March 19, 2022

Ohio State Earns a Run-Rule Win over No. 22 USF, 9-0

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Final Stats: Ohio State 9, USF 0 / Season Stats / Schedule & Results / 2022 Roster

COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State closed out its Spring Break trip in emphatic fashion on Saturday night. The Buckeyes scored early and often in a 9-0 five-inning run-rule win over No. 22 South Florida at the USF Softball Stadium. It was the Buckeyes’ second win over the Bulls in the last week and improved Ohio State’s overall record to 17-5 on the season. USF is now 26-6.

The offensive stars were aplenty for the Scarlet and Gray: Melina Wilkison went 3-for-3 and hit her first career home run; McKenzie Bump was 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI; Sam Hackenbracht hit a solo home run and also had an RBI double.

Graduate student Lexie Handley took care of business in the circle, striking out 10 over five innings while allowing just two hits.

 How The Runs Were Scored

  • Before Handley even threw a pitch in the first inning, she was given a 2-0 lead thanks to some timely two-out hitting by McKenzie Bump. After Niki Carver and Sam Hakenbracht got on base, Bump drove them home with a two-out single to right field.
  • The Buckeyes’ lead swelled to 3-0 on a solo home run by Melina Wilkison in the top of the second, the first of her career.
  • In the third inning, Sam Hackenbracht continued her torrid Spring Break hitting, blasting her seventh home run in the last 10 games to put the Buckeyes ahead 4-0.
  • The Buckeyes struck for two more runs in the top of the fourth thanks to a fielder’s choice that scored Wilkison, who singled up the middle with one out. Hackenbracht, the next batter, doubled to center field and brought home Otte to make the score 6-0.
  • Three more Ohio State runs crossed the plate in the top of the fifth inning on a RBI double from Hackenbracht, a two-run single by pinch hitter Kaitlyn Coffman and a RBI ground out from Jaycee Ruberti.

 Handley Gets It Done in the Circle

  • South Florida got its first three base runners of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. A single and two walks loaded the bases, but Lexie Handley calmly worked a three-pitch strikeout of Lydia Castro for the innings final out.
  • Handley improved to 7-3 on the season and scattered just two hits while striking out 10.
  • It was her fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the season.
  • On Ohio State’s 10-game Spring Break trip, Handley went 3-1 with 42 strikeouts in 29.2 innings and pitched two shutouts.

 More On The Last 10 Games

  • Ohio State spent the last 10 games in the state of Florida and finished with an 8-2 record, including two wins over a ranked South Florida team.
  • The Buckeyes bats heated up in the Florida sun, finishing with a .347 team batting average while registering 31 extra-base hits (13 home runs, 15 doubles and three triples).
  • Perhaps the hottest bat belonged to Hackenbracht, who hit .500 on the trip with seven home runs and 15 RBI.
  • Five players who started four of more games hit over .400 on the trip: Hackenbracht, McKenzie Bump (.476), Kaitlyn Coffman (.467), Kami Kortokrax (.440) and Jaycee Ruberti (.429).
  • The Buckeyes’ pitching staff has a team ERA of 1.86 and struck out 83 batters in 60.1 innings.
  • All three starters finished with multiple wins: Handley (3-1, 2.12 ERA), Emily Ruck (3-1, 1.21 ERA) and Allison Smith (2-1, 2.10 ERA).

 This And That

  • Hackenbracht has hit a home run in six of the last eight games.
  • This week – in games vs. UCF, Lehigh, USF (twice), Canisius and St. Thomas – Hackenbracht hit .588 with six home runs, 10 RBI and a 1.706 slugging percentage.
  • Both Bump and Wilkison set career highs for hits.
  • Seven different players had a hit on Saturday and four had multiple hits.
  • The Buckeyes’ offense scored at least one run in all five innings.

 What’s Next
After playing its first 22 games outside the state of Ohio, the Buckeyes return to their home state this week. On Wednesday, they are scheduled to travel to Athens, Ohio for a 6 p.m. game against Ohio University. Next Friday through Sunday, Ohio State opens Big Ten play at Buckeye Field versus Indiana. Admission is free.