Walk-Off Grand Slam Lifts Hoosiers Past Ohio State
March 28, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – After trailing 7-0 to start this evening’s game with Ohio State, the Indiana softball team chipped away with five runs in the sixth before adding another five to tie the ballgame in the bottom of the seventh. Kelsey Dotson dug in at the plate with two outs, the bases loaded and the winning run standing 60 feet away from home plate. The sophomore fouled off five straight pitches before sending the ninth offering of her at bat over the left field fence for a walk-off grand slam to cap off momentous come-from-behind, walk-off victory at Andy Mohr Field and defeat the Buckeyes 11-7. The seven-run setback is the largest deficit a Hoosiers squad has overcome in the last 20 seasons. The win also pushes Indiana to 9-21-1 on the season and 1-3 in Big Ten play, while Ohio State falls to 15-15 and 3-1 in conference games.
The Hoosiers were held hitless through the first four innings of play until the IU offense exploded for 11 runs on 10 hits through the final three frames. Dotson’s four RBI in the seventh added to her one-run double in the sixth, leaving her with a career-high five runs driven in on a 3-for-4 effort at the plate. Dotson is also now one of four current IU players to have hit a grand slam in their respective careers, joining teammates Natalie Lalich, Jenna Abraham and Kayla Mathewson.
Brianna Meyer and Kassi Farmer also notched multi-hit efforts, with Farmer going 2-for-3 with a bases clearing triple in the sixth inning. Breanna Saucedo, Jenna Abraham and Kayla Mathewson also tallied hits against the Buckeyes. Saucedo’s 1-for-4 outing extended her hit streak to eight games and has now reached base via a hit in 24 of her 30 games played this season.
Lora Olson got the start and allowed just two earned runs on five OSU hits in 2.1 innings pitched. Brooke Boetjer entered the game in the third where the Buckeyes struck for two unearned, but the sophomore settled in and shutout OSU through the final four innings of play. She finished the day with 4.2 innings pitched and struck out four to improve to 3-3 on the year.
Indiana was blanked through the first four innings of play while the Buckeyes held on to a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth. Farmed singled to start the fifth, stole second and advanced to third on a single by Dotson. With two away, Mathewson entered the game and put a ball in play to the left side of the infield, driving in Farmer from third to put Indiana on the board.
Momentum shifted heavily in the bottom of the sixth inning with five Hoosier runs that helped cut the Buckeyes lead to one. Meyer started the five-run rally with a single to second base and moved to third on a base hit from Abraham. After a walk loaded the bases, Farmer blasted a bases-clearing triple to right and pushed the Hoosiers within three. Dotson connected on her second hit of the day, a double to left-center field, to plate Farmer and set the score to 7-5. Alyssa Rosati entered the game to pinch run and second base with two outs. She would not be left stranded, as Mathewson drove her in with a single to left for the Hoosiers fifth run of the inning.
Boetjer retired the Buckeyes in order in the top of the seventh, bringing Indiana to its final at bat with the score sitting at 7-6. Back-to-back singles by Saucedo and Meyer set up a sacrifice bunt by Abraham that pushed both runners into scoring position with one out. Natalie Lalich pulled a ground ball to Ohio State shortstop Keelia Nester. Nester fired home in an attempt to get Saucedo breaking on the play, but Saucedo slid under the tag at home to tie the game at seven. Huber’s ground ball out to first put two away and pushed runners over to second and third. An intentional walk of Farmer loaded the bases and sent Dotson to the plate, who blasted the game-winner over the left field fence to help Indiana to its first conference win this season.
Indiana and Ohio State will meet for game two of the B1G series tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. ET.
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