February 11, 2022

Ohio State Tops Northern Illinois 8-1 in 2022 Opener


Box Score: Ohio State 8, Northern Illinois 1 / Photos / Schedule/Results / 2022 Roster

COLUMBUS, OhioGraduate student Lexie Handley struck out 10 batters and allowed just three hits as Ohio State (1-0) opened its 2022 season with an 8-1 win over Northern Illinois (0-1) on Friday morning at the FAU First Pitch Classic in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Short Story
While Handley provided the pitching, a four-run first inning proved to be more than enough offense. The Buckeyes plated those four runs on three doubles, added two more runs in the second inning and then got a pinch-hit two-run home run in the top of the seventh off the bat of Taylor Heckman.

Six different players recorded hits, including two apiece from freshman Melina Wilkison and senior Meggie Otte.

How the Runs Were Scored

  • Ohio State wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, registering three hits while scoring four times in the top of the first.
  • After back to back walks by Wilkison and Jaycee Ruberti, Sam Hackenbracht laced a double down the left field line to score Wilkison.
  • Next, Otte drove home Ruberti with a double and senior Niki Carver made the score 4-0 with a two-run, one-out double down the right field line.
  • The Buckeyes’ lead grew to 6-0 in the top of the second inning as Otte got her second hit of the day, a two-run single that scored Wilkison and Hackenbract. Otte finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
  • The score stay at 6-0 until the top of the seventh when Taylor Heckman was called upon to pinch hit. She answered the call, hitting a two-run home run – the first of her career – down the right field line.

 Handley Scatters Just Three Hits

  • Handley was in control the whole morning, striking out 10 and walking just three in seven innings.
  • A graduate transfer who spent the last three seasons at Auburn, Handley didn’t allow a hit until the bottom of the sixth inning and needed just 102 pitches for the complete game.

Statistically Speaking
Melina Wilkison: 2-for-3, 1 run scored
Meggie Otte: 2-for-4, 3 RBI, 1 2B
Niki Carver: 1-for-3, 2 RBI
Jaycee Ruberti: 1-for-3, 2 runs scored
Taylor Heckman: 1-for-1, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Lexie Handley: 7.0 IP, 10 Ks, 3 BB, 3 hits allowed

First Time Buckeyes
Five players made their Ohio State debuts on Friday morning: Ruberti, Handley, Wilkison, shortstop Kami Kortokrax and second baseman Kaitlyn Farley.

 What’s Next
Ohio State plays two games tomorrow, Saturday, beginning with a 9 a.m. contest against Louisville and continuing with a game at approximately 11:30 a.m. versus Bethune-Cookman. Live stats for all Ohio State games this weekend will be available at: go.osu.edu/CGky