March 17, 2022

Ohio State Splits a Thursday Doubleheader in Tampa

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COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State began the second part of its Spring Break trip on Thursday, splitting a pair of games in Tampa at the USF Softball Complex. The Buckeyes started the day with a 9-1 six-inning win over Lehigh and then dropped a hard-fought 5-0 decision to No. 23 USF in the afternoon.

The Short Story
Against Lehigh, Sam Hackenbracht continued her torrid hitting, blasting two home runs and driving in four as Ohio State broke open a close game with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Emily Ruck was the winning pitcher, improving to 4-0 on the year while striking out eight.

The second game was a pitchers duel between Georgina Corrick, the nation’s leader in ERA, and Lexie Handley. Handley struck out 11 and had a no-hitter from five and a third innings, but gave up seven walks and USF scored four times in the sixth inning.

Game One: Ohio State 9, Lehigh 1 (6 inn.)
Ohio State broke open a close game with five runs in the fourth inning, two in the fifth and two more in the sixth for a 9-1 victory over Lehigh. Sam Hackenbracht was the star at the plate, belting two home runs and driving in four runs. Emily Ruck picked up her fourth win of the season in the circle, going six innings and striking out eight without allowing a walk.

 How the Runs Were Scored vs. Lehigh

  • Lehigh broke through first in top of the fourth inning via a solo home run to take a 1-0 lead. That advantage, however, wouldn’t last for long.
  • In the bottom of the fourth, Ohio State’s first hit of the game was a double off the bat of Meggie Otte. The next batter, Sam Hakenbracht, continued her hot-hitting with a two-run home run to put the Buckeyes ahead 2-1. It was Hakenbracht’s fourth home run in the last four games.
  • Taylor Pack followed with a walk and took second on a wild pitch. She ended up at third thanks to a sacrifice bunt by Niki Carver.
  • McKenzie Bump then executed a squeeze play. Pack was safe at home and Ohio State had a 3-1 lead.
  • Four batters later, Kaitlyn Farley delivered a key two-out RBI when she singled between the shortstop and third baseman, scoring Bump. Jaycee Ruberti then followed with a RBI single to center field, completing Ohio State’s five-run inning.
  • Ohio State added two runs in the bottom of the fifth via a McKenzie Bump triple to center field and Kami Kortokrax’s RBI single.
  • The game ended in the bottom of the sixth inning when Hackenbracht hit her second home run of the day, a two-run shot, scoring Otte, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.

 This and That

  • Ruck improved to 4-0 on the year and lowered her ERA to 1.18
  • Hackenbracht has multiple home runs in back-to-back games for the first time in her career.
  • Ohio State improved to 5-0 all-time against Lehigh
  • Eight of the Buckeyes’ nine starters finished with a hit and five different players drove in runs.

Statistically Speaking
Hackenbracht:
2-4, two HR, four RBI
Bump: 1-2, rwo runs scored, one triple, two RBI
Coffman: 1-2, one run scored
Ruck: 6.0 IP, five hits allowed, eight strikeouts, zero walks

Game Two: No. 23 USF 5, Ohio State 0
Lexie Handley matched USF’s Georgina Corrick pitch for pitch, but the Bulls pushed across an unearned run in the third inning and then plated four in the sixth inning to pull away for the 5-0 win.

Handley’s 11 strikeouts marked the fourth time this season that she’s registered double figure Ks. On the other side, Ohio State was able to get five hits off of Corrick, but she extended her scoreless innings streak to 85 with seven more shutout innings.

How the Runs Were Scored

  • The Bulls scored the game’s first run with one out in the third inning as Jordyn Kadlub came home on an infield error.
  • The score stay 1-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning when USF strung together its first hits of the afternoon. Josie Foreman doubled off the left field wall to drive in a run and USF tacked on three more via a bases loaded walk, sacrifice fly and fielder’s choice RBI.

 This and That

  • Freshman Kami Korotrax went 2-for-3 on the afternoon with a single and double.
  • Other Buckeyes who picked up hits were Kaitlyn Coffman, Sam Hackenbracht and Meggie Otte.
  • Handley now has 86 strikeouts on the season and 24 in two games at the USF Softball Complex. She also picked up her 400th career strikeout this afternoon.

What’s Next
Ohio State has two more games scheduled tomorrow, beginning with a 9 a.m. contest against Canisius and continuing at 11:15 versus St. Thomas. Live stats for both games will be available on the schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.