Ohio State rallies past Illinois
April 7, 2006
Columbus, Ohio - In a game that had just about everything, the host Ohio State Buckeyes rallied past Illinois for an 8-7 victory played mostly in steady rain in Columbus.
For Illinois, Jenna Hall, who came into the game as the Big Ten's leader in batting average (.506), on-base percentage (.636) and slugging percentage (.977), reached base all four times, two on intentional walks, one on a single off the base of the left-field wall, and another by being hit by a pitch. Shanna Diller was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Ohio State out-hit the Illini 10-7.
Illinois falls to 14-21 overall, 1-4 in the Big Ten. Ohio State improves to 21-14, 3-2 in the conference. The teams complete the two-game series with an 11 a.m. CDT game Saturday.
The game was delayed 1:55 because of lightning in the area and although the start of the game was rain free, it picked up again early in the first inning of the contest and persisted most of the game. The wetness played a role in three errors by the Buckeyes in the first inning, which led to five Illinois runs. Four of Illinois' runs were unearned in the first frame.
Clean-up hitter Shanna Diller started the scoring with a bases loaded two-run single to left field. The next two runs were scored on infield errors by the Buckeyes with Kacey Coonce completing the scoring with a sacrifice fly, scoring Angelena Mexicano from third.
Ohio State scored three runs in the second, one in the third, and four in the fifth inning to take an 8-6 lead. Lauren Daykin's two-run triple to right center was the big blow in the third. Third baseman Jamee Juarez doubled in Megan Schwab in the third to make it 5-4
Illinois got one run back on a clutch two-out single up the middle from Angelena Mexicano scoring Hall from second as she slid into home just ahead of the tag.
OSU took the lead for good with a three-run base clearing double from Courtney Pruner to give OSU an 8-6 lead.
The Illini battled back again with a run in the top of the fifth. Again the Illini came through with two outs as Rachelle Coriddi singled to right center, plating Kacey Coonce on another close play at home.
It looked as if Illinois would at least tie the game in the seventh. Lana Armstrong roped a one-out doubleto right-center and advanced to third on a passed ball. Ohio State starting pitcher Kim Reeder re-entered the game to face the final two batters. Shortstop Billie Carder made the game-saving play for Ohio State, making a diving stab at short and throwing out a fleet footed Courtney Hoogeveen, then making the play on the final out of the game as well.