CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. The No. 23 nationally-ranked Ohio State softball team extended its winning streak to six games, including four over ranked opponents, by defeating No. 17/19 Nevada, 3-1, Friday night at the Cathedral City Classic. The Buckeyes are now 10-1 on the season, while the Wolf Pack falls to 7-4 overall.
“Our defense and pitching staff really won the game for us tonight, said head coach Linda Kalafatis. “We didn’t get a lot out of some of our at-bats early on, but I am really proud of the way the team held on and produced what it needed to down the stretch to come away with the win.”
Junior Sam Marder, a candidate for the USA Softball player of the year award, went 3-for-4 from the plate with one RBI to lead the Buckeyes’ offensive charge.
After four-plus innings of scoreless ball, the Wolf Pack struck first in the bottom of the fifth off a solo homerun by Sarah Hunt to right centerfield. The blast marked just the second homer given up by Kim Reeder, who earned her fifth win in the circle, this season.
“I thought this was an all-around team win,” said Marder. “We fought hard the entire game and it was the pitching staff that really kept us in the contest. I think that we are a very talented team and one with a strong desire to do what is necessary to win – and we showed that tonight.”
Ohio State answered with two runs in the top of the sixth to take over the lead and ultimately earn its third come-from-behind victory this season. Dee Dee Hillman started the sixth inning off by singling to leftfield before being advanced to third by Marder’s second double of the game and then home off a Courtney Pruner single to tie the game.
Katie Simonton, as a pinch runner for Marder, moved to third on the play and then scored off a sac fly by Tory Haddad to give the Buckeyes the lead. They then sealed the deal in the top of the seventh off another double by Marder to right center that plated Vanessa Spears.
Lindsay Bodeker, who replaced Reeder in the sixth, made quick work of the Wolf Pack lineup in the bottom of the seventh by striking out the first two batters and forcing the third into grounding out to Haddad at first for the win.
The Buckeyes take the field for day two of the Cathedral City Classic at 3 p.m. (PT) Saturday against Hawai’I, followed by an 8:30 p.m. game vs. Loyola Marymount.