February 12, 2022

Ohio State Defeats Louisville & Bethune-Cookman


Box Score: Ohio State 8, Louisville 5 /

Box Score: Ohio State 7, Bethune-Cookman 2

COLUMBUS, OhioOhio State coupled timely and consistent hitting with fine efforts on the mound from a pair of sophomore starters to win a pair of games Saturday at the FAU First Pitch Classic in Boca Raton, Fla. The Buckeyes won 8-5 over Louisville in a 9 a.m. first-pitch game to give the Cardinals their first loss of the season after opening with four wins. And Ohio State defeated Bethune-Cookman (1-2) in its second game of the day, 7-2, to improve to 3-0 on the young season.

Winning pitchers were Allison Smith against Louisville and Emily Ruck against Bethune Cookman. Key hitters for the day included Niki Carver, who had three hits, runs scored and RBI, including a solo home run vs. Louisville, Kami Kortokrax, who also had three hits and a run scored, and Taylor Heckman, who had three RBI on the day to tie Carver for the team lead.

The Short Story vs. Louisville
Ohio State splayed and sprayed 13 hits, including home runs by Avery Clark and Niki Carver, and jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Louisville rallied with a total of five runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Five players – Melina Wilkison, Jaycee Ruberti, Avery Clark, Niki Carver and Kami Kortokrax –  all recorded multiple-hit games with Carver and Taylor Heckman leading the way with with 2 RBI apiece.

Biomedical engineering major Allison Smith, who led the Buckeye staff in wins (12) and strikeouts (134) in 2021, started and picked up the win. She worked 6.0 innings and allowed seven hits, just three runs and struck out seven.

Vs. Louisville: How the Runs Were Scored

  • Junior Avery Clark opened the scoring with a leadoff home run – her first of the year and sixth of her career – to left centerfield.
  • The Buckeyes extended their lead to 3-0 in the third off two hits and a HBP. Clark singled for her second hit of the game, Niki Carver was hit by a pitch and Taylor Heckman cleared the bases with a triple to right.
  • Three more runs were scored in the Ohio State half of the fourth. The inning included singles by Mariah Rodriguez, Melina Wilkison and Sam Hackenbracht and RBIs by Hackenbracht and Clark.
  • Freshman SS Kami Kortokrax, who recorded her first collegiate hit with a single in the first inning, led of the 5th with a double down the LF line and scored on a sac bunt by Wilkison to make it 7-0 Ohio State.
  • Carver, the super senior from Gainesville, Ga., playing a fifth season for the Buckeyes, cracked her first home run of the year, and the 18th of her career, to extend Ohio State’s lead in the top of the 6th to 8-0.
  • Louisville scored a pair in the sixth and then made things interesting in the seventh, scoring three runs off three hits, two walks and a wild pitch before Lexie Handley coaxed a fly ball third out with the bases loaded.

The Short Story vs. Bethune-Cookman
Ohio State state built a comfortable lead for the third consecutive game, 6-0 through four innings, and scored its seven runs off seven hits and with the help of three Bethune-Cookman errors.

Vs. Bethune-Cookman: How the Runs Were Scored

  • Ohio State scored early once again. Taylor Heckman’s third hit of the day scored Melina Wilkison, who had walked, and Heckman scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Avery Clark.
  • Ohio State added two runs off two hits in the third, including an RBI single by Clark and some pestering work by Kami Kortokrax, who singled Clark to third and then Clark scored when Kortokrax stole second, producing an errant throw.
  • More bothersome work by the Buckeyes in the fourth; Mariah Rodriguez singled, stole two bases and scored easily on a Sam Hackenbracht double to spark a two-run inning. PR McKenzie Bump scored from second on a single by Meggie Ott.
  • Tegan Cortelletti scored from third on a wild pitch in the fifth for the final tally in the 7-2 victory.

Emily Ruck pitched a career-high 4.2 innings this afternoon against Bethune-Cookman before being relieved by Lexie Handley, who is making her third appearance of the weekend. Ruck allowed just two runs off three hits and retired eight consecutive at one point.

What’s Next
Ohio State completes its games in the FAU First Pitch Classic with a noon game Sunday against the hosts, Florida Atlantic Owls. Live stats will be available at: go.osu.edu/CGky