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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team finished off its weekend at the Carolina Classic on a winning note, defeating Miami (Ohio) 5-4 while improving to 9-3 on the young season.
The Short Story
Ohio State scored four times in the bottom of the third inning – the biggest hit coming on Taylor Pack’s bases-clearing three-run triple – and made those runs stand up the rest of the way thanks to the pitching of Allison Smith and Lexie Handley.
Ohio State took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a Niki Carver single, but Miami would answer back with a two-run home run to take its only lead of the game at 2-1 in the top of the third. That, however, set the stage for the Buckeyes’ momentum-swinging four-run third inning.
How the Runs Were Scored
- Ohio State had the first serious scoring threat of the game and it cashed in with a two-out RBI.
- In the bottom of the second inning, Sam Hackenbracht led off with a walk and two batters later, Taylor Pack reached when she was hit by a pitch.
- That brought Niki Carver to the plate with two outs, and she delivered a single to left field that scored Lindsey Potter, who was running in place of Hackenbracht. It was Carver’s ninth RBI of the season, which is second-highest on the team through 12 games.
- The Buckeyes’ lead was short-lived, however. With one out in the top of the third inning, Miami’s Karli Spaid hit a two-run home run to center field, giving the Redhawks a 2-1 advantage.
- In the bottom of the third, Ohio State was able to get a rally going by getting the first five batters on the inning on base.
- Melina Wilkison started it by reaching on an infield single, and Jaycee Ruberti followed by reaching on an error. On that play, Wilkison used her speed to score, tying the game at 2-all.
- After walks to Meggie Otte and Sam Hackenbracht loaded the bases, Taylor Pack brought three runs home with a triple to left field. It gave Ohio State a 5-2 lead.
- In the seventh inning, which Lexie Handley on in the circle in relief of Allison Smith, Miami connected on a pair of one-out solo home runs to cut the deficit to one, 5-4.
- That would be as close as Miami would get, however, as Handley got the next batter to strike out and the final out on a 6-3 ground out.
This and That
- Handley appeared in all four games for Ohio State this weekend and had a 1.98 ERA in 17.2 innings.
- Starting pitcher Allison Smith went 3.2 innings and struck out four while allowing two runs.
- At 9-3, Ohio State is off to its best 12-game start since 2018 when it was 10-1.
- Pack finished the weekend with hits in three of her five at-bats and overall for the season is 5-for-10 at the plate with five walks and two hit by pitch. She also has a .706 on-base percentage.
- The Buckeyes’ four hits on Sunday came from four different players. Wilkison and Carver had singles while Otte (double) and Pack (triple) finished with extra base hits.
- Ohio State is now 2-2 this season in one-run games and 10-7 since the start of the 2021 season.
Ohio State has next weekend off. It will embark on an eight-day, 11-game spring break roadtrip in Tampa, Fla. with five games March 11-13 at the USF Invitational. Action starts on Friday, March 11 versus Stony Brook.