No. 19 Ohio State ends two-game skid; Vanderink and Goodchild combine for five hits

SACRAMENTO, Calif. A five-run sixth inning put the exclamation point on the end of a two-game slide as the No. 19 Ohio State softball team beat Northern Colorado, 9-5, Saturday at the Capital Classic in Sacramento, Calif. The Buckeyes (18-6) pounded out 12 hits and capitalized on five errors by the Bears (6-23).

Ohio State plated three runs in the top of the second inning, one in the third and five more in the sixth. Sophomore Rebecca Schultz went 2-for-4 with an RBI and her first two collegiate doubles.

“This weekend we haven’t been as tough for some reason as I’d like us to be, but we keep on battling,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “Were not having our best weekend, but we have found a way to win a couple. And tomorrow we play a Colorado State team that is off to its best start, so we have come out prepared and focused. That will determine if we have a successful weekend.”

Ohio State got a 2-for-5 game at the plate from senior Brittany Vanderink in the lead-off spot, including a triple, and a 3-for-5 performance from freshman Brittany Goodchild in the No. 2 spot.

Sophomore pitcher Megan Miller got the win with 5.1 innings and four strikeouts and is now 5-1 this season. She allowed seven hits and five runs, only three of which were earned. Junior Kim Reeder relieved her in the sixth and allowed only one hit in 1.2 innings to close the door on the Bears.

In the Buckeyes’ three-run second inning, freshmen Rachael Shepherd and Dee Dee Hillman singled to kick-start the inning and they both scored when Vanderink notched a bunt single and the late throw to first bounced away. Vanderink advanced to third on the play and scored one batter later when Goodchild singled to the pitcher.

In the third inning, Schultz hit the first her two doubles and went to third when the Bears booted a grounder hit by Shepherd. Senior Liz Caputo then struck out, but the ball got away from the catcher, allowing Schultz to score.

The Buckeyes went quietly in the fourth and again in the fifth despite a single by sophomore Whitney Cooper, who stole second and went to third on a throwing error.

In the sixth, Ohio State got the big inning it had been looking for this weekend with five runs off four hits and two errors. Hillman walked to lead off the inning and scored when Vanderink hit her second triple of the season. Goodchild and Marder then reached to load the bases and freshman Karisa Medrano grounded an RBI single through the left side to score Vanderink. With the bases still loaded, Cooper grounded to third and the Bears forced Goodchild out at the plate, but she collided with the catcher on the play and the attempted throw down to first for a double-play went into right field, allowing Medrano and Marder to both score. Schultz then stepped to the plate and drilled her second double to bring home Cooper, which would end the scoring for Ohio State.

Northern Colorado tacked on three runs in the bottom of the sixth, prompting Reeder’s relief appearance, but Marder handled a sharp grounder at first for the second out and Reeder notched a strikeout for the third out.

Sunday, the Buckeyes will take on Colorado State at 9 a.m. PT.

Postgame Notes No. 19 Ohio State 9, Northern Colorado 5 … March 15, 2008
– Ohio State is now 16-1 this season when leading or tied after four innings.
– Buckeyes at the plate: Senior Brittany Vanderink hit her 11th-career triple in the game to move into a tie for fourth place on the OSU career triples list with former All-American Anna Smith (1999-2002).
– Vanderink went 2-for-5 at the plate for her team-leading 13th multiple-hit game of the season. Now owning a seven-game hitting streak, she has at least once hit in 22 of Ohio State’s 24 games this season.
– Sophomore Rebecca Schultz smacked her first two career doubles in the game, which also marked her first career multiple-hit game.
– Sophomore Sam Marder went 1-for-3 to up her current hitting streak to eight games, which is one shy of her season high and two shy of her career high. She has at least one hit in all but four games this season and at least one RBI in all but six.
– Buckeyes in the field: Sam Marder made her second start of the season at first base in the game and Rebecca Schultz made her sixth start of the year at third.
– The all-time series between Ohio State and Northern Colorado is now tied, 3-3.

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