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Softball: Ohio State travels to take on struggling Pittsburgh

Ohio State senior shortstop Lilli Piper (22) fires the ball to first during a double play against Indiana on March 24 at Buckeye Field. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The Lantern

After two wins and a loss against Maryland, the Ohio State softball team will head to Vartabedian Field to take on Pittsburgh at 4 p.m. this Wednesday.

The Buckeyes recorded their 20th win of the season against the Terrapins, and sit at a 20-10 record, going 5-1 in the Big Ten. Pitt, on the other hand, has a 5-28 season record and is 2-10 during conference play.

Ohio State has defeated the Panthers the past two seasons, including a 5-1 victory in 2018. The Buckeyes hold a 14-4 advantage in the all-time series against the Panthers.

Pitt comes in as the winner of its most recent game, defeating North Carolina 14-5 in five innings. The Panthers had lost their past seven games prior to the matchup, scoring a combined 22 runs over the stretch, nine of which came against Ohio on March 19.

Panthers sophomore outfielder/infielder Hunter Levesque is having a strong season despite the tough record, recording a team-leading .276 batting average and 16 RBI this season.

A strength for Pitt comes with its power. The Panthers have hit 26 home runs this season, four more than Ohio State. Freshman outfielder/infielder Katelyn Pavlick leads the team with six home runs.

The major difference between the two teams comes from the pitching. While Ohio State has maintained a 1.81 team ERA this season, Pitt has not had the same success, combining for a 6.92 ERA so far this year.

Redshirt sophomore pitcher/infielder Brittany Knight has the most starts for the Panthers with 13, but holds a 2-14 record with a 6.39 ERA, allowing 91 earned runs in 99.2 innings of work.

Pitt’s pitching rotation has allowed 39 home runs on the season, while Ohio State’s has allowed seven.

Senior shortstop Lilli Piper has begun to heat up for the Buckeyes as of late, coming into the matchup against the Panthers with a nine-game on-base streak. Piper holds a .355 batting average, highest among players on the team with more than five at-bats, and a team-leading 11 stolen bases.

Piper currently ranks tied for No. 3 in program history with 41 home runs, No. 8 with 129 RBI and No. 2 with a .403 batting average over her four years with Ohio State.

Ohio State goes on the road to take on Pittsburgh at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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