Buckeyes no-hit at home for first time since 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio Northwestern sophomore Lauren Delaney tossed an 11-strikeout no-hitter to lead her 16th-ranked Wildcats to a 7-0 win over the No. 24 Ohio State softball team Sunday in game one of a doubleheader at Buckeye Field.

It marks the first time the Buckeyes have been no-hit at home since March 30, 2001, by Iowa’s Sarah Thompson.

Ohio State (23-13, 2-5 Big Ten) had four base runners in the game from three walks and a fourth-inning hit by pitch, but only one Buckeye got into scoring position.

Northwestern (19-9, 5-0 Big Ten) has won six straight. Delaney, a third-team All-Big Ten selection last year, improves to 17-6 on the season. The no-hitter is the fourth this season by Delaney.

Starting her third-consecutive game of the weekend in the circle for Ohio State, junior Kim Reeder went 6.1 innings and suffered the loss to fall to 12-9 on the season.

Northwestern got on the board quickly with a run in the top of the first inning. Junior Tammy Williams, who joins Ohio State sophomore Sam Marder on the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List, walked and scored from first on a double into the left-centerfield gap by freshman Michelle Batts. Reeder then got two strikeouts, however, to end the inning.

The Wildcats loaded the bases in the second inning with the final base runner coming via an intentional walk to Williams, but Reeder got a fly out to end the inning. Reeder cruised through the third and fourth innings with two strikeouts, a groundout to freshman Rachael Shepherd at third base and a thrown-out stealing by Marder.

Northwestern got back on the scoreboard in the fifth inning when Williams singled to the shortstop and Batts singled up the middle and the throw to third base went into the Ohio State dugout, allowing Williams to score and send Batts to third. She scored two batters later on a groundout to first base by Erin Dyer.

A three-spot by Northwestern in the top of the sixth inning put the game out of reach. A single by Kelly Quinn was followed by an RBI triple from Robin Thompson. A walk and a fielder’s choice loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly from Williams brought home the second run of the inning. An RBI single up the middle by Batts was the final run-producing hit of the inning and the Wildcats loaded the bases and scored on a hit batter in the seventh.

The Buckeyes and Wildcats conclude the doubleheader with game two at 2:15 p.m. Sunday.

Postgame Notes No. 16 Northwestern 7, No. 24 Ohio State 0 GAME ONE … April 6, 2008
– Buckeyes in the circle: Kim Reeder has pitched in 21 of Ohio State’s last 24 games.
– Buckeyes in the field: Sophomore catcher Sam Marder threw out her 16th base stealer of the season Sunday in game one. Opponents have been successful stealing only 13 of 29 times against Marder this season (45 percent).
– Weather: Sunny and 56 degrees at first pitch, warming. Wind 7 MPH out to centerfield.
– Ohio State is now 24-56 all-time against Northwestern, but leads the series at Buckeye Field, 17-9.
– Northwestern has 12 letterwinners and seven starters back from its 2007 team that went 52-13 and made its second-consecutive trip to the NCAA Women’s College World Series.

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