Sophomore’s first career triple clears bases with two outs in Buckeyes’ last at bat

MADISON, Wis. Down 3-2 with two outs and the bases loaded in the Buckeyes’ last at bat, sophomore Tory Haddad launched her first career triple a shot off the bottom of the fence in right-centerfield and the Ohio State softball team would go on to post a 6-3 win at Wisconsin Sunday in game one of a doubleheader at Goodman Diamond in Madison.

The Buckeyes (30-20, 6-11 Big Ten) had only one hit and trailed 3-0 heading into the top of the seventh when they exploded for all six of their runs on four hits, a walk and two hit by pitches.

Wisconsin (14-37, 2-14 Big Ten) saw its left-handed junior pitcher Leah Vanevenhoven nearly pull off what would have been her finest outing of the season and first Big Ten win after 10-straight losses. She struck out six in 6.1 innings and allowed only five base runners through the first six innings. 

But in the top of the seventh, the Buckeyes batted around to pull off their 10th come-from-behind win of the season. Sophomore Rebecca Schultz led off by being hit by a pitch. After a ground out, senior Liz Caputo single to center and pinch-hitter Karisa Medrano walked to load the bases. Sophomore Sam Marder then laced a single to left-center to bring home the first run and pinch-hitter Leah Ledford was hit by a pitch to score the second.

After Vanevenhoven’s sixth and final strikeout put out No. 2 on the scoreboard, Haddad stepped to the plate with her Buckeyes down a run. On a one-ball, one-strike pitch, she sent a fly ball to the fence in right-center and did not stop running until she slid into third and Ohio State was on top, 5-3.

That chased Vanevenhoven from the game and OSU freshman Rachael Shepherd greeted Wisconsin reliever Letty Olivarez with an infield single to the shortstop to score Haddad and give the Buckeyes their final run.

The Badgers loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but OSU junior pitcher Kim Reeder got her seventh strikeout for the second out and Haddad fielded a ground ball at first for the final out.

Reeder went unscathed through three innings, surrendering only one hit, before being touched up by Valyncia Raphael, who led off the bottom of the fourth with home run to right-centerfield. The Badgers scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth. Now 16-14 in the circle this season, Reeder scattered six hits and gave up only one earned run.

With her one-hitter through six, Vanevenhoven (5-22) kept the Buckeyes off balance and got stellar defense behind her, especially from third baseman Theresa Boruta. Both times Ohio State got a runner into scoring position through the first six innings, Boruta gobbled up hard ground balls at the hot corner and threw out the OSU base runner at first.

Through six innings Ohio State had only a double by Shepherd in the fourth inning to show for its efforts at the plate.

Shepherd’s double in the fourth inning came after Haddad walked, putting two runners in scoring position with one out. Sophomore Rebecca Schultz then grounded sharply right at Boruta at third on a ball that would have most likely skipped into left field for a base hit had it been a foot left or right.

Shepherd was the lone Buckeye to notch two hits in the game, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Haddad’s three RBI tied her career high.

The Buckeyes and Badgers will begin game two of the doubleheader at approximately 2:50 p.m. CT Saturday.

Postgame Notes Ohio State 6, Wisconsin 3 GAME ONE … April 26, 2008
– With the win, Ohio State notched win No. 30 on the season. The Buckeyes have won at least 30 games the last five-straight seasons. 
– Of the Buckeyes’ 10 come-from-behind wins this season, six have come when they trailed after the fifth inning.
– Buckeyes at the plate: Sophomore Sam Marder’s RBI single in the seventh inning was her 50th RBI of the season (one shy of second-place on the Ohio State single-season RBI list) and it marked her 99th career RBI, which already ranks third all-time at Ohio State.
– Buckeyes in the circle: Kim Reeder is now 3-0 in her career against Wisconsin with a 1.94 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 18 innings.
– Reeder has thrown complete games in 21 of her 28 starts this season.
– Buckeyes in the field: Catcher Sam Marder threw out her 20th base stealer in the game, which continues to build on her season total that is the most since catcher’s statistics are available in 1998. Opponents have been successful 23 times against Marder, who leads the league in both thrown-out stealing totals and opponents’ lowest success rate (54-percent).
– Weather: Cloudy and 44 degrees at first pitch. Wind 21-30 MPH out to centerfield.
– With their third-straight win over Wisconsin dating back to 2006, the Buckeyes are now 15-16 all-time against Wisconsin, including 3-10 at Goodman Diamond.

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Contact: Tim Stried,