After a tough loss to start their spring break, the Buckeyes bounced back in a HUGE way during their second game on Friday. An 8-0 run rule, a first collegiate home run AND, oh, by the way, a perfect game, all came during Ohio State’s win versus Canisius.
I won’t spend too much time harboring on the Buckeyes’ loss against Coastal Carolina, because clearly, that is not the star of the show here, but I will give a quick recap. The Buckeyes battled back in the fifth and sixth innings from being down 2-0 to being on top a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Coastal Carolina hit a two-run double to tie things up, then walked it off with a home run in the bottom of the seventh with two outs. Depressing start for the Bucks, but they showed grit by coming back late in the game and not giving up.
Luckily, they immediately got a chance to redeem themselves against Canisius. Ohio State was strong from the get-go as senior Mariah Rodriguez hit an RBI triple in the first inning to give the Buckeyes the early lead. Rodriguez has been the best hitter on the team thus far, as she currently has a .474 average in 11 games played, primarily as the designated hitter but also seeing some time at second base. She also has a five-game hit streak, so keep your eye on her!
The offense came from everyone in the lineup, as four players finished with two hits against the Golden Griffins while six different players drove in runs. Sophomore shortstop Kami Kortokrax started a four-run fifth inning with her first collegiate home run! This is very exciting as she has been one of the team’s most consistent and reliable hitters last season and this season. She currently has a .349 average, good for third on the team.
Now that’s OUTTA HERE!!! Favorite thing about this is how happy her teammates are!! We love you @KamiKortokrax Great camera work @milliken_aj pic.twitter.com/PUrBXLviU9— Mindy Drayer (@mdrayer1) March 11, 2023
Now, let’s talk about the headline of this article.
Junior right-hander Emily Ruck threw her first collegiate perfect game! It’s actually her second collegiate no-hitter, as she threw her first on March 13, 2022 vs. UMass. 12 of the 15 defensive outs recorded came via strikeout. It was one more than Ruck’s previous high of 11, which came in her no-hitter last season vs. UMass.
Think about that— 15 batters faced in a five-inning run-rule and all of them except three struck out. That’s EXTREMELY impressive! Ruck lowered her ERA to 3.32 in 25.1 innings pitched and earned her second win of the season.
— Ohio State Softball (@OhioStateSB) March 11, 2023
A five-inning perfect game by @emily_ruck_ gives the #Buckeyes an 8-0 win to finish Friday's doubleheader.#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/Zdicv3f8Jl
The last Ohio State pitcher to throw a perfect game was Jamee Juarez against IUPUI in 2007 and was also a five-inning run-rule win.
Overall, just a fantastic performance from the Buckeyes on Friday. They did not let the first-game loss get them down. They put it entirely behind them and proceeded to have one of their best games of the season. Ruck has been dominant as of late and this should just propel her to keep on going strong. The offense looked amazing all-around and clearly, it was just a super fun and memorable game to be in.
The Buckeyes are just getting started on spring break, as they still have 11 more games in the next eight days to play. I implore you to tune in and watch, as some of their games are on ESPN+, or just follow along on their Twitter @OhioStateSB. It’s going to be a fun one down in the Carolinas!
Congratulations to Emily. Looking forward to watching her continue to dominate the rest of the season!