The Big Ten tournament got off to a solid start for the Ohio State softball team, as the Buckeyes (33-17-1, 13-9-1) beat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (24-33, 8-15) 5-0 in State College, Pennsylvania.
After sweeping Rutgers during the regular season, OSU looked in control from the very start of the game. Junior pitcher Lena Springer dominated through all seven innings, giving up only four hits and no walks, as well as earning five strikeouts.
Springer now has five wins on the season.
Led by senior outfielder and OSU’s all-time hits leader, Cammi Prantl, the Scarlet and Gray figured out Rutgers pitcher Dresden Maddox early. Sophomore utility player Becca Gavin started the scoring in the bottom of the second with an infield single to drive home sophomore infielder Ashley Goodwin, and the Buckeyes never looked back.
A home run by redshirt senior Maddy McIntyre gave OSU a 3-0 lead in bottom of the third. The home run gave her six on the year.
After earning a team-high .405 batting average, Prantl picked up where she left off in the regular season, providing a majority of the offense for the Buckeyes. She went two-for-three with a pair of RBIs, along with scoring two runs herself.
The defense for OSU was solid, committing no errors through all seven innings, while also making nice plays on the ball to limit the Rutgers batters to just four hits, only one of which had extra bases.
Looking ahead, the Buckeyes will face Northwestern in State College on Friday. The time of the first pitch has yet to be announced.
Last season, OSU held a 1-2 record against the Wildcats.