April 26, 2022

Ohio State and Penn State Split Midweek Doubleheader

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Final Stats: Game 1 // Final Stats: Game 2 // Season Stats // 2022 Schedule and Results // 2022 Roster

COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State and Penn State split a Tuesday doubleheader on a chilly and blustery day at Buckeye Field by identical 4-2 scores. The Buckeyes were victorious in game one while Penn State scored four in the sixth to come from behind and win game two.

The Buckeyes are now 29-13 on the season and 9-8 in Big Ten play while Penn State is 28-18, 10-7.

The Short Story
McKenzie Bump went 2-for-2 with a career-high three RBI while Lexie Handley matched her season-high with 13 strikeouts to lead the Buckeyes to victory in the opening game on Tuesday. The Buckeyes struck for two runs in the bottom of the first and added single runs in the third and fifth innings, which was plenty of run support for Handley, who scattered four hits for her 16th complete game of the season.

In the second game, home runs by Sam Hackenbracht and Taylor Pack gave Ohio State a 2-0 lead through five innings, but Penn State would plate four in the top of the sixth and hold off the Buckeyes from there to earn the doubleheader split.

Game One: Ohio State 4, Penn State 2
Handley won her 17th game of the season in dominant fashion, fanning 13 Nittany Lions while allowing just four hits.

After the Nittany Lions were retired in order in the top of the first inning, Ohio State had two runners on and nobody out following back-to-back singles by Melina Wilkison and Jaycee Ruberti. A Niki Carver single brought in one run and McKenzie Bump followed with a sacrifice fly to make the score 2-0.

Penn State put a run on the board in the top of the second via a two-out single, but Bump singles in the third and fifth innings, respectively, increased Ohio State’s lead to 4-1. The Nittany Lions scored on a two-out double in the sixth inning but went quietly in the seventh as Handley got two strikeouts to end the game.

Game Two: Penn State 4, Ohio State 2
The Buckeyes’ two runs in the game came on swings of the bat by Hackenbracht and Pack, who homered in the third and fourth innings, respectively, to put Ohio State ahead 4-2.

Handley got the start in the second game, going seven innings and allowing six hits with nine strikeouts. Four of the six hits, however, came in the sixth inning when Penn State scored on an RBI single, a sacrifice fly and a two-out, two-run double that broke a 2-2 tie.

In addition to the Hackenbract and Pack home runs, Ohio State’s hits also came from Kami Kortokrax and pinch hitter Avery Clark.

Buckeye This and That

  • Over 14 innings on Tuesday, Handley struck out 22 batters to bring her season total to 218 in 172.0 innings.
  • Handley’s strikeout total is the third-most in a single-season, behind only Katie Chain (222 in 2002) and Jamee Juarez (240 in 2007).
  • Her 17 wins are the 13th most in a single-season and the most by a Buckeye pitcher since Morgan Ray had back-to-back 18-win seasons in 2018 and 2018.
  • The single-season record for wins in 26 by Kim Reeder in 2009.
  • Hackenbracht has 13 home runs this season and a team-high 40 RBI. Over the last two seasons, she’s hit 25 home runs.
  • In the first game, Melina Wilkison collected a hit for the seventh consecutive game, which was a season-long for the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
  • Ohio State scored first in both games and is 26-5 when it plates the first run of the game.
  • McKenzie Bump has six games this year of multiple RBI.

What’s Next
Ohio State plays its final home series of the 2022 season this weekend when it welcomes Nebraska to Buckeye Field for three games.

The action gets underway on Friday evening at 6 p.m., followed by single games on Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). Admission to Buckeye Field is free and all three games will also be streamed live on B1G+.

Follow Ohio State softball on Twitter at @OhioStateSB for the latest news on the Buckeyes, including schedule adjustments.