April 2, 2017
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 25 Ohio State finished off its second conference sweep in as many weekends with a 12-1 five-inning victory over Rutgers on Sunday in front of a season-high crowd of 1,163 at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes have now won 15 of their last 16 games and improved to 22-7 overall, 6-0 in the Big Ten. Rutgers is 9-24, 1-5.
THE SHORT STORY
Just like in its previous two victories over the Scarlet Knights this weekend, the Buckeyes’ bats did the biggest damage. A 12-run, 13-hit attack was paced by five different players who recorded multiple hits – Alex Bayne (3-for-3, home run, two RBI), Emily Clark (2-for-2, one RBI, one run scored), Lilli Piper (2-for-3, home run, two RBI, two runs scored), Taylor White (2-for-2, three RBI, two runs scored) and Shelby McCombs (2-for-3, three RBI).
HOW THE RUNS WERE SCORED
In the bottom of the first, senior Anna Kirk led off with a walk for the third time this weekend and started a rally that would ultimately result in four runs coming across the plate on five hits. Following Kirk, Bayne picked up the first of her two hits on the afternoon with a perfectly placed single in between third base and short stop. Piper then moved Kirk and Bayne up a base on a fly out, led to Clark’s single to right field that scored Kirk. White, McCombs and Bri Betschel all added RBI singles in the inning to get the Buckeyes out to a quick 4-0 lead.
Rutgers loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the second but a fielder’s choice at third base ended the rally, setting the stage for four more Ohio State runs to be scored in the bottom of the second. It started with Bayne’s team-leading 11th home run of the season, followed by another home run – this one off the bat of Piper to make it 6-0. The other two runs of the inning came home when McCombs helped out her own cause by doubling to left center, scoring White and Clark.
The only Scarlet Knight run of the game crossed the plate in the top of the third when Tara Altee, who tripled to lead off the inning, was safe at home on a fielder’s choice. Two RU singles loaded the bases with just one out, but Clark made a nifty play to tag a runner out at home on a fielder’s choice and Bridget Carr ground out to McCombs for the third and final out.
Ohio State quickly got that run back in the bottom of the third when White singled up the middle and brought Piper and Bayne home, making the score 10-1. The Buckeyes rounded out the scoring the bottom of the fourth on a Piper sacrifice fly and Bayne RBI single.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
• In four games last week, Ohio State scored 46 runs (11.5 per game) and hit .485 as a team. Five players with at least eight at-bats hit .500 or better.
• Clark swing the hottest bat, going 7-for-8 (.875) with 11 RBI, seven runs scored, a 1.750 slugging percentage and .917 on-base percentage. Defensively, she had 11 putouts and nine assists without making an error, playing both catcher and second base. She had two five-RBI games and hit both a three-run home run and grand slam.
• White and Bayne both hit .700 with 17 combined RBI and four home runs.
• Four players with at least eight at-bats has a slugging percentage of 1.000 or better. Ohio State now leads the Big Ten in home runs with 37.
• All five pitchers saw at least two innings of action and gave up just runs over 20 innings.
• The Buckeyes extended their season-best winning streak to eight games.
STREAKS AND SNIPITS
• Piper leads the team with 15 multi-hit and 11 multi-RBI games.
• Kirk, White, Bayne, Clark and Piper have all reached base in eight straight contests.
• On the weekend, Ohio State hit .480 with two outs and scored 13 runs.
• The lead-off batter reached base in six of 13 innings for the Buckeyes this weekend.
• With four runs in the first, Ohio State has now scored in the opening inning 14 times this year and is 12-2 in those games. It’s also 16-3 when scoring first.
• Over the last two years, Ohio State is 22-2-1 in games in which Bayne hits a home run.
• Over the last 10 games, Piper is batting .576 with 19 RBI and five home runs. In Big Ten games, she’s hitting a league-best .700.
• White has already driven in 19 runs in six conference games (3.1 per game).
Ohio State returns to action next Friday, April 7, when it opens a three-game series against No. 20 Michigan at Buckeye Field beginning at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on BTN and a link to live stats can be found on the schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The series continues Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).