May 20, 2022

Oregon State Slips Past Ohio State to Open NCAA Tournament


2022 Season Stats // Box Score // 2022 Schedule & Results // 2022 Roster // Tournament Bracket

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. The Ohio State softball team opened play at the Knoxville Regional on Friday afternoon but dropping a hard-fought 4-3 decision to Oregon State at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium. The Buckeyes trailed 4-1 late in the game, but battled back with a two-run double in the sixth inning and then loaded the bases in the seventh but couldn’t push across the tying or winning runs.

All isn’t lost for the Buckeyes, though. They will have another game tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. against the loser of tonight’s Tennessee/Campbell game. If they win, they’ll play another elimination game tomorrow night with a chance to get to the regional final on Sunday.

The Short Story
After falling behind 4-1 through four and a half innings, the Buckeyes fought their way back thanks to a senior who once again came up clutch in a big moment.

Kaitlyn Coffman delivered a pinch-hit two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning to make the score 4-3 in favor of Oregon State. The Buckeyes then seemed poised to make another push in the seventh inning when the first three batters of the final frame got on base thanks to hits by Meggie Otte and Melina Wilkison and a walk by pinch hitter Taylor Heckman.

Oregon State, however, recorded the next three outs via an infield pop up and back to back strikeouts.

How The Runs Were Scored
Bottom 1st:
Niki Carver collected her 39th RBI of the second when a ground out to the pitcher that scored Jaycee Ruberti, who had reached on a fielder’s choice. Melina Wilkison started the inning off with a single to third base, extending her hitting streak to four games.

Top 3rd: Oregon State’s Madison Simon led off the top of the third with a solo home run, her seventh of the season, to tie the score at 1-1.

Top 4th: The Beavers took their first lead of the day with a two-out error allowed a pair of runs to come around and score, putting Oregon State ahead 3-1.

Top 5th: A bases loaded walk allowed the fourth Oregon State run to come across the plate. Further damage was avoided, however, when Niki Carver made a diving catch and turned a double play at first base to end the inning.

Bottom 6th: Pinch hitter Kaitlyn Coffman came up in a big spot in the bottom of the sixth and delivered, hitting a two-run double off the center field wall to cut the Oregon State lead to 4-3. The hit scored pinch runners Tegan Cortelletti and Lindsey Potter.

Kaitlyn Coffman on her two-run pinch hit double:
“At this point in the season, you grasp and understand your role. When my number was called I wanted to make sure I was mentally prepared to do my job for my team.”

Taylor Pack on coming back tomorrow: “This isn’t the first time we’ve lost a game. We know how to come back from a loss. We’ll whip the day that we had and come back new tomorrow. We can do it. We’ve done it before.”

Kelly Kovach Schoenly on today’s game: “It was a very tough, hard-fought battle. I really believed we were going to take it there at the end. All the credit to them for making two great pitches when she needed to. We’re ready to fight and keep moving on here in this tournament. We have a lot more softball to play.”

Buckeye That and That

  • Ohio State scored first for the 37th time in 51 games this season.
  • Melina Wilkison’s three-hit day was her 16th multi-hit game of the season, the most on the team.
  • Coffman is hitting .365 this season as a pinch hitter and has nine hits in 25 at-bats.
  • She’s also been one of Ohio State’s best hitters with two outs. For the season, she’s batting .471 with two away and has seven two-out RBI.
  • The Buckeyes are making their 12th overall NCAA Tournament appearance and the fifth in the last six tournaments.