2022 Schedule & Results // 2022 Roster // Season Stats // Game One: Final Stats // Game Two: Final Stats
COLUMBUS, Ohio – It was a day of milestones for the Ohio State softball team. But just as importantly, it was also a day that included two important wins on the final day of the regular season.
The Buckeyes took both games of a doubleheader at Maryland, winning the first game 6-0 and then completing the sweep with an 8-5 triumph in the second contest. Along the way, pitcher Lexie Handley became the program’s single-season strikeouts leader and Kelly Kovach Schoenly reached a coaching milestone.
Ohio State finishes the regular season 33-14 overall and 13-9 in the Big Ten. Maryland is now 28-22, 14-8 in the Big Ten.
As part of a 13-strikeout effort in the opener, Handley recorded her 241st K of the season, breaking the previous mark of 240 that had stood for 15 years. And the win in the second game of the doubleheader was No. 300 for Kelly Kovach Schoenly at Ohio State. She’s the fastest coach in program history to reach that mark, as it took her 486 games. Her career record with the Buckeyes is now 300-185-1 and she’s averaged 33 wins per year in her nine full seasons.
Game One: Ohio State 6, Maryland 0 – The Short Story
Lexie Handley stymied Maryland from the circle with her fifth complete game shutout of the season, highlighted by a season-high-tying 13 strikeouts. Meanwhile, Niki Carver collected three hits and drove three in to pace the offense, which finished with 11 hits.
Ohio State struck for two runs in the top of the first and then one in the third, one in the fourth and two in the seventh. The Buckeyes had four extra base hits, including Sam Hackenbrcht’s 14th home run of the season.
How The Runs Were Scored
- As they have so many times before this season, Ohio State struck first and gave Handley a lead before she ever had to throw a pitch.
- In the top of the first, Jaycee Ruberti singled to right field and following a Hackenbracht single, Niki Carver drilled a two-run double down the left field line for a 2-0 Ohio State lead.
- It was Carver’s 13th and 14th RBI in Big Ten play and brought her season total to 30 runs batted in.
- McKenzie Bump came up in a big spot in the third inning, as she had two on and one out. Bump delivered, hitting a double to left center and scoring Ruberti to make the score 3-0 in favor of Ohio State.
- Carver picked up her third RBI of the day in the top of the fifth with a single to center field, scoring Ruberti for the third time on the afternoon.
- Sam Hackenbracht then followed with her 14th home run of the season in the top of the seventh and a two-out error by Maryland plated Ohio State’s sixth and final run.
More on Handley
- Handley broke Ohio State’s single-season strikeout record that has previously stood for 15 years, since Jamee Juarez set it in 2007 (240).
- Handley also became Ohio State’s first 20-game winner since Kim Reeder won 21 in 2009. The single-season wins record is also held by Reeder, who won 26 games in 2008.
- Sunday marked the fifth game this season that Handley has struck out 13 batters. The previous four were against South Alabama (Feb. 18), USF (March 11), Michigan (April 22) and Penn State (April 26).
Game Two: Ohio State 8, Maryland 5 – The Short Story
Ohio State broke open a close game in the top of the seventh with five runs – all coming with two outs – to turn a 3-1 lead into an 8-1 advantage.
Sophomores Emily Ruck and Allison Smith combined on the pitching effort in the circle. Ruck started the game and went three innings while allowing just three hits. Smith took care of the final four innings, striking out four to pick up her eighth win of the season.
The biggest hits of the day were a two-run single by McKenzie Bump and a two-run double off the bat of Kami Kortokrax in the seventh inning. Bump finished the game with three RBI and two runs scored.
How The Runs Were Scored
- Maryland took its first and only lead of the day in the bottom of the third on an RBI ground out, but the Buckeyes were able to strike back in the top of the fourth with a three-spot.
- The runs came across on a Bump single, a fielder’s choice and Maryland error. It gave the Buckeyes a 3-1 lead, an advantage they’d never relinquish.
- The score stayed at 3-1 into the seventh inning before the Buckeyes erupted for five runs to create all the separation they’d need.
- Niki Carver was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded the make the score 4-1, and Bump followed with a two-run single to increase the lead to 6-1.
- The next batter – Kortokorax – drilled a double to left center that scored Bump and Carver to make the score 8-1.
- Maryland pushed across four runs in the bottom of the seventh but Smith retired the final batter of the game on a fly out to center field.
Buckeye This and That
- Ohio State is 18-3 vs. Maryland since the Terrapins joined the Big Ten.
- The Buckeyes won four of their final five games to finish the regular season, including series wins over the team’s that will hold the No. 2 and No. 5 seeds in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament.
- As part of Ohio State’s 13-9 conference record this season, it won five of its seven weekend series.
- McKenzie Bump finished with 19 RBI in 22 Big Ten games. She was second on the team in that category, just one behind Sam Hackenbracht.
- Games on Friday and Saturday of the originally-scheduled series were postponed due to rain, leaving the teams to play two on Sunday.
The Big Ten Tournament awaits the scarlet and gray this coming week in East Lansing, Mich. on the campus of Michigan State University. The official pairings will be announced by the conference later tonight, but Ohio State will play a first-round game on Wednesday, May 11.