Hoosiers Outlast Buckeyes In Nine-Inning Marathon
March 23, 2013
Box Score (HTML)
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In what turned out to be nearly three hours of an absolute seesaw battle, the Indiana softball team outlasted Ohio State, 6-4, in a nine-inning marathon for the opening half of the two teams' doubleheader this afternoon in Columbus, Ohio. The Hoosiers' win deals OSU its first loss in conference play and snaps the Buckeyes seven-game winning steak.
Both teams stranded a combined 30 runners in the contest, totalled 94 at bats and posted 20 hits between the two squads, with Indiana (16-15, 1-1 B1G) earning 11 of those compared to the Buckeyes' (19-9, 1-1 B1G) nine. Nine of the Hoosiers' 11 hits came from its 1-2-3 batters, with Brianna Meyer leading the way with a career-best 4-for-4 effort. She reached in all six of her plate appearances, drawing two walks, scoring three times and driving in a pair of runs on the eventual game-winning homerun in the ninth. Amanda Wagner was 3-for-3 and also reached in each of her six appearances, as she was hit by a pitch twice and walked once to go alongside three singles on the day. Wagner's performance extends her hit streak to eight games and represents the sixth multi-hit effort in just as many contests. Shannon Cawley drove in a pair on two singles, while Lexi Reese homered for the first time in her career and Meaghan Murphy collected her first double of the season.
Each squad went through two pitchers, with IU's own Meaghan Murphy (9-8) picking up the win in 6.1 innings of work. The lefty fanned six OSU batters and held them to five hits without allowing a single run. Brooke Boetjer got the start for Indiana, tossing the first 2.2 innings and struck out two while giving up just one earned run.
Ohio State's Alex DiDominco became the pitcher of record for the Buckeyes, dropping to 7-3 on the year. She completed the final 4.2 innings in the circle and gave up three runs, one earned, on five hits while striking out two.
Indiana wasted no time to strike, stringing together two hits for a run in the first. Meyer led things off with a four-pitch walk. Wagner singled back up the middle to put runners at first and second for Cawley. The sophomore took the first pitch she saw and hammered it through the left side, allowing Meyer to wheel around from second and give the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead.
The Buckeyes manufactured a run in the second to tie the game at one. Evelyn Carrillo doubled for Ohio State and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. With one out, OSU's Shelby Pickett put down the squeeze bunt successfully and put the Buckeyes on the board.
Much like the first inning, Meyer reached on four straight pitches out of the strike zone and advanced to second on Wagner's second single of the day. After a fly ball and a fielder's choice, Shelby Gogreve dug in at the plate with two outs and runners at first and second. Gogreve turned on one and sent it deep to left in what should have cleared the bases for Indiana, but OSU's Cammi Prantl made a difficult over-the-shoulder catch to rob Gogreve of an extra-base hit.
In the third, an IU error eventually helped Ohio State to three unearned runs to take a 4-1 lead. A mishandled throw on a leadoff bunt attempt put a base runner at first for the Buckeyes. The runner would eventually come around and score after a sac bunt and a single to centerfield. Back-to-back two-out singles in that same frame gave OSU a 4-1 lead, resulting in a pitching change for Indiana. Murphy checked into the circle and got the final out of the inning with a fly out to second base.
Indiana cut its deficit to two runs on a fourth inning, no-doubter from Reese. The freshman's first career homerun exited Buckeye Field in left and landed well beyond the 190-foot fence, setting the score at 4-2. After the next two batters were retired, Kelsey Brannon walked and Meyer singled to give a pair of runners for Wagner. The senior did not disappoint, collecting her third hit of the game with an RBI single to center that brought the Hoosiers within one.
After a scoreless fifth, Indiana tied the game at four with a one-run outing in the sixth. Meyer represented the tying run when she reached on a single to left field. She later moved to second after Wagner was hit by a pitch and then eventually came around to score on Cawley's RBI-single.
Both teams failed to take a lead in the seventh, sending them into extra innings.
Meyer put the Hoosiers in prime position to do some damage in the top half of the eighth with a leadoff double to left center. Wagner was hit by a pitch for the second consecutive time, giving Cawley another opportunity to drive in the go-ahead run. Cawley sent one to right, not far enough to score any runs, but deep enough for Meyer to tag and advance to third. With runners on the corners and one out, Jenna Abraham was called upon to pinch hit for the Hoosiers and was able to load the bases with a walk, but Indiana would strand three after a fielder's choice got Meyer at home and a strikeout ended the threat.
Meyer continued to create havoc for the OSU pitching staff in the ninth. After successfully reaching base in her previous five at bats, Meyer would continue with much of the same in her sixth plate appearance. The sophomore crushed a 3-2 offering and sent it screaming out of the park in right to give IU a 6-4 lead.
With the game nearing the three-hour mark in the bottom of the ninth, Ohio State came knocking with a walk and a double to place runners at second and third with one out, but a strikeout and a pop out closed the door on the Buckeyes and gave Indiana the 6-4 win in the first of two this afternoon.
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