Buckeyes ride Miller’s solid pitching, Marder’s big bat to non-conference win

By Matt Gottfried, Ohio State Athletics Communications  

COLUMBUS, Ohio For her fifth outing in a row, sophomore Megan Miller held her opponent under two earned runs as the Ohio State softball team defeated Ohio University, 7-3, Wednesday in game one of a doubleheader at Buckeye Field.

Now 32-22 overall, the Buckeyes will host OU in game two next, which will mark the final game of the regular season for the Buckeyes and the final game at current Buckeye Field before it is torn down in June for a $5.9 million renovation. The Bobcats are now 22-22.

Miller, who has surrendered just four earned runs in her last 31.1 innings pitched, went seven innings for her eighth career complete game. She also struck out five while scattering five hits.

Errors almost spoiled yet another superb pitching performance from Miller in the first inning, however, as Ohio scored three unearned runs in the top of the inning. The Bobcats’ leadoff batter reached on an error and following a single up the middle, Miller recorded the next two outs for what should have been the end of the inning. But after a walk loaded the bases, the Bobcats’ Maureen McKelvey lined a bases clearing 2-out triple to right center.

Despite being down 3-0, the Buckeyes slowly picked away at the three-run deficit by adding one run in each of the first three innings including sophomore Sam Marder’s leadoff home run in the bottom of the first and freshman Dee Dee Hillman’s RBI single in the second.

In the third, sophomore Whitney Cooper’s sacrifice fly scored sophomore Tory Haddad to tie the game, then in the fourth inning, Ohio State doubled its run total behind a Marder RBI double and a senior Brittany Vanderink RBI single. Vanderink then proceeded to pick up her 17th stolen base of the season before Haddad drove her in on the very next pitch with a liner to left center.

Freshman Rachael Shepherd’s RBI single in the sixth put Ohio State on top, 7-3, for the final margin.

Vanderink’s single was her 216 total hit in her four-year career, moving her into sole possession of fifth on the Buckeyes’ all-time hit list. She passed Krinon Clark’s total of 215 set between 1991-1994.

Marder, Vanderink and freshman Rachael Shepherd led all hitters with two hits apiece, while Marder drove in a team-high two runs and scored a pair.

Postgame Notes Ohio State 7, Ohio University 3 GAME ONE … April 30, 2008
– Not in the Box Score: Sophomore Sam Marder’s leadoff home run in the bottom of the first was Ohio State’s first such homer since Megan Schwab’s blast against Jacksonville State March 14, 2004.
– Buckeyes at the plate: Sophomore Tory Haddad’s stolen base in the bottom of the third was not only the first of her career, but it also set her up for the tying run on Whitney Cooper’s sacrifice fly to right.
– Sophomore Sam Marder’s RBI double in the third inning would hold up to be her 11th game-winning RBI of the season.
– Buckeyes in the circle: Miller threw her third complete game in her last four starts.
– Buckeyes in the field: Ohio State improved to 13-2 this season when committing only one error in the field
– Weather: Sunny and 58 degrees at first pitch. Wind 4 MPH SSW.
– Ohio State now leads the all-time series 36-20 against Ohio.

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