COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 17-ranked Ohio State softball team used two homeruns and 10 total hits as it defeated Michigan State, 9-1, in six innings Sunday afternoon at New Buckeye Field in front of 603 fans. Whitney Cooper and Leah Ledford each hit the ball out of the park as the Buckeyes extended their winning streak to 11 games and moved to 22-3 on the season, 2-0 in the Big Ten while the Spartans fall to 10-15 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a quick start, going up 3-0 after the first inning off Cooper’s blast. Sam Marder walked to start off the inning and advanced to second on a single up the middle by Tory Haddad. Cooper then came up swinging and promptly sent the ball to straight center and over the 220-foot wall for the fourth round-tripper this season by the Barstow, Calif. native.
Michigan State put its only run of the weekend on the board in the top of the third when Lori Padilla scored off a double by Lindsey Hansen.
Ohio State stretched the lead to 5-1 after the fifth inning with single runs in the fourth and fifth. Ledford tallied her second homer of the season in the fourth with a shot to leftfield before Cooper tallied her fourth RBI with a single to right that plated Brittany Goodchild as a pinch runner for Courtney Pruner. The Buckeyes went on to load the bases in the fifth, but back-to-back pop-outs left three on base as the teams headed into the sixth inning.
In the bottom half of the sixth, Marder scored on an error by the Spartan catcher and Cooper drove home her fifth run with a single, but it was Alicia Herron that put the game away for the Buckeyes with a two-RBI double.
Ohio State has won each of its last four games by run rule and a total of eight this season. The Scarlet and Gray out-scored the Spartans 17-1 on the weekend, extending its run-scoring margin to 155-34.
The Buckeyes return to the road for spring break with games at North Carolina and N.C. State Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Ohio State and the Tar Heels will face off at 5 p.m. Tuesday before it takes on the Wolfpack on in a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Wednesday.