March 22, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio— The Indiana softball team dropped its Big Ten opener with Ohio State, 9-5, in the first of its three games this weekend at Buckeye Field in Columbus, Ohio.
Five of the Hoosiers’ eight hits were for extra bases this afternoon, with Amanda Wagner pacing Indiana’s offense with a double, a triple and two RBI for a 2-for-3 outing. Shannon Cawley knocked in three runs with a sacrifice fly and a two-run homer, while Brianna Meyer went 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored.
Meaghan Murphy got the start and lasted 2.1 innings before giving way to Lora Olson. Olson became the pitcher of record to fall to 6-6 on the year. She tossed 1.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits before Brooke Boetjer checked in to close out the final 2.1 innings.
The Hoosiers struck for three runs after the IU lineup combined for the cycle on a single, double, triple and homerun in the top of the third inning. Kelsey Brannon singled to shortstop to put a runner on base with one out, but the senior was picked off at first for the second out of the frame. On the next pitch, Meyer drove a triple off of the center field wall on a hit that would have easily scored Brannon. Wagner would finally give the Hoosiers that run, as the senior connected on her 30th hit of the season in the form of an RBI-double to center. With Wagner now on second, Cawley put the bat on the ball and watched it exit the park over the right-center field fence to give Indiana a 3-0 lead.
Ohio State responded with a four-hit bottom of the third to tie the ballgame at three. Megan Coletta led off driving a ball to center field that drifted in the wind before falling in for a double. OSU’s Caitlin Conrad laid down a sac bunt which successfully moved the runner to third, but an IU miscue on the play allowed the runner to continue on and score as Conrad advanced to second. Later in that inning, Evelyn Carrillo hit a two-out, two-run double off the leftfield wall to tie the contest at three runs apiece before the Hoosiers coaxed a strikeout and a fly out to end the inning.
Indiana put itself in prime position to plate some runs in the fourth after starting the inning with back-to-back hits. Shelby Gogreve led off with a towering double to right field and moved to third on Murphy’s single through the right side. Jena Malmen hit a fielder’s choice that got Murphy at second for the first out of the inning, leaving runners at the corners with one out for Lexi Reese. The freshman pushed a ball to the right side, but Malmen was called for interference before Reese was thrown out at first.
Another four hits from the Buckeyes in the bottom of the fourth drove in another three runs to put Ohio State ahead, 6-3, but Indiana would cut the deficit with a pair of runs in the fifth. Meyer watched four straight pitches for a one-out walk and would soon be waved in to score on a Wagner triple to left. Cawley followed with a sac fly to deep right field which allowed plenty of time for Wagner to tag and score on the play, bringing the Hoosiers within one.
In the bottom of the sixth, OSU’s Caitlin Conrad knocked a ball to left to drive in a two and push the Buckeyes ahead, 8-5 before Taylor Watkins pushed it to 9-5 with an RBI single to right.
The Hoosiers needed four runs to stay alive as they headed into the top of the seventh inning, but three consecutive balls put into play for outs would end the game and deal the Hoosiers their first loss in conference play.
Indiana will face Ohio State in a doubleheader tomorrow to close out its first weekend of conference play. The first pitch of game one is slated for 1 p.m. EST.