April 15, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team fell today, 7-6, in extra innings to the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing, Mich. The Buckeyes gave up the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to drop to 18-18 overall and 1-4 in conference action.
The Buckeyes opened their first inning strong, posting three runs for the lead as MSU’s Keri DeJong gave up two runs off two walks when the bases were loaded. With back-to-back singles from Jennifer Link and Stacy Roth, the bases were loaded when Renae Wiegel was hit by MSU’s DeJong, sending Anna Smith home. Ohio State followed with two more runs for the 3-0 lead.
However the Spartans evened the score in the bottom of the third inning.
Ohio State rallied back in the top of the fourth when Fowler led off with a single to left field. Smith then followed with another single, but would advance to second on an MSU throwing error. Link sent Fowler home on a one-run single to leftfield that was followed by Renae Weigel’s two-RBI double down the leftfield line.
Michigan State again would tie the score off a Carrie Fry double to left center. Both teams remained tied at 6-6, heading into the seventh innning and resulting into extra innings of play.
The Spartans posted the 7-6 win in the bottom of the ninth inning when Amanda Melton, with two batters on, singled to rightfield to score Shealee Dunavan.
Starting Pitcher DeJong was relieved by Erica Strutz in the first inning, but reentered in the top of the fourth inning to finish the game. She gave up only two hits, walked three and struck out eight for her 13th win of the season. Katie Chain, who relieved starting pitcher Toni Hileman, collected the loss after giving up two runs off eight hits and striking out two in six innings of play.
Ohio State will look to even the series as they take on the Spartans tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the Old College Field in East Lansing, Mich.