt by Jenny Cochran. Christen Bedwell was intentionally walked and the bases were loaded when Milchiker was walked to first. A second Ohio State pitching change occurred when Jamee Juarez relieved Baker on the mound. Lovell was walked, which walked in Hovestreydt and put CSUN up, 2-1. A single to left centerfield by Lauren Allen brought home Bedwell and Milchiker and sent the Matadors up, 4-1.
Ohio State scored one run in the bottom of the fifth to bring the score to 4-2 in favor of CSUN. Third baseman Breana Pozzi opened the game with a single to left field, but she was caught out at second base. Karisa Evans hit a bunt single, moved to second when Nycole Koyano tallied a hit to first base. Outfielder Megan Schwab hit a single up the middle, which scored Evans and put Koyano on second. Baker was caught swinging and Koyano and Schwab rounded to third and second, respectively, because of a wild pitch.
The Buckeyes finish the season 35-25 overall and 8-11 in Big Ten competition with a 1-1 record in the 2004 Big Ten Tournament and a 1-2 finish in the 2004 NCAA Softball Tournament.