COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 22 Ohio State extended its win streak to six games with a pair of wins over Big Ten foe Penn State Wednesday evening at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes opened the doubleheader with a 9-1 six-inning triumph before taking the nightcap, 7-4.
The two victories puts the Scarlet & Gray at 26-8 overall and 7-4 in Big Ten action while the Nittany Lions drop to 6-28 (2-9 B1G).
Ohio State connected on three home runs and had nine hits for extra bases over the two games. Taylor White hit .714 with five hits, three runs scored, a triple, double, pair of RBI and a 1.143 slugging percentage.
Game One: Ohio State 9, Penn State 1
In the cleanup spot, Emily Clark did some damage with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to give OSU an early lead.
Penn State cut the deficit in half on an RBI single by Kennedy Legg in the third.
Bailee Sturgeon got the ball rolling for the Buckeyes in the home frame on a hard triple, the first of her career. During the next at bat, Sturgeon crossed home plate on a wild pitch. The hits kept coming in the fourth thanks to Shelby McCombs solo home run over right center.
Ohio State capped off the game with a big sixth inning behind five runs on four hits. McCombs opened the half with a leadoff single to left center. Andi Farrah entered the game as a pinch runner and Kallie Boren came in to pinch hit. A pitch hit Boren, who was pinch ran for by Spencer Sansom. With two on, Bri Betschel drilled a triple to the wall to score both runners. Next up, Niki Carver drove a run in on a single to left field.
After giving up three runs, Penn State made a pitching change but that did not stop the Buckeyes. Down 1-2 in the count, White tripled to centerfield to bring Carver home and increase the margin to 8-1. White would score on a wild pitch, which secured the run-rule win.
McCombs (11-2) fanned nine batters over six innings and held the Nittany Lions to one run on four hits.
Game Two: Ohio State 7, Penn State 4
Penn State struck first in the second outing on a RBI double from Delaney Elling. Morgan Ray was able hold the visitors to one run with a swinging strikeout.
White sparked the offense as she hit a leadoff double down the right field line. Next up, Sturgeon punched the ball up the middle to send White in and tie the game.
Ohio State went ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the second. It began with a pitch hitting Carver and a single by White with Sturgeon headed to bat. Sturgeon singled to left field to tack on a run.
The lead changed in the top of the third. The Nittany Lions stacked the bags on a walk, error and hit-by-pitch. It was Elling once again the got the job done, this time on a two-RBI single to put her squad up 3-2.
The Buckeyes scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to regain the advantage, 5-3, and never looked back. White received a free base after being hit by a pitch and moved to second on a groundout. Clark reached on an error by the left fielder and advanced to second while White had enough time to scamper home. With two outs, Ashley Goodwin went yard on a two-run shot over left field.
Penn State had the bags covered in the fifth on three singles. The Buckeyes brought in Katya Duvall to pitch but the Nittany Lions registered a bases-loaded walk to come within one, 5-4. She managed to get out of the jam with a swinging strikeout.
A pair of important insurance runs came in the bottom of the sixth as Betschel’s triple and White’s single plated two runs.
Three pitchers saw action in the circle during the night’s final outing. Ray (14-5) was credited with the victory after she pitched 4.1 innings of seven-hit, four-run ball with four strikeouts. Duvall allowed four hits and paired it with two strikeouts in two innings of relief while McCombs recorded a strikeout in 0.2 innings for the save.
Ohio State is headed to Northwestern for a weekend series Apr. 13-15.