Softball Falls to Ohio State, 4-1
COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 3, 2003 - The Ohio State softball team scored three runs in the first inning en route to a 4-1 victory over Penn State on Saturday afternoon at Buckeye Field. The first game of a two game series, the Nittany Lions are still looking to capture their fifth-straight Big Ten Tournament berth.
The Lions (29-21, 8-9 Big Ten) came out swinging, opening the game with back-to-back hits and then senior Kelley Galigher (Pleasanton, Calif./Foothill) was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. But the Buckeyes (26-22, 5-10 Big Ten) shut down PSU to get three-straight outs, including an out at home plate to end the inning without a score.
Ohio State then jumped all over the Lions in the bottom half of the first inning, using a single, a triple and a double to score two runs with no outs. Then Annie Dedic knocked out a two-out double to drive in another OSU run, 3-0. The Buckeyes knocked out five hits in all before PSU threw a runner out at home plate for the final out.
The Buckeyes extended their lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning when a squeeze play scored Krista Evans who led off with a double. The Lions threw the ball away on the attempt at home and the trail runner, Jennifer Link, tried to take advantage but PSU recovered and got another out at the plate to end the inning.
Penn State had runners in scoring position in three innings, but were not able to bring in a run until the sixth inning when senior co-captain Gina Bianchini (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) led off with a pinch-hit single. She went to second on a ground out and then landed on third on a passed ball. Freshman Destinie Chavez's (San Leandro, Calif./San Leandro) two-out, RBI-single broke the shutout and scored Bianichini, 4-1.
The Buckeyes shut down the Lions in the final inning, retiring the batters in order to seal the victory.
Redshirt sophomore Shana Riggleman (Seaford, Del./.Seaford) came into the game in relief and limited the Buckeyes to three hits and allowed just one run to keep the game within reach. Junior Marisa Hanson (Victoria, Texas/Victoria) took the loss.
OSU hurler Kristi DeVries helped her own cause going 2-for-3, while also striking out seven batters for her 12th win of the season.
Penn State still has a chance to capture its fifth-consecutive Big Ten Tournament berth. Northwestern, who entered the weekend tied for sixth place with the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten standings, defeated No. 24 Illinois, 6-0, this afternoon. The Wildcats face the Fighting Illini one more time on Sunday, May. The Lions, who are also in a must win situation, close out the regular season on Sunday, May 4 at 1 p.m.