Feb. 13, 2010
TEMPE, Ariz. -
A last-inning North Dakota State charge cost Ohio as the 'Cats fell 5-0 to a very strong Bison squad to wrap up the final day of the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Paige Kemezis and Alexis Zambrana both doubled to help pace the Green and White.
Ohio (0-5) battled NDSU (3-0), who is the top team receiving votes in the preseason Top 25 poll, right down the very last inning, before the Bison broke the scoreless tie with five unearned runs in the top of the seventh to take the win. The `Cats totaled just three hits on the day, including the Kemezis (Hackensack, N.J.) and Zambrana (Alvin, Texas) doubles and a single from Sara Clark (Ontario, Calif.). Melissa Bonner (Kings Mills, Ohio) turned in a nice showing in the circle, giving up no earned runs while fanning five in 6.2 innings of work against a sound NDSU offense.
The `Cats looked poised for a strong start in the bottom of the first after putting runners on second and third with just one out, but Parks was able to get the next two Ohio hitters to end a promising first. Bonner was strong through the first three innings, allowing just one Bison player to reach base.
After the Green and White thwarted NDSU's hopes for anything in the fourth and fifth frames, Kemezis doubled to open the bottom of the fifth. Unfortunately for Ohio, it would come to naught as Parks was able to get the next three hitters to stop another `Cat threat.
The sixth inning went quietly for both sides, before the Bison were able to end the stalemate in the top of the seventh. An error eventually helped push the first run across after a single. Ohio looked to halt things there as it got two outs, but then the deciding blow was landed on a grand slam homer from NDSU's Melissa Chmielewski to extend the Bison advantage.
Clark opened the bottom of the seventh to give the `Cats a promising start, but Ohio's hard-hit balls after that fell right to people, and the Bison were able to sneak out with the win.
Ohio will continue tournament play next weekend as it heads to Auburn, Ala. to take part in the Auburn University Tiger Invitational. The `Cats will open the event Friday when they take on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville at 4 p.m. ET and host Auburn at 6 p.m.