COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio 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
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
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.
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