Softball Falls To Ohio State, 4-1, In adidas Invitational Finale
March 11, 2007
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A seventh inning come-back fell just short as the Massachusetts Softball Team (8-8-1) lost to Ohio State (12-9) 4-1 in the silver flight semifinal game of the adidas Invitational Sunday morning. Trailing 4-0 heading into the seventh inning, the Minutewomen mounted a furious rally. With one run already home, UMass loaded the bases with one out but OSU pitcher Jamee Juarez came in to save the game for starting pitcher Kim Reeder. UMass mustered just four hits in the game and left six runners on base. Sophomore Brandice Balschmiter (Newark, N.Y.) took the loss allowing four earned runs on eight hits and no walks while recording six strikeouts. UMass finishes the tournament with a 4-3 record.
Ohio State threatened to score in the top of the first inning after the UMass infield committed back-to-back errors. With runners at first and third, Balschmiter induced a ground ball to second base by Megan Schwab. Junior Stacy Cullington (Encinitas, Calif.) fielded the ball cleanly, tagged the runner going by and threw to first completing the double-play and keeping the Buckeyes off the scoreboard. It was the Minutewomen's sixth double-play turned of the season.
Ohio State scored the game's first run with two outs in the top of the third inning. With Liz Caputo on second base, Brittany Vanderink blooped a single into left field. Junior Lauren Proctor (La Jolla, Calif.) made a good throw home, but it was just a little late and Ohio State had a 1-0 lead. Sam Marder followed with a double to the gap in left-center field plating Vanderink and giving the Buckeyes the 2-0 lead. Schwab then belted a double off the wall in left field making the score 3-0.
UMass tried to cut into Ohio State's lead in the bottom of the fourth. Molinari led off with a single up the middle, the Minutewomen's first hit of the game off of Ohio State pitcher Kim Reeder. After Molinari was thrown out trying to steal second base, Cullington was called out on strikes for the inning's second out but that was when UMass tried to mount a two-out rally. Senior Amanda Acampora (Orange, Conn.) walked and then senior pinch runner Michea Holness (Beverly, Mass.) went to second base on a single through the left side by Proctor. Sophomore Whitney Mollica (Windham, N.H.) came up with runners on first and second with one out, but grounded out to end the inning.
In the top of the top of the fifth, the Buckeyes added to their lead. Marder drove in another run with a RBI single to left. Balschmiter settled down after that fourth run, but the UMass offense was unable to generate any scoring opportunities.
Balschmiter retired eight of the last nine Buckeyes but UMass still trailed 4-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning as it came up for its last crack at Reeder.
Acampora led off the seventh by drawing a walk and then senior pinch runner Jackie Teman (Downingtown, Pa.) moved to third base with one out when Mollica dumped a single into right field. Mollica moved to second base as the throw went to third base giving the Minutewomen a pair of runners in scoring position and just one out. On a 3-2 pitch, Williams ripped a single into right field putting the Minutewomen on the board, 4-1. Sophomore Emily Wehr (Marietta, Ga.) drew a walk to load up the bases and also knock Reeder from the game. Jamee Juarez entered the game to pitch and inherited a bases-loaded, one-out situation and freshman Carly Normandin (Gardner, Mass.) at the plate. Juarez fanned Normandin bringing up senior Amanda Morin (Worcester, Mass.). Morin hit the ball hard, but it was right at the left fielder. Megan Schwab snared it without moving and ended UMass' comeback attempt.
The Minutewomen will head right back to the Sunshine State next weekend for seven games on the campus of Florida Atlantic University. First, UMass will participate in the FAU Parent's Weekend Tournament March 16-18 where it will face Rutgers, Quinnipiac, Michigan State and Texas A&M in pool play before the championship rounds. UMass will then close out the weekend with a doubleheader vs. Florida Atlantic on Monday, March 19, beginning at 6:00 PM. All games next weekend will be broadcast online at www.umassathletics.com. Live stats will also be available via Gametracker at www.umassathletics.com.