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Buckeyes sweep Rutgers Softball

Knights drop back under .500


Crazy spring weather and crazy scheduling.

Because of the threat of snow and who knows what else, RU and Ohio State were going to play a double header on Friday and skip Saturday. Then the forecast changed, allowing for three single contests.

Yup, it’s April.

The on-again-off-again schedule didn’t effect the Buckeyes as they swept the three game set over RU. The loss on Saturday pushed the Knights under .500 where they now sit at 17-19, 2-5 B1G. No. 23 Ohio State is 24-8, 5-4 B1G.

On Friday, the Buckeyes scored early and often, building a 10-3 lead after four innings, ultimately winning, 12-3. Junior Jess Hughes’s two hits extended her career-long hit streak to 15 straight games. Ohio State, though, had eight extra base hits, including three home runs. Whitney Jones started and took the loss for RU.

Jess Hughes continued her hit streak on Saturday in a closer contest. She had two hits in a 6-2 loss, a complete game for starter Whitney Jones. Hughes’ streak is the longest for a Rutgers player in 11 years. In the third inning, the Scarlet recorded their nation-leading 30th double play of the season and the 20th to end an inning with the second and third outs.

Sunday’s finale was almost a repeat of Friday as OSU took an early lead and never relinquished it. The Bucks then added runs in the middle innings to finally take the 10-3 win. Whitney Jones (8-10) started and went four innings before yielding the circle to two other pitchers who gave up four runs in three innings.

Jess Hughes did not have an at bat, as she walked three times in the game. Nicole Bowman took a 1-1 pitch over the centerfield wall for a two run homer in the fifth; it was her fourth round tripper of the season.

Rutgers hits the road next weekend to face the other big gun in the conference, Michigan. The Wolverines, ranked No. 17 last week, are 31-7 and coming off a three game weekend sweep of Penn State. Michigan does have two mid-week games against Eastern Michigan and Michigan State in Ann Arbor before hosting RU at 6 pm Friday evening.

Big Ten Softball Awards

Player of the Week

Lilli Piper, Ohio State || SS – Jr.

• Batted .667 with a .750 on-base percentage and a 1.778 slugging percentage, along with three home runs, nine RBI and three runs scored to pace No. 23/24 Ohio State to a sweep of a Big Ten road series at Rutgers

• Hit a pair of two-run home runs in Sunday’s series finale, tying her season high with four RBI

• Also had a season-high four RBI and a home run in Friday’s series opener

Pitcher of the Week

Allison Doocy, Iowa || RHP – So.

• Went 2-0 in the circle last weekend with two complete games and a 1.50 ERA, striking out 18 in 14 innings to help Iowa sweep its Big Ten home series against Wisconsin

• Tossed a one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts in Friday’s series opener

• Added a complete-game victory in Sunday’s series finale, striking out six

Freshman of the Week

Lou Allan, Michigan || DP

• Batted .429 with a .556 on-base percentage and a 1.429 slugging percentage, including two home runs and four RBI last weekend in No. 17/16 Michigan’s three-game sweep at Big Ten foe Penn State

• Hit her first collegiate home run in Friday’s series opener

• Followed that up with a two-run home run in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game, breaking a scoreless tie