PISCATAWAY, N.J. – No. 23/24 Ohio State clinched its series with Rutgers behind a 6-2 victory on Saturday afternoon at the RU Softball Complex. The Buckeyes move up to 23-8 (4-4 Big Ten) while the Scarlet Knights drop to 17-18 (2-4 Big Ten).
HOW IT HAPPENED
With a pair of scoreless innings in the books, Ohio State got on the board in the top of the third. Taylor White’s leadoff walk and Bailee Sturgeon’s single to centerfield set up Lilli Piper, whose deep single up the middle gave White time to sprint home.
Shelby McCombs had her eighth home run of the season with a leadoff solo shot over centerfield in the fourth. The scoring continued in the half after a pitch hit Kallie Boren, who was replaced by pinch runner Andi Farrah. Farrah stole second and White singled to centerfield to bring her in, extending the lead to 3-0.
The Buckeyes tacked on three runs off three hits in the sixth. Bri Betschel and Farrah both drew walks before Niki Carver’s sacrifice bunt put them in scoring position. Sturgeon made it count with a single to left center to push a run in. With Piper at the plate, the Scarlet Knights decided to intentionally walk her to stack the bags. Emily Clark and Ashley Goodwindelivered back-to-back RBI singles to open the gap.
Rutgers showed life in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI double by Rebecca Hall and sacrifice fly from Myah Moy for the final 6-2 margin.
IN THE CIRCLE
McCombs (10-2) tossed her fifth complete game of the season, where she allowed two runs and seven hits. The right-handed ace tallied five strikeouts and held the Scarlet Knights to one walk.
CHECK OUT THE STATS
The Buckeyes look to sweep the series when they face the Scarlet Knights tomorrow at noon.