COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 18/19 Ohio State kicks off Big Ten action this weekend with a three-game series at Indiana. The Buckeyes will play a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 2 p.m. ET before concluding the series Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The games will be streamed on BTN Plus via BTN2Go.
2018 Record: 7-21
Last Weekend: Hosted the Hoosier Classic where the team went 3-2 with two wins over UIC. Split with UW-Green Bay and lost to Northwestern.
Top Hitter: Gabbi Jenkins, .367, 33 hits, 14 runs, 8 runs
Top Pitcher: Tara Trainer, 3-11, 73.2 IP, 3.80 ERA, 86 Ks
The Buckeyes are 47-58-2 in the all-time series with the Hoosiers. When the two teams met a season ago, Ohio State won a Sunday rubber match, 8-2, to claim the series. The Buckeyes scored in every inning and hit five home runs in the deciding game, including homers from Ashley Goodwin, Lilli Piper and Emily Clark.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Buckeyes rank in the top five in the conference in batting average (.265), slugging percentage (.473), doubles (40), home runs (29), earned run average (2.07) and fielding percentage (.970).
Individually, Lilli Piper stands first in batting average (.452), slugging percentage (1.012), runs scored (29), runs batted in (33), home runs (12) while coming in second in on-base percentage (.478) and doubles (9). She’s also third in total bases (85) and fourth in hits (38). Morgan Ray has held opponents to a .168 batting average, the second-lowest total among Big Ten pitchers. She is tied for third with 86 strikeouts and 11 wins.
Taylor White: EXCELLENCE OFF THE FIELD
Senior Taylor White was named one of 30 candidates nationwide for the Senior CLASS Award on Mar. 15. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Outside of softball, White has found a passion for helping others. On campus, she founded an organization called S.H.E.R.O.E.S., which stands for Sisters Helping Everyone Reach Opportunity for Success. Its goal is to empower African-American student-athletes on campus and create a close-knit, supportive environment. This past fall, she planned an ESPNW event on campus that included student-athletes and coaches from all of Ohio State’s female teams. White is a member of the dean’s list as a sport industry major and is set to graduate in May. She is also the recipient of the Miechelle Willis Academic Achievement Award recognizing students who have constantly strived to improve their academics.
Ohio State has spent the first six weeks of the 2018 season on the road and has played 23 games thus far. The weekend series with Indiana will push the Buckeyes past the halfway mark of the season. The team is 12-3 in neutral site contests and 7-1 in away games.
Through 23 games, Ohio State was pushed to extra innings six times, including four straight. The Buckeyes put up 24 hits, 17 RBI and seven home runs in those games on their way to a 3-1 mark during the four-game stretch. OSU only went past seven innings in four games a season ago.
WALK IT OFF
The Buckeyes have done some of their best work late in games this season. The squad has tallied six comeback wins, two of which have been walk-off victories. Four games were decided on walk-off hits, including a pair by Lilli Piper on a single and home run. Niki Carver has a walk-off single and Shelby McCombs delivered a walk-off homer earlier in the campaign.
SWING FOR THE FENCE
Through 23 games, Ohio State has connected on 29 home runs. The Buckeyes have recorded at least one home run in 18 of 23 games and has two games with three homers.
Lilli Piper recorded her 100th hit in Scarlet & Gray against Cal State Fullerton on Mar. 11. In the same game, Taylor White tallied the 100th run of her career. Emily Clark has already surpassed one milestone as she recorded the 100th hit of her career against Northern Illinois on Feb. 10. She has driven in 92 runs and is on track to cross the 100-RBI plateau. Ashley Goodwin is just seven hits away from reaching 100 for her career while White has 97 RBI.
Ohio State checks in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll at No. 18. The squad moved to No. 19 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll. The Buckeyes have been receiving votes or ranked in both polls every week thus far.
Ohio State will host Kentucky for its home opener Wednesday, Mar. 28 at 6 p.m. ET.