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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Not all Big Ten series wins are created equal. For Ohio State, its 8-7 win over rival Michigan on Monday afternoon that clinched the series was special. Not only did it up its record to 20-8 overall, it marked the first time in 33 years – since 1990 – that the Buckeyes have taken a series from the Wolverines.
The Short Story
Ohio State (20-8, 2-1 Big Ten) jumped out to an 8-1 lead on the Wolverines (14-13, 1-2 Big Ten) after four innings and then held on as Michigan scored three times in the fifth and three more in the sixth to draw to within one.
Emily Ruck pitched the final 2.2 innings and recorded her first save of the season. Allison Smith, who threw over 160 pitchers yesterday, gave the Buckeyes 4.1 innings and is now 10-4 on the season. The Buckeyes bats were hot in the opening innings, as Ohio State scored three times in the first, three more in the second and one is the third and fourth innings.
Melina Wilkson hit a two-run home run in the second inning and also drove in a run via a bases loaded walk. Meggie Otte, Destinee Noury and Mariah Rodriguez all had RBI hits while a sacrifice fly from Jaycee Ruberti in the fourth inning proved to be the winning run.
How The Runs Were Scored
- The Buckeyes were able to get to Michigan starting pitcher Lauren Derkowksi early, scoring three in the first on a Sam Hackenbracht sac fly, a two-out RBI single from Otte and Noury’s run-scoring double.
- In the second inning, Rodriguez tripled to right field and scored Kaitlyn Farley to make the score 4-0 in favor of the Buckeyes. One batter later, after a Michigan pitching change, Melina Wilkison set the first pitch she saw from Jessica LeBeau over the center field fence to make the score 6-0.
- A bases loaded walk to Wilkison in the bottom of the third inning made the score 7-0, but Michigan would respond with a two-out RBI single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to 7-1.
- In the bottom half of the inning, an error and single put two on with one out, and when Ruberti skied a ball to left field, it was deep enough for Otte to score from third.
- Three Michigan runs in the fifth inning cut the Ohio State lead to 8-4, but when Ruck came on with the bases loaded and just one out, she was able to get a pop up and ground out to end the threat.
- The Wolverines scored three more times in the top of the sixth inning and had the go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the seventh following a lead-off single.
- Ruck, however, got back-to-back strikeouts and a ground out to second base to end the game.
The Weekend That Was
- Both Sam Hackenbracht and Meggie Otte drove in a team-high four runs during this weekend’s three-game set vs. Michigan.
- Hackenbracht had a three-run home run in the first inning of yesterday’s win and had another RBI today on a sacrifice fly.
- Kaitlyn Farley and Jaycee Ruberti both hit .375 for the weekend.
- Allison Smith struck out 12 batters in 14.1 innings of work.
- In 7.2 total innings of action, Emily Ruck picked up a win and a save.
After playing three games in just over 24 hours, the Buckeyes will be off until Wednesday when they travel to Dayton for a 3 p.m. game against the Flyers. The contest will be streamed on BTN+ and live stats will be available on the schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com.