Sophomore Tory Haddad hits third homer of the season

COLUMBUS, Ohio Fifth-ranked Michigan again used a big inning this time a five-run fourth that included a grand slam to get past the Ohio State softball team, 10-1, Saturday at Buckeye Field. With the win, the Wolverines (41-4, 12-1 Big Ten) pull off the sweep of the Buckeyes (26-19, 4-10 Big Ten), who will host Penn State Sunday at noon in their final home Big Ten series of the season.

With Michigan leading 3-0 and coming to bat in the top of the third inning, the game was delayed by rain and did not resume for an hour and 57 minutes.

Pinch-hitting in the top of the fourth inning, Michigan’s Marley Powers hit a grand slam to straight-away centerfield to put the Wolverines up, 10-0. Haddad’s solo homer, her third of the season, came in the bottom of the fourth, but it would be all the offense Ohio State could muster against Michigan freshman Jordan Taylor, who improves to 22-2 in the circle this season.

“That’s an excellent Michigan team,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “I hope they continue to represent the Big Ten the way they have. Their expectations are high, and that’s what we want. We try to learn as much as we can from a team like that. We are a young team, but one thing we need to have our pitchers do a better job at is get ahead in the count. We have got to do that to be successful.”

Ohio State junior Kim Reeder, who suffered the loss in the circle Friday night, started again Saturday and pitched into the fourth inning before giving up a lead-off double and two walks. That prompted a pitching change in favor of sophomore Megan Miller, who was greeted by Powers’ grand slam. The next batter, Angela Findlay, also homered to give the Wolverines their final run and eventual second-straight run-rule victory.

Reeder should have gotten out of the first inning without allowing a run, but two OSU errors helped the Wolverines score twice. With runners on first and second, Michigan’s Maggie Viefhaus singled up the middle, allowing  Molly Bausher to score. The throw home on the play was up the line and forced a collision between OSU catcher Sam Marder and Bausher and the ball rolled away, allowing Angela Findlay to score all the way from first on the play.

The Buckeyes managed three hits in the game, those coming from Haddad’s homer and singles by senior Liz Caputo and freshman Dee Dee Hillman.

Caputo and classmate Brittany Vanderink will be honored following the second game Sunday against Penn State.

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