April 26, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sophomore Cammi Prantl hit a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning to plate the winning runs for Ohio State in an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over No. 25 Northwestern. With the win, the Buckeyes assured themselves on an overall series win against the Wildcats and also improved their overall record to 24-23 (10-9 Big Ten). Northwestern falls to 29-13, 11-8.
In a back-and-fourth game, eight different players recorded hits for Ohio State. Caitlin Conrad went 1-for-3 with a three-run home run, Taylor Watkins was 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored and Leesa Gresham was 2-for-2 with a double and a single. In the circle, freshman Shelby Hursh started the game and eventually came back in the seventh inning to record her fourth save of the year. She struck out NU’s Mari Majam for the game’s final out.
The Buckeyes got on the scoreboard first thanks to an RBI single to right field from Evelyn Carrillo, who scored Conrad. Northwestern quickly tired the game in the next half inning thanks a sacrifice fly by Brianna LeBeau. Ohio State re-took the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Keelia Nester and Melanie Iacoangeli executed a perfect double steal. Iacoangeli was safe at home while Nester took second base.
Northwestern loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third but was only able to push two runs across. Hursh got back-to-back strikeouts of Anna Edwards and LeBeau to end the threat. Ohio State tired the game in the bottom half of the inning on a solo home run by Watkins, her sixth of the year. In the bottom of the fourth, Conrad blasted a three-run shot to the deepest part of center field, giving the Buckeyes a 6-3 lead.
That advantage was short lived, however, as Northwestern scored four times in the top of the fifth on six hits. The damage could have been worse, however, but a 5-4-2 double play yielded two outs and Olivia O’Reilly strikeout of Paige Tonz ended the frame.
In the sixth, Nester got things started with a single through the left side of the infield. The next batter, Conrad, flew out to center, but Watkins reached an error by the first basemen and Prantl delivered the biggest hit of the game, a two-run double to the left center field gap.
Northwestern had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh inning, but Hursh got Emily Allard to fly out to left and Majam on a strikeout.
Ohio State and Northwestern close out their three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. Prior to the start of the game, the Buckeyes will honor eight seniors.