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Rutgers softball to begin Big Ten play against Ohio State in home opener

Graduate student catcher Katie Wingert will look to add to her total of eight home runs when the Rutgers softball team begins Big Ten play against Ohio State this weekend.  – Photo by @ru_softball / Instagram

The Rutgers softball team will take on Ohio State this weekend. The Scarlet Knights (18-12, 0-0) will begin Big Ten play with the weekend series against the Buckeyes (16-8, 0-0).

Rutgers is coming off of a road loss to Virginia. The Knights were shut out by the Cavaliers (18-9, 5-4) and only recorded three hits in their 2-0 defeat.

Fifth-year pitcher Mattie Boyd threw a complete game for Rutgers and now has a 10-6 record on the season. Despite only giving up two runs, the bats went cold and the Knights suffered their 12th defeat of the season.

Senior pitcher and outfielder Morgan Smith has been a key component of Rutgers' success so far this season. Smith has a team-high batting average of .414 and has also been instrumental on the mound, owning an earned run average (ERA) of 2.97 and a 6-4 record. Smith and graduate student catcher Katie Wingert have both hit eight home runs, which is tied for most on the team.

Ohio State is also facing off against a Big Ten opponent for the first time this season. The Buckeyes are coming off a 12-6 win against Kentucky in the John Cropp Classic. Ohio State had 12 hits and nine different players scored.

The Buckeyes boast a .312 batting average, the third-best in the Big Ten. Tegan Cortelletti is hitting a team-high .471 batting average and has 11 runs batted in. She also has a team-leading 1.162 OPS and has hit one home run.

Ohio State has some impressive pitching to fall back on behind its powerful hitting. Allison Smith holds a team-high 1.96 ERA and has earned 10 wins on the season. Smith will surely be a challenge for the Knights' offense. 

Rutgers will look to start conference play on the front foot at the Rutgers Softball Complex on Livingston campus. The series will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday and will be broadcast on Big Ten Plus.

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

To view more of Allison Girardi's work, follow @allisongirardii on X.

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