MADISON, Wis. The No. 15-ranked Ohio State softball team swept Wisconsin in a Big Ten doubleheader Saturday, earning a 10-0 win in the first game before taking a 6-5 victory in 11 innings in the second.
GAME 2: Rebecca Schultz drove home the winning run in the top of the 11th inning, securing the No. 15-ranked Ohio State softball team’s comeback win over Wisconsin, 6-5, Saturday night at Goodman Softball Complex in game two of a doubleheader. The win extends the Buckeyes’ winning streak to 11 games, giving them a 35-6 overall record with an 11-1 Big Ten record. Wisconsin falls to 12-32 on the season, 1-9 in the conference.
The Badgers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second to mark just the eighth time this season a Buckeye opponent has put itself on the board first. Ohio State came back with one in the top of the third, but Wisconsin countered with a single run in the bottom half of the inning before stretching its lead to four with a RBI single in the sixth.
Trailing 5-1 heading into the final regulation inning, the Buckeyes exploded for four runs in the top of the seventh to tie the ballgame and force extra innings. Courtney Pruner hit a two-run blast to left center, scoring Alicia Herron, cutting the margin in half and clearing the bases for Schultz to board on a single to right field. Leah Ledford legged out a triple, plating Schultz, and then returned home herself on a wild pitch to tie the ballgame.
Kim Reeder, who relieved starter Lindsay Bodeker with two outs in the sixth, struck out eight in 5.1 innings of relief, including five fans in extra innings. The senior captain improved to 19-3 on the season and moved to within six games of tying the all-time career wins record at Ohio State. She currently holds 70 to her credit after picking up two in the games Saturday.
The second game will be shown on tape delay at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday on the Big Ten Network.
GAME ONE: The bottom of the order came up big for the Buckeyes, as five of the team’s 10 hits came from batters in the bottom three spots. Leah Ledford went 2-for-4 with four RBI from the No. 9 spot. The West Chester, Ohio, native’s two hits included a three-run shot to left field in the top of the seventh that led a five-run rally for Ohio State. Joining Ledford with two hits were Rachael Shepherd, batting in the eighth slot, and Whitney Cooper.
Ohio State jumped out to a 2-0 lead through the first two innings of play, rallying in the first to load the bases on two outs to score Tory Haddad on a Courtney Pruner walk before Shepherd took control in the second with a triple and a return trip home on a passed ball.
Dee Dee Hillman led the charge in the fifth. After reaching first on a walk, the sophomore center fielder stole second and motored home on a RBI single up the middle from Haddad. Katie Simonton entered as a pinch runner for Haddad and promptly showed off her own speed when Cooper plated her on a single to center.
With the 4-0 lead after five, Ohio State added one more in the sixth before exploding for five in the top of the seventh. In the final inning, Herron grounded out to shortstop, but gave Cooper enough time to come on the play. With two runners in scoring position, Shepherd sent a bunt single down the third base line, giving Pruner just enough room to slip past the catcher and into home.
Ledford accounted for the final three of the Ohio State runs, scoring Shepherd and Rebecca Schultz on her fourth homer of the season.
Kim Reeder (18-3) earned her eighth complete game shutout win of the season, striking out four, to move to within seven wins of tying the all-time career wins record at Ohio State. Reeder currently holds 69 victories to her credit, trailing Jamee Juarez’s 76 set during the 2004-07 seasons.
Up Next: The Buckeyes return to action at 5 p.m. Wednesday with a doubleheader against Purdue at New Buckeye Field.