No. 21 Ohio State Edges Cal State Fullerton in NCAA Tournament Opener
May 18, 2007
COLUMBUS, OHIO - No. 21 Ohio State took advantage of a pair of Cal State Fullerton errors to plate its only two runs on the night and help lift the second-seeded Buckeyes to a 2-1 victory over the Titans in the NCAA Tournament opener for both teams on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio.
The loss drops Fullerton to 34-21 overall and into the losers bracket where it will face Canisius, a 5-0 loser to Virgina Tech, in the second game on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. PDT.
OSU improved to 39-16 overall, snapping a three-game losing streak to Fullerton, and moved into the winners bracket where they will face the Hokies in the first game on Saturday at 10 a.m. PDT.
The winner of the Cal State Fullerton-Canisius match-up will meet the Virginia Tech-Ohio State loser on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. PDT.
Titan right-hander Candice Baker (17-12) was the hard-luck loser as the normally strong defense behind her committed two errors that led to single runs in the third and fourth innings. Baker allowed only a single hit on the night in the complete-game effort, walking four and striking out five.
Jamee Juarez (21-8) was equally as effective in the circle for the Buckeyes, allowing just one run on two hits, walking two and striking out eight in the complete-game win.
Ohio State struck first in the third inning as Christina Douglas led off with a walk and beat a throw to second on Lauren Daykin's sacrifice attempt to put a pair on for the Buckeyes.
With Liz Caputo at the plate, Titans' catcher then threw behind Douglas, trying to pick her of at second base, but Douglas broke for the third with the throw across the diamond.
Trying to get her at third, Fullerton then threw the ball away as Douglas slid in to the bag, allowing her to regain her feet and scamper home for the 1-0 lead.
Cal State Fullerton answered the run in the fourth as sophomore Courtney Martinez launched her seventh home run of the year over the fence in right centerfield to knot the score at a run apiece.
OSU pushed across the game-winning run in its half of the fourth as Megan Schwab tripled to the gap in right centerfield, but was allowed to come home when the relay throw from the outfield sailed into the Ohio State dugout, awarding Schwab home plate and the 2-1 lead.
The Buckeyes the rode the arm of Juarez, who allowed lead-off runners to reach in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, stranding the tying runs in scoring position in two of the frames, and picking another off third on a failed suicide squeeze in the sixth.
Junior Jessica Doucette had the only other hit for the Titans on the night, a double over the head of the left fielder to lead off the sixth.