The softball team’s woes continued Saturday afternoon after being three-hit by the Purdue Boilermakers in its sixth straight loss. Purdue defeated Ohio State, 7-0, behind a stellar pitching performance by pitcher Suzie Rzegocki and a seven-run inning.
Rzegocki (22-11) earned the win in her 25th complete game of the year. She struck out five batters in the shutout, giving up only three hits and a walk in seven innings pitched.
“She started off with that changeup and really threw us off,” sophomore third baseman Megan Coletta said. “We just had to lay off of it and make our adjustment at the plate. She’s a tough pitcher but we started hitting the ball hard later on so I think we’ll get her tomorrow.”
Both Rzegocki and Buckeye senior Karisa Medrano cruised through the first two innings allowing a combined three hits and no runs.
The thunder the OSU softball team heard was not that of storm that occurred an hour and a half before the first pitch was thrown at Buckeye Field. It was the sound of Purdue’s (26-12-1, 4-3 Big Ten) bats during a seven-run third inning.
Third baseman Tori Chiodo roped a 3-2 changeup off the right centerfield wall for a leadoff double. Andie Varsho plated Chiodo with a one-out single to left field for Purdue’s first run. It extended its lead to 3-0 three pitchers later when Lindsey Rains crushed Medrano’s 2-1 pitch to right field for a two-run home run.
Medrano was pulled from the game after she walked Erika Petruzzi, and Shelby Krammer singled to left field.
Freshman Kasie Kelly relieved her and gave up four runs (two charged to Medrano) on four consecutive singles before retiring Varsho for the final out of the inning.
“I needed to get one out. I knew that,” Kelly said. “I just needed to settle in sooner than I did because I felt like I did after that inning. I just need to mentally come in there next time and shut them down right then and there.”
The Buckeyes went down in order in the bottom of the third inning, putting all the momentum in Purdue’s favor.
“I thought our at-bats later in the game got better,” coach Linda Kalafatis said. “We hit a lot of hard balls. Everything we hit seemed to be right at them. When we bring a new pitcher into the game we have to be better prepared and be a little tougher mentally.”
Medrano (5-15) took the loss as she surrendered five runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings pitched, and also walked a batter.
Kelly settled down after a rough start in her relief appearance, but she allowed no runs after the end of the third inning. In her 4 1/3 innings pitched she gave up two runs on eight hits, while striking out four batters and walking three.
“That’s my perfect kind of team if I had to chose a lineup,” Kelly said.
Because Purdue’s lineup is made up of mostly lefties, Kelly’s screwball runs away from hitters, and she uses her curveball to bust hitters inside.
“I think it works the best with my pitches,” she said. “I’m more dominant with this kind of lineup.”
OSU (10-26, 2-7 Big Ten) will try to bounce back from the loss in the second game of the two-game series 2 p.m. Sunday.