April 23, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Pitchers Shelby Hursh and Olivia O’Reilly combined to allow just one run and Taylor Watkins notched four hits as the Ohio State softball team swept a doubleheader from Penn State on Wednesday at Buckeye Field. With the victories, the Buckeyes are now 22-23 overall and 8-9 in the big Ten. Penn State falls to 14-28, 5-12.
Game One: Ohio State 3, Penn State 1
O’Reilly earned her team-leading 10th win of the year by pitching six scoreless innings while Watkins provided what proved to be the game winning run in the third inning with a solo home run to left center field.
Ohio State got on the scoreboard in the first inning thanks to some heads-up base running. With two outs, Penn State had Evelyn Carrillo caught in a run down, but Watkins alertly stole home before Carrillo was tagged out to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. That lead stood up until the bottom of the third when Watkins blasted her fifth home run of the season, giving Ohio State a 2-0 edge.
Penn State did not get their first hit until the bottom of the third, but the Nittany Lions threatened in that inning when Sam Shannon attempted to score from second on a base hit by Lexi Knief. Watkins, however, threw a strike to catcher Melissa Rennie who tagged her out at the plate, preserving Ohio State’s 2-0 lead.
The Buckeyes tacked on an important run in the bottom of the fifth when Keelia Nester came home on a RBI single from Cammi Prantl. Penn State went quietly in the sixth despite a double by Shelby Miller, and in the seventh, Alyssa Sovereign to lead off the inning but was thrown out by Prantl as she attempted to stretch it into a double. The next batter, Kristina Brackpool, hit a home run to right center, but the game ended on a strikeout and line out.
Game Two: Ohio State 3, Penn State 1
Hursh pitched her third complete game of the season, limiting Penn State to just three hits while striking out nine. At the plate, senior Evelyn Carrillo hit a solo home run, the 200th hit of her career, while Watkins had a pair of doubles in the winning effort.
Carrillo’s home run came to lead off the bottom of the second. He is just the 11th player in school history to reach the 200-hit mark. The score remained 1-0 heading into the fourth inning thanks to Hursh, who struck out the side in the third. Watkins and Prantl hit back-to-back double to nearly the identical spot in center field to lead off the fourth. Prantl’s double scored Watkins, giving Ohio State a 2-0 lead. Penn State’s Macy Jones was able to retire Carrillo, Rennie and Melaina Saalfeld to end the threat, however.
From there, Hursh shut down Penn State, allowing just one base runner in the seventh. The freshman from Tipton, Ind., picked up her fourth win of the season.
At the plate, Watkins was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Conrad, Prantl, Carrillo, Leesa Gresham and Nester all recorded hits as well.
Ohio State returns to action on Friday, April 25, when it hosts No. 25 Northwestern in the first game of a three-game set at Buckeye Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.