April 17, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team scored all five of its runs with two outs in the fifth inning to come back from a 2-0 deficit and top Illinois, 5-3, Sunday in game one of a double-header at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes (20-13, 4-5 Big Ten) snap their three-game Big Ten skid and send the Fighting Illini (18-23, 0-11 Big Ten) to their 11th-consecutive Big Ten loss.
The Buckeyes rattled off five consecutive singles in the fifth inning to score their five runs and complete their fifth come-from-behind win of the season and second in Big Ten play. Ohio State ended the game with nine hits, all singles, to improve to 19-2 when outhitting or having the same number of hits as its opponent. For just the second time this season, the Buckeyes did not strikeout out once in the contest.
Ohio State sophomore Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson), starting in the circle for the 10th-consecutive game, retired the first nine Fighting Illini in order and wound up with her 15th complete game of the season and 16th win, improving to 16-10. Juarez struck out three and scattered seven hits.
After keeping the Buckeyes off the scoreboard through the first four innings, Illinois starter Claire DeVreese (4-12) retired the first two batters of the fifth inning, but would then walk two hitters and give up the first hit of the inning before being replaced in the circle by Mary Miller, who gave up three more consecutive singles. DeVreese then came back into the game and gave up another run-scoring single, but was able to go the rest of the way for the Illini.
OSU sophomore Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut) and senior Karisa Evans (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) started off the fifth inning by walking before sophomore Megan Schwab (Glendale, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain) and senior Ashley Cutcliff (Zionsville, Ind./U. of Florida) hit RBI singles. Sophomore Christina Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson) then hit a two-RBI single, Juarez singled and junior Billie Jo Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina) hit an RBI single to bring home the fifth OSU run of the inning. Illinois’ Rachelle Coriddi led off the fourth inning with a single and two batters later Jenna Hall hit her seventh home run of the season to put Illinois up, 2-0. The Illini tacked on two more hits in the frame, but Ohio State Evans, in right field, threw a perfect toss to catcher Natalie Hales (sr., Canton, Ohio/Eastern Michigan) to nab an Illinois runner trying to score for the third out of the inning.
The Illini added another run in the sixth inning when Molly Lawhead knocked an RBI double, but it would be all the scoring Juarez would allow.
Juarez and Cutcliff were both 2-for-3 to lead Ohio State. Koyano and Evans both singled in the first inning but were left on base, while senior Meghan Rowlands (Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready) singled in the sixth inning and stole second. Freshman Stephanie Hill (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville), pinch-running for Cutcliff after her single in the fifth, scored her 13th run of the season.
The Buckeyes and Fighting Illini will meet in game two of the double-header at approximately 2:20 Sunday.
### GO BUCKS! ###