March 26, 2023

Buckeyes Split Sunday Doubleheader vs. Michigan


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COLUMBUS, Ohio After being delayed two days, the start of the Michigan-Ohio State series was well worth the wait. A standing-room only crowd saw the Wolverines take the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader in 10 innings, 3-1, before the Buckeyes bounced back in a big way in the second game, winning 11-2 in a five-inning run rule.

The Buckeyes are now 19-8 on the season and 1-1 in Big Ten play. Michigan is 14-12 and the two teams meet against tomorrow at 4 p.m. for the third and final game of the series. 

The Short Story
Allison Smith was her usual brilliant self in the opener on Sunday’s doubleheader, striking out 10 Wolverines while pitching 10 innings and allowing just three runs. Her counterpart in the circle, Michigan’s Lauren Derkowski, matched her with 10 strikeouts while allowing just six Ohio State hits.

The Wolverines scored twice in the top of the 10th inning to break a 1-1 tie in a game that lasted nearly three hours.

In the second game of the day, Ohio State hit two home runs and broke open the game with a five-run fourth inning. Sam Hackenbracht, Meggie Otte and Kaitlyn Farley all had three hits and combined to drive in eight of Ohio State’s 11 runs.

Game One: Michigan 3, Ohio State 1 (10 inn.) – Game Notes

  • Smith tossed her sixth game this season with 10 or more strikeouts and did now allow a hit over the first two innings.
  • Ohio State scored first in the top of the first as Kami Kortokrax’s single scored Melina Wilkison, who had reached on a one-out walk.
  • Audrey LeClair’s solo home run tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third inning, and that’d be all the scoring until the 10th inning as both pitchers and their respective defenses settled in.
  • The Buckeyes had scoring chances in the bottom half of the eighth and ninth innings but couldn’t push across the winning run.
  • Michigan’s two runs came across the visitors half of the 10th inning on a two-RBI single by Melina Livingston.

Game Two: Ohio State 11, Michigan 2 (5 inn.) – Game Notes

  • After starting pitcher Emily Ruck retired Michigan in order in the top of the first, the Buckeye bats broke out in a big way in the bottom half of the opening inning.
  • Meggie Otte singled down the left field line, scoring Kami Kortokrax, who reached earlier in the inning on an error.
  • The next batter, Sam Hackenbracht, hit a three-run home run to left field, giving the Buckeyes a 4-0 lead. It was her second home run of the season.
  • Michigan would score twice in the top of the third to cut the deficit in half to 4-2, but the Buckeyes responded with two of their own in the home half of the inning.
  • McKenzie Bump scored on an error at first base and Hannah Church followed with an RBI single that pushed the Ohio State lead to 6-2.
  • Five runs crossed the plate for the Buckeyes in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by Bump’s RBI double, a two-run home run from Otte and Kaitlyn Farley’s two-RBI triple.
  • Ruck picked up her fifth win of the season as she scattered six hits over five innings with two strikeouts and no walks.
  • Seven different players recorded a hit. Otte, Hackenbracht and Farley each went 2-for-3.

A Standing Room Only Crowd
Both games of Sunday’s doubleheader featured a standing room only crowd. The line to enter Buckeye Field extended all the way to Bill Davis Stadium before gates opened and remained the way well into the first game.

Admission and parking at Buckeye Field is free. The rubber game of this weekend’s series will occur tomorrow, Monday, at 4 p.m.