May 2, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team (32-20; 7-9 Big Ten) beat Indiana (30-30; 5-12 Big Ten), 4-3, Sunday afternoon in game one at the Varsity Softball Complex in Bloomington, Ind. After three innings with no runs for either squad, Ohio State tallied three scores at the top of the fourth and one at the top of the fifth. Indiana answered when Kim Richards nailed a homerun at the bottom of the fifth and the Hoosiers tacked on two more runs at the bottom of the sixth, but the Buckeyes held on for their seventh conference victory of the season.
Ohio State pitcher Kristi DeVries won her sixth-consecutive game and improved to 14-9 on the year. Indiana’s Megan Roark moved to 10-10 on the season.
In the top of the second, DeVries singled to right field and shortstop Jennifer Johnson came in to run for the Buckeye pitcher. An error by IU’s first baseman Karly McCormack put catcher Natalie Hales on second and Johnson on third base, but both Buckeye runners were left on base.
Ashley Cutcliff walked and Nicole Lancaster was brought in to run at first to open the fourth. A sacrifice bunt by DeVries put Lancaster on second and a Hales single that dropped over the Hoosier first baseman’s head moved Lancaster to third. Indiana’s Meghan Connors relieved pitcher Megan Roark on the mound. Hales stole second and Beth McAbier was credited with an RBI when Lancaster scored to put OSU up, 1-0. McAbier reached first on the fielder’s choice and Hales advanced to third. McAbier stole second and both Hales and McAbier were sent home off a double to left field by Nycole Koyano, which sent the Buckeyes up, 3-0, at the end of the top of the fourth.
At the top of the fifth, Megan Schwab, who was 2-for-3 with one run, was hit by a pitch to reach first. The Hoosiers made their second pitching change of the day when Heather Stillians was brought in to relieve Bogado. Jamee Juarez singled up the middle to move Schwab to second. An error by the IU second baseman Ashley Griffiths put Lancaster on first, moved Juarez to third and sent Schwab home to give the Buckeyes a 4-0 advantage. Lancaster stole second and Juarez was caught stealing home. Two more OSU outs ended the top of the fifth.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Indiana’s Richards nailed a home run over the left-field fence to bring the Hoosiers to within three, 4-1, of the visiting Buckeyes. Val White reached first on a Buckeye error and was left on base when Rachel Terry hit a fly foul ball to third baseman Juarez for the third out.
In the bottom of the sixth, Indiana’s offense caught fire. Griffiths was walked to open the inning and advanced to second off a hit by Abby Stark to the shortstop. Heather Hohs came in to pinch run for Stark at first. Stillians reached first on a fielder’s choice, Hohs moved to second base and Griffiths was out trying to advance to third base. A single to left field by Tory Yamaguchi loaded the bases for the Hoosiers with Hohs on third and Stillians on second. Abby Page came in to run for Yamaguchi at first base. Lauren Hines reached first on a fielder’s choice and was credited with an RBI when teammate Hohs crossed home plate to bring IU within two runs, 4-2, of Ohio State. On the same play, Page went to second on a Buckeye error by shortstop Johnson and Stillians advanced to third base. Connors came in to run at first base for Hines. McCormack earned an RBI when Stillians scored to bring the score to 4-3 in favor of Ohio State after six complete.
Schwab singled at the top of the seventh, but was left on base. For Indiana, Griffiths singled to left field with two outs, but was left on base to end the game.
Ohio State faces the Hoosiers in game two immediately following game one in Bloomington. The Buckeyes travel to Penn State for games at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in State College, Pa.