April 3, 2005

Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team topped host Minnesota, 5-1, in game two of a double-header Sunday in Jane Sage Cowles Stadium as the Buckeyes concluded their first-ever sweep of the Golden Gophers in Minneapolis. Ohio State, which beat Minnesota 13-1 in game one, evens its Big Ten record at 2-2 and is now 18-10 overall, while Minnesota sees its record slip to 16-16 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten.

After suffering a pair of hard-fought defeats at Wisconsin Friday (2-1) and Saturday (9-7 in extra innings), the Buckeyes erupted for 24 hits and 18 runs in the two games Sunday.

“We talked about it Saturday after the game (at Wisconsin) and we said we wanted to get angry and take it o out on Minnesota, and we were able to do that,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “In the midst of getting a pride check, we had the confidence today to come back strong. Every time this season that our kids have had their backs up against the wall, they’ve always responded, and it was another chance to do that today and sure enough we did.”

Ohio State has one previous sweep of Minnesota, but that came in Columbus when the two teams met in 1994. The Buckeyes won all four games against the Golden Gophers that year when the Big Ten played four-game conference series.

The Buckeyes pieced together three run in the fourth inning to overcome a 1-0 Minnesota lead, then OSU sophomore Christina Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson) blasted a two-run home run in the fourth inning to seal the verdict. Douglas, who went a career-best 4-for-4 with two doubles in game one of the double-header, went 1-for-3 in game two.

OSU sophomore Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) pitched all seven innings, scattering six hits and striking out three to win her 14th game of the season against seven losses. That win total already surpasses her win total from a year ago when she went 13-10 as a freshman. She also had a game-high four fielding assists but saw her career-best 11-game hitting streak come to an end.

Freshman Liz Caputo (Riverside, Calif./Riverside Poly) notched her second-consecutive 3-for-3 game to conclude the Minnesota series a perfect 6-for-6 at the plate with two RBI. She homered in the first game and doubled in game two.

The Buckeyes tied a season-high with four doubles, with one of those coming from junior Billie Jo Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina) in the fourth inning to drive in Ohio State’s third run of the frame. Carder ended the day 2-for-3, as did senior Ashley Cutcliff (Zionsville, Ind./U. of Florida). Cutcliff concluded the Minnesota series 5-for-7.

Cutcliff led off the fourth inning with a double, with pinch runner Stephanie Hill (Fr., Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) entering the game in her place to run at second base. After Juarez reached on an error, Hill scored on an RBI single by Caputo. Juarez then scored when she and Caputo turned a first-and-third double-steal. Carder then smacked her double to left field to send Caputo across the plate and a 3-0 Buckeye lead. Sophomore Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut) doubled later in the inning but was thrown out trying to stretch it into what would have been her seventh triple of the season.

Sophomore Megan Schwab (Glendale, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain), who was walked by Minnesota three times in game one, singled in the fifth inning, bringing Douglas to the plate to deposited Gopher starting pitcher Mandy Valadez’s offering over the fence in left-centerfield. The Buckeyes loaded the bases after Douglas’ homer, but Minnesota reliever Lyn Peyer was able to work out of the jam.

Freshman Brittany Vanderink (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood) collected her 10th stolen base of the season, that coming in the fifth inning, to move into a tie for fourth place on the freshman single-season stolen bases list.

Ohio State remains on the road next weekend when it travels to Michigan State for single games Friday and Saturday. Ohio State’s first six Big Ten games are all away from Columbus for just the second time in program history.

### GO BUCKS! ###