COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sunny skies with temperatures in the high 60s and a slight breeze provided the perfect backdrop on Friday evening as the Ohio State softball team reintroduced itself to its fans with the opening of the fall ball season.
The Buckeyes used a 20-hit attack to defeat Ohio Dominican, 16-0, in front of nearly 700 fans who got to see 20 different players take of the field. Ohio State scored multiple runs in the first, third, fourth and eighth innings, including a seven-run outburst on six hits in the eighth to break the game open.
In the circle, three different pitchers evenly shared the innings. Sophomore Allison Smith started and struck out seven in 3.0 innings. She was followed by graduate student Lexie Handley, who made her Ohio State debut and struck out six in three innings while surrendering just one hit. Sophomore Emily Ruck closed out the game with three scoreless innings that included five strikeouts. In all, 18 of the 27 defensive outs there were made came via strikeout.
Fourteen different players finished with a hit on the night. Home runs came off the bats of Sam Hackenbracht and newcomer Jaycee Ruberti, a transfer from Hofstra. Freshman Reagan Milliken had an eight-inning two-run triple, while Hackenbracht, Avery Clark, Kirsten Eppele and Taylor Heckman hit doubles.
Heckman, a sophomore from Utica, Ohio, went 3-for-3 on the night with three RBI and a run scored. Hackenbracht also drove in three runs while McKenzie Bump, Milliken, Eppele and Ruberti each had two hits. Seven of the Buckeyes’ 20 hits went for extra bases.
The 2021 fall ball schedule continues this weekend at Buckeye Field with a doubleheader against Kentucky on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. Admission is free.