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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team finished off a series win over Indiana on Saturday with a 6-4 win that was highlighted by Lexie Handley’s 10th win of the year, a SportsCenter Top 10-worthy catch by Meggie Otte and a four-run second inning that included a Niki Carver home run.
The Buckeyes, who won two of three from the Hoosiers on Big Ten-opening weekend, improve to 20-6 overall. Indiana is 17-8.
The Short Story
Trailing 2-0, Ohio State put four runs on the scoreboard in the second inning – highlighted by a Carver home run and an Indiana infield error that allowed two runs to score – and pushed across insurance runs in the fourth and sixth innings to back up Handley, who pitched her 10th complete game this season.
The defense had a hand in the win, too. Specifically, Meggie Otte’s diving catch in center field that saved at least one, and probably two, IU runs from scoring with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. Otte also made the final out of the game in the top of the seventh with the tying run at the plate.
How the Runs Were Scored
- Cora Bassett hit the fourth pitch of the game over the right centerfield fence for an early Indiana lead. The Hoosiers would tact on another in the top of the second when Aaliyah Andrews singled to center field and scored Tatum Hayes, who had entered the game as a pinch runner.
- Unfazed, Ohio State woke its bats up in the bottom of the second. Carver hit her sixth home run of the season to left field, cutting the IU lead to 2-1, and the Buckeyes would add two more on an infield error by Indiana’s third baseman that scored Otte and Kami Kortokrax. A wild pitch with the bases loaded plated Ohio State’s fourth run.
- In the bottom of the fourth, Sam Hackenbracht’s sacrifice fly scored Jaycee Ruberti, who had hit a one-out single to left field and advanced on a walk and wild pitch.
- Sarah Stone’s RBI single in the top of the sixth cut Ohio State’s lead to 5-3, but Hackenbracht delivered a key insurance run in the bottom of the frame with a run-scoring double to right field that scored Bump, who singled in her at-bat.
- A one-out Indiana single in the top of the seventh pulled the Hoosiers to within two, 6-4, but Handley got fly outs for the final two outs to secure the win.
- Meggie Otte: 2-4, 2B, 1 RS
- Sam Hackenbracht: 1-3, 2 RBI, 1 2B
- Niki Carver: 1-2, HR, RBI, RS
- Lexie Handley: 7.0 IP, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 3 ER
This and That
- Ohio State has won 11 of the last 13 games against Indiana played at Buckeye Field.
- Meggie Otte’s third-inning double was her 100th career hit.
- Sam Hackenbracht has at least one hit in 10 straight games.
- With a four-spot in the second inning, the Buckeyes have now outscored their opponents 24-6 in the second innings of games this season and 48-12 in the first and second innings.
- Ohio State is 19-0 this season when leading after four innings and 16-0 when ahead after six.
The Buckeyes return to non-conference play on Tuesday, March 29 when they head to Lexington, Ky. to face No. 8 Kentucky (21-7) at 6 p.m. Live stats will be available on the schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com.