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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A freshman and a graduate student introduced themselves to the Ohio State/Michigan rivalry on Friday afternoon and in the process helped the Buckeyes start the weekend on a winning note. Ohio State topped the 23-ranked Wolverines 6-2 at the Wilpon Complex and improved to 28-10 overall on the season (8-5 Big Ten). Michigan is 27-14, 7-7.
The Short Story
Melina Wilkson, a freshman from Greenburg, Ind., led off the game with a home run and scored three runs as part of a 3-for-4 day at the plate. Lexie Handley, meanwhile, matched her career-high with 13 strikeouts and allowed just one earned run in a complete game victory.
After falling behind 2-1 after four innings, the Buckeyes struck for four runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth to pull away. Ohio State’s six RBI came from six different players: Wilkison, Tegan Cortelletti, Niki Carver, McKenzie Bump, Kami Kortokrax and Kaitlyn Coffman.
How The Runs Were Scored
- Freshman Melina Wilkison wasted no time introducing herself to the Ohio State/Michigan rivalry. She took the fourth pitch that she saw from Alex Storako and deposited it into the left field seats.
- Wilkison’s home run was her third of the season and also gave her 10 RBI on the year.
- The score remained 1-0 in favor of Ohio State until the bottom of the fourth inning when Michigan plated two runs. The first came on a solo home run by Taylor Bump and the second was on a when Aundry LeClair scored on a muffed infield throw.
- The Wolverines lead – their only of the day – was shot-lived. Because in the top of the fifth, Ohio State struck for four runs on three hits to take the lead for good.
- It started with the first two batters of the inning – Kaitlyn Farley and Wilkson – reaching on an infield error and single.
- After an out and intentional walk to Sam Hackenbracht that loaded the bases, Niki Carver was hit by a pitch for the 14th time this season. This time, it tied the score at 2-all.
- McKenzie Bump then came up in a big spot and singled just over the second baseman and into left field, scoring Wilkison to give Ohio State a 3-2 lead.
- Kami Korkorax followed with a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-2 and pinch hitter Kaitlyn Coffman then delivered an infield single to score Carver.
- The Buckeyes tacked on another run in the sixth inning via a Tegan Cortelletti single that plated Wilkison, who had hit a one-out double.
Buckeye This and That
- Handley’s 13-strikeout performance matches her season-high set previously in wins over South Alabama and South Florida.
- Ohio State now has four wins over ranked opponents on its resume this season: vs. No. 22 South Florida (twice), No. 8 Kentucky and No. 23 Michigan.
- Wilkson’s three-hit day improved her average in 13 Big Ten games to .341.
- Ohio State is 6-1 in road conference games and won the opening game of a weekend series away from home for the third straight series.
- Sam Hackenbracht had a first-inning double and has hit safely in five straight games. Earlier this season, she had a 13-game hitting streak.
- Michigan’s best threat in the late innings came in the sixth when the Wolverines had runners at second and third with just one out.
- Handley, however, struck out the next two batters on just seven pitches to keep UM off the scoreboard.
Ohio State and Michigan continue their weekend series with a 2 p.m. game tomorrow in Ann Arbor. Live stats will be available on the schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com and the game will also be streamed live on B1G+.
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