March 18, 2022

Buckeyes Top Canisius and St. Thomas at the USF Invite

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COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State softball team improved to 7-2 on its spring break trip by picking up a pair of wins on Friday at the USF Invite in Tampa. The Buckeyes topped Canisius, 3-0, and St. Thomas (MN) 5-2. Ohio State is 16-5 overall on the season.

Game One: Ohio State 3, Canisius 0
Allison Smith went the distance for a complete game shutout of the Golden Griffins, surrendering just three hits and getting some big play from the defense behind her at key moments.

At the plate, Kaitlyn Coffman 2-for-3 with two RBI while Meggie Otte drove in the other run of the game with a solo home run. Seven of Ohio State’s nine starters had a hit in the game. Smith improved to 5-1 and pitched her second complete game shutout of the season.

How the Runs Were Scored

  • In the bottom of the second inning, Kami Kortokrax started a rally by hitting a single up the middle on a 3-2 pitch and set the stage of Kaitlyn Coffman to drive her in with a double on the very next pitch. The swing put the Buckeyes ahead 1-0.
  • Ohio State tacked on single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively. Meggie Otte hit her third home run on the season on the first pitch of her at-bat in the fifth and Kaitlyn Coffman followed with a key two-out RBI single in the sixth to score McKenzie Bump, who had reached after being hit by a pitch.

 Moments That Mattered

  • The Buckeyes had their defense to thank for the win over the Golden Griffins, as Ohio State turned two important late-inning double plays.
  • The first occurred in the sixth inning with Ohio State clinging to a 2-0 lead. With runners at first and second with one out, Gianna Fazzolari lined into a unassisted double play at first base to end the inning.
  • In the seventh, Lindsi Dennis hit a one-out double for Canisius, but one batter later Emily Ilano flied into a 8-4 game-ending double play.

Game Two: Ohio State 5, St. Thomas (MN) 2
Emily Ruck pitched 5.2 innings and allowed just two runs while Lexie Handley finished the final 1.2 innings and picked up a save as Ohio State completed the Friday sweep with a 5-2 win over St. Thomas (MN).

Sam Hakenbracht continued to swing a hot bat, going 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Melina Wilkison, Meggie Otte and Avery Clark also drove in runs for the Buckeyes. 

How the Runs Were Scored

  • Hackenbracht opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the first inning, and an inning later Avery Clark had an RBI ground out to put Ohio State ahead 2-0.
  • In the fourth inning, Wilkison singled to right field and scored Tegan Cortelletti, who singled to shortstop as a pinch hitter.
  • One batter later, Otte followed with a RBI ground out to score Kami Kortokrax.
  • The two St. Thomas runs came via a two-run home run off the bat of Brooke Ellestad.
  • Hackenbracht gave Ohio State some late-game breathing room in the top of the seventh when she connected on her sixth home run of the Buckeyes’ spring break trip. The solo shot made the score 5-2.

Moments That Mattered

  • Holding onto a 4-2 lead, Ohio State made the call to the bullpen and put Lexie Handley into the game with one out and runners on first and second base in the sixth inning.
  • She responded by getting a strikeout and fly out to end the sixth and then retired the Tommies 1-2-3 in the seventh with two strikeouts.

This and That

  • Melina Wilkison reached base in all four of her plate appearances, getting two hits and walking twice.
  • The Buckeyes had three extra base hits: a triple by Kortokrax, double by Kaitlyn Farley and Hackenbracht’s home run.
  • The save was Handley’s third of the season.
  • Ohio State is 6-1 this season when playing on Friday and has twice swept Friday doubleheaders.

What’s Next
Ohio State’s 10-game spring break roadtrip concludes tomorrow with a single game against No. 23 USF in Tampa beginning at 7 p.m. Live stats will be available on the schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com and the game will also air live on ESPN+.