Reeder strikes out nine and strands 11 runners; Marder hits eighth home run

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Junior pitcher Kim Reeder got out of two bases-loaded jams to end the sixth and seventh innings as the 19th-ranked Ohio State softball team hung on for a 5-4 win over Colorado State Sunday in the final game of the Capital Classic hosted by Sacramento State.

Wrapping up their fifth and final road tournament to begin the season, the Buckeyes are 19-6 overall and are scheduled to play their next 16 games at home beginning Wednesday when No. 13 Houston visits Buckeye Field for a 2 p.m. doubleheader. The Rams committed five errors and fall to 14-7.

Reeder (10-4) struck out nine to tie her season high for the third time this season. She walked five and allowed eight hits, while three of her four runs were earned.

Ohio State sophomore Sam Marder went 3-for-3 with a double, three runs batted in and her eighth home run of the season.

Colorado State’s Lauren Cusick led the game off with a home run to centerfield, marking the first time an opponent had hit a lead-off homer against Ohio State since Aileen Morales did it for Georgia Tech March 6, 2005 at the Buzz Classic. But like the Buckeyes did back in that game against Georgia Tech, they would come back to win.

Ohio State responded with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Senior Brittany Vanderink led off with an infield single and went all the way to third when sophomore Brittany Goodchild grounded out to the third-baseman. Vanderink scored when Marder doubled down the right-field line and Marder scored on a CSU error after sophomores Whitney Cooper and Tory Haddad both walked to load the bases.

Ohio State upped its lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the second when freshman Dee Dee Hillman hit an infield single, went to second on a Vanderink sacrifice, went to third on a Goodchild groundout and scored on a Marder single to left field.

The Rams would get one back in the top of the third on another solo home run, but Ohio State reclaimed its two-run lead in the bottom of the fourth when Marder scooped a low and away offering from CSU pitcher Rebecca Penland and sent it over the left-field fence.

Neither team scored in the fifth, but both scored one run in the sixth. Colorado State utilized a hit, two walks and a hit batter to score in the sixth, but the Rams left the bases loaded when Reeder struck out Caitlin Stem looking.

The Buckeyes pushed their lead back to two runs when Cooper singled home pinch-runner Leah Ledford, who was running for the intentionally walked Marder.

CSU got itself into a similar situation in the seventh as what it produced in the sixth, but Reeder again induced a strikeout with the bases loaded.

Postgame Notes No. 19 Ohio State 5, Colorado State 4 … March 16, 2008
– Not in the Box Score: For the second-consecutive tournament (10 games), Ohio State was without pitcher Lindsay Bodeker (4-1, 1.29 ERA), who suffered a leg injury Feb. 24 at the Palm Springs Classic.
– The last two times Ohio State has given up a lead-off home run, the Buckeyes came back to score five runs and win. In addition to Sunday’s comeback 5-4 win, Ohio State came back and won, 5-3, after giving up a lead-off homer to Georgia Tech March 6, 2005 at the Buzz Classic.
– Buckeyes at the plate: Senior Brittany Vanderink scored her 116th career run Sunday to move into sixth place on the Ohio State career runs list. Stacy Roth (1999-2002) previously ranked sixth. Megan Schwab (2004-07) ranks fifth with 124 runs.
– Vanderink went 1-for-3 to extend her hitting streak to eight games.
– Sophomore Sam Marder hit her eighth homer of the season Sunday and 18th of her career, which moves her into a tie for fourth-place all-time at Ohio State with Megan Schwab (2004-07). Marder’s eight homers this season are already tied for seventh in a single season at Ohio State.
– Marder went 3-for-3 to extend her hitting streak to nine games, which ties her season high. Marder also notched her team-leading 10th multiple RBI game of the season and has 35 RBIs this season.
– For the second-consecutive weekend, freshman Dee Dee Hillman led the Buckeyes in batting. She batted .467 (7-for-15) in Ohio State’s five games in Sacramento.
– Buckeyes in the circle: Junior Kim Reeder has thrown complete games in each of her last six starts and in 10 of 12 starts overall this season.
– Ohio State is now 17-1 this season when leading or tied after four innings.
– The Buckeyes now lead the all-time series with Colorado State, 4-1.
– Ohio State is now 65-32 all-time when ranked.
– Weather: Sunny and 58 degrees at first pitch. Wind 17 MPH NNW.

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Contact: Tim Stried,