COLUMBUS, Ohio – Leah Ledford drove home two runs in the bottom of the sixth to help guide the No. 15th-ranked Ohio State softball team to a 6-2 win over non-conference opponent Evansville Wednesday evening at New Buckeye Field. The win extends the Buckeyes’ winning streak to nine games, while upping their overall record to 33-6 heading into a Big Ten series with Wisconsin this weekend. The Purple Aces absorb a loss, moving to 10-26 on the season.
Ledford entered the game in the bottom of the sixth as a pinch hitter for Dee Dee Hillman and promptly sent a double down the left field line to plate Katie Simonton, as a pinch runner for Rebecca Schultz, and Courtney Pruner to give Ohio State the 6-4 lead and ultimately its 19th win this season by at least a four-run margin.
Evansville jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Buckeyes quickly tied it up in the bottom half of the inning off a sac fly from Tory Haddad that plated Hillman who reached on a single up the middle to start off the inning. They went on to stretch the lead to 3-1 with two runs in the bottom of the third when Rachael Shepherd crossed the plate on a wild pitch and Hillman scored her second run of the game on a play started by a fielder’s choice granted to Haddad.
The Purple Aces cut the lead back to one in the fourth, but a run in the fifth gave Ohio State a two-run lead again, which they stretched to four with Ledford’s two-RBI double in the sixth.
Kim Reeder earned the win in the circle, moving to 17-3 on the season after relieving starter Megan Miller with no outs in the fourth inning. She fanned four and gave up two hits in 4.0 innings of work. Evansville starter Jennifer McKee absorbed the loss, falling to 5-11 after allowing three runs on two hits through the first three innings of the game.
The Buckeyes return to action at 2 p.m. CT (3 ET) Saturday and Sunday with games against Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. The Badgers are currently 12-30 overall and 1-7 in the Big Ten.