Feb. 14, 2004

Box Score| Notes

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Ohio State freshman Megan Schwab blasted a three-run homerun with two outs in the top of the seventh inning to propel the Buckeye softball team to a 3-1 victory over No. 20 Oregon Saturday evening in the fourth game of the Arizona State Fiesta Bowl Classic in Phoenix.

A scoreless contest until the sixth inning, Oregon pushed across the game’s first run in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 1-0 lead. In the top of the seventh inning, Ohio State seniors Breana Pozzi (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande) and Kristi DeVries (Corona, Calif./Corona) walked and singled, respectively, to put the Buckeyes in position to take the lead. After two outs, Schwab, a native of Glendale, Ariz. (Sunrise Mountain), blasted a fastball over the fence in straight away centerfield to give Ohio State a 3-1 lead.

Freshman pitcher Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson) then allowed just one runner to reach base in the bottom of the seventh inning to complete her second consecutive victory as a Buckeye. Juarez scattered six hits, struck out three hitters and allowed just one unearned run in the game.

“I have been talking to the team about being tough, and I think we showed it today,” Linda Kalafatis, head coach, said. “We were tough against Northridge (a 2-1 OSU win Friday), but we were also winning that game. Today, we were down in the score and showed that mental toughness. I don’t think we could have showed any better toughness after Oregon got that late run.”

“After seeing it drop over, it was an amazing feeling,” Schwab said. “I’m not usually a homerun hitter, but I love pressure and I wanted to get the job done. I think it’ll really carry our team winning two close games like we have done the past two days.”

Ohio State’s seventh inning rally was exactly the type of toughness Kalafatis has been looking for.

“Breana (Pozzi) worked to get the walk and Kristi (DeVries) banged that single up the middle and gave us a chance,” Kalafatis said. “Megan (Schwab) had popped up a couple high pitches, so we made a little adjustment at the plate and she hit a pitch that was probably up by her chin, but she drove her hands through it. I can’t think of a better time to hit one. We needed a come-from-behind win early in the season and to do it today in the seventh inning was great. Jamee stayed tough through the entire game.”

Ohio State (2-2, 0-0 Big Ten) will face tournament host No. 19/20 Arizona State at noon Sunday in the final game of the weekend.