April 27, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As it did all series long, Ohio State scored late in the game Sunday to pick up a win over No. 25 Northwestern, this time breaking open a one-run contest with a three-run sixth inning homer to defeat the Wildcats, 7-4.
Northwestern falls to 29-14 overall on the season with its loss, 11-9 in the Big Ten. Ohio State improves to 25-23 with its loss, 11-9 in the conference.
Ohio State took the game's first lead with a two-run home run after a Northwestern error in the top of the first, but the Wildcats battled back immediately with leadoff back-to-back jacks from Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) and Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) in the second. Both home runs were of the line drive variety; for Edwards it was her fourth of the year and the 17th of her career while LeBeau's blast was her team-leading eighth of 2014 and the eighth of her career.
Ohio State fought back with a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the second to regain a 4-2 edge, but NU against scored immediately in response. In the top of the third, Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) led off with a perfect bunt single, moved to second when Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) was hit by a pitch for the second time in the contest and then to third when an Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) grounder found a hole in the right side of the infield for a bases-loading single.
With no outs still in the inning, Ohio State lifted starting pitcher Olivia O'Reilly in favor of game two starter Shelby Hursh. Edwards first sent a hard-hit grounder to second that scored Majam from third, then Hursh got two trick pop flies that the OSU second baseman handled expertly to escape further damage and keep the Wildcats' deficit at one, 4-3.
Freshman Nicole Bond (Clayton, N.C./Clayton) entered the game in relief of Northwestern starter Kristen Wood (Trevor, Wis./Wilmot Union) in the bottom of the fourth. Ohio State got runners to second and third with two outs in the fourth against Bond, but she was able shut down the rally to keep NU within a run.
Northwestern continued to fight for that game-tying run while Bond did a good job holding the Buckeyes at bay through the middle innings. Dating to the start of Saturday's contest, Ohio State had scored in seven of its previous nine offensive frames until NU posted zeroes against the Buckeyes in the third, fourth and fifth innings Sunday.
That trend did not last, however, when Ohio State got a three-run home run in the sixth to take a 7-3 lead in the game.
Bast cranked a one-out solo home run in the top of the seventh for NU's third homer of the contest to make the score 7-4. The shot was Bast's eighth of the year to tie LeBeau for the team lead and gave Bast 38 home runs in her career. That run, though, would be the last in the game.
Wood (16-7) took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits and five walks with four strikeouts in 3.0 innings. Bond allowed three runs on five hits and three walks with one K in 3.0 innings of relief. Edwards led NU at the plate with two RBIs.
Northwestern returns to action in a nonconference midweek contest at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, against DePaul.
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