Buckeyes get two hits each from Sam Marder and Brittany Vanderink

COLUMBUS, Ohio Michigan State senior Caitlin Mahoney drove in all five Spartan runs with two home runs to beat the 24th-ranked Ohio State softball team, 5-3, Saturday at Buckeye Field. After winning 4-3 Friday night, Michigan State sweeps the Buckeyes for the first time since 1999.

Ohio State falls to 23-12 overall and 2-4 in the Big Ten, while the Spartans improve to 19-15 and 4-2 in the Big Ten with their fifth-straight win.

Michigan State pitcher Lesley Noel, who tossed a complete game victory against the Buckeyes Friday night, went 6.2 innings, striking out four and limiting Ohio State to six hits while improving to 11-9. Shae Bass got the save for Michigan State.

Noel allowed only a two-run single to Ohio State sophomore Tory Haddad in the fourth inning and an RBI double in the seventh to senior Brittany Vanderink to account for the Buckeyes’ scoring.

Ohio State junior Kim Reeder, who also threw a complete game Friday night, tossed another complete game but suffered the loss to fall to 12-9. Reeder struck out five and walked two in throwing her 11th complete game in her last 13 starts.

Michigan State led off the first and second innings with singles and the Spartans got their base runner to third base both times, but groundouts to Haddad at first and Whitney Cooper at shortstop ended both threats. In the third, a single by MSU’s Jessica LeFevre was followed by two-straight outs, but Bianca Mejia was intentionally walked and Caitlin Mahoney sent a Reeder offering over the left-field wall for her fourth homer of the season to put Michigan State on top, 3-0.

Ohio State’s two-run fourth inning saw the Buckeyes hit four singles, with Haddad’s line drive to centerfield doing the damage. Marder led off the frame with her second hit of the game and was joined on the base paths by Vanderink, who laid down a bunt single. Marder was thrown out at third when freshman Karisa Medrano bunted to the catcher, but she and Vanderink both moved into scoring position on a passed ball, bringing Haddad to the plate, who delivered her 20th and 21st RBIs of the season.

In the seventh, Marder walked and scored from first on Vanderink’s second double of the season into the right-centerfield gap.

Sunday, Ohio State will host No. 16 Northwestern in a doubleheader beginning at noon. The Buckeyes went 14-2 to win the Big Ten last year and split two games in Evanston. The Wildcats finished 15-3, 42 percentage points behind Ohio State.

Postgame Notes Michigan State 5, No. 24 Ohio State 3 … April 5, 2008
– Ohio State’s first five Big Ten games prior to Saturday were all decided by one run.
– Buckeyes at the plate: Senior Brittany Vanderink and sophomore Sam Marder notched their 15th and 12th multiple hit games of the season, respectively.
– Buckeyes in the circle: Kim Reeder has pitched in 20 of Ohio State’s last 23 games.
– Reeder has thrown 14 complete games in 18 starts this season.
– Buckeyes in the field: Sophomore catcher Sam Marder threw out her 15th base stealer of the season Saturday. Opponents have been successful stealing only 13 of 28 times against Marder this season (46 percent).
– Weather: Sunny and 51 degrees at first pitch, warming. No wind.
– The Buckeyes are now 25-9 all-time at home when ranked in the Top 25.
– Ohio State is now 49-40 all-time against Michigan State, including 24-12 at Buckeye Field.

### ###