The No. 19 Ohio State softball team ended its regular season on a high note, taking both ends of its weekend series against the Northwestern Wildcats.
The Buckeyes (37-12) defeated the Wildcats 9-6 on Friday and 16-0 on Saturday.
It was an emotional weekend for the Buckeyes, as it was the last home game for seven seniors who have helped OSU to 157 wins, the third-most winning class in program history. The seniors were recognized after Saturday’s contest.
“We were here to play. I don’t think the emotions were an issue until the last inning (of game two),” senior Courtney Pruner said. “These past five years have been amazing.”
Senior pitcher Megan Miller picked up her 12th and 13th wins for the season.
The Buckeyes jumped out to an early start Friday with back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the third from Pruner and catcher Sam Marder.
OSU scored six runs on seven hits in the inning to take a 7-1 lead.
However, the Wildcats battled back, scoring five runs over the next three innings.
The Buckeyes held on for the 9-6 win.
In game two, the Buckeyes had another big third inning, recording a season-best nine runs off six hits and three Wildcat errors to claim a 13-0 lead.
The Wildcats failed to score a run, forcing the game to end after the fifth inning with the Buckeyes up 16-0.
Pruner hit home runs in both games of the series, while sophomore Alicia Herron drove in five runs in Saturday’s game.
OSU ended the regular season in front of a record home crowd of 1,623.
“It’s a brand new season again. Our mission is Oklahoma City for the World Series, no matter what,” Marder said. “If we have to face adversity, we’ll push through that. If we go to hostile environments, we’re going to do whatever we need to do to get there.”
The Buckeyes now shift their focus to the postseason, hoping to host regionals at Buckeye Field and to make it to the super regionals and beyond.
“Who would’ve thought that sitting here with two losses in the Big Ten, we wouldn’t be Big Ten champs,” coach Linda Kalafatis said. “We always have the post-season in mind as we prepare. We want that to be a regular for our program. We want to be our best and finish best.”