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Rutgers softball looks to keep rolling in road series against Ohio State

Junior infielder Kyleigh Sand has had a hot bat all season long for the Rutgers softball team, and she will look for more success when the Scarlet Knights (29-12, 6-2) face off against Ohio State this weekend. – Photo by Ben Solomon /

The Rutgers softball team will head to Columbus, Ohio, today to take on Ohio State in a weekend series. With the success the Scarlet Knights (29-12, 6-2) have had thus far into their season against Big Ten opponents, the team will hope to bring home more conference victories.

Rutgers grabbed two wins on Wednesday against Maryland during its double-header matchups. The Knights currently have several key players that have contributed heavily to the team’s victories this season.

Recently, graduate student pitcher Jaden Vickers has been thriving inside the pitcher’s circle. The pitcher had seven strikeouts with no hits or runs during four innings on the mound against the Terrapins (26-10, 3-5).

In a 9-0 win against Purdue last weekend, Vickers pitched for five innings, collecting eight strikeouts, allowing only three hits and giving up no runs in the circle.

Freshman pitcher Raimy Gamsby is another key pitcher. Inside the circle this season, she has totaled 66 strikeouts with a 2.30 earned run average (ERA).

Junior shortstop Kyleigh Sand currently holds the team's highest batting average with a .401. Sand has had a team-leading 55 hits this season and has crossed the plate for a team-leading 43 runs.

Freshman pitcher Ryann Orange and junior pitcher and outfielder Morgan Smith follow closely behind Sand, with batting averages of .346 and .339, respectively.

Rutgers has a total of 32 home runs this season from multiple different players. The Knights have also totaled 325 hits for the season.

Head coach Kristen Butler collected her 100th career win with Rutgers on Wednesday against Maryland. Butler has been on the Banks for five seasons, with this season being one of her best yet.

The Buckeyes (21-12, 2-4) currently hold a batting average of .314, with the Knights falling closely behind with a .305 average at the plate. Ohio State has totaled 289 hits with 175 runs batted in (RBI).

Melina Wilkison is the team's best hitter for the Buckeyes, with a .423 batting average. Wilkison has 47 hits, 30 RBIs and 6 home runs.

Ohio State has several pitchers that could potentially threaten Rutgers. Allison Smith holds a 2.78 ERA with 140 strikeouts and 11 credited wins on the season for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State's Emily Ruck has pitched for a 3.88 ERA and has collected 51 strikeouts as well as five wins so far this year. The Buckeyes' pitchers combined have 227 strikeouts thus far this season.

The Knights last met with Ohio State during the 2021 season, where they went 1-3. This weekend, Rutgers will aim to defeat the Buckeyes and continue its ongoing success with Big Ten matchups this season.

Ohio State last saw Big Ten action last weekend and got swept by Indiana in three games. In Tuesday's matchup against Ohio, the Buckeyes fell 1-0 in extra innings. The Knights will look to capitalize on the struggles of Ohio State, which is currently on a four-game losing streak.

The first pitch of the weekend will be thrown at 6 p.m. Friday evening, followed by a 2 p.m. game on Saturday and concluding at noon on Sunday. All games will be broadcasted on Big Ten Plus.

For more updates on the Rutgers softball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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