COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio State University softball team is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time since 2016.

The Buckeyes are the No. 2 seed in the Knoxville Regional and will face Oregon State in the first game of the double-elimination regional this Friday.

The 64-team tournament bracket was announced Sunday evening.

OSU has appeared in the tournament in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and now 2022, all under head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly. There was no tournament in 2020 and last season, the Big Ten played conference games only.

Junior Sam Hackenbracht is the team’s home run leader with 14 dingers and a .377 batting average. Freshman Melina Wilkson (.331, 10 doubles, 4 home runs), McKenzie Bump (.330, 25 RBI, eight doubles), and Jaycee Ruberti (.309, 14 RBI, 36 runs) lead the Buckeyes’ offensive attack, hitting .294 overall in the Big Ten.

Graduate student Lexie Handley is 22-9 from the mound with a 2.44 ERA and 259 strikeouts (a school single-season record) in 212 innings. Sophomore Emily Ruck (3.09 ERA) and Allison Smith (3.68 ERA) round out the Buckeyes’ pitching staff.

Ohio State enters the NCAA Tournament with a 35-15 record on the season.