COLUMBUS, Ohio – With only a day of rest, the Ohio State softball team opens its nine-game homestand with a doubleheader against in-state foe Ohio on Tuesday at Buckeye Field. First pitch will take place at 5 p.m. ET and both games will be streamed live on BTN Plus/BTN2Go.
The Bobcats will arrive in Columbus with a seven-game win streak on the line as they look to improve upon their 25-13 overall record. Ohio swept its series with Akron over the weekend, including a pair of run-rule shutouts. As a team, the Bobcats have a .284 batting average with 52 doubles and 40 home runs. The four-person pitching staff owns a 3.38 ERA and 260 strikeouts in 250.1 innings. Individually, Alex Day paces the squad batting .357 with 46 hits, 35 RBI, 32 runs scored and 11 home runs. In the circle, Danielle Stiene (15-5) has recorded a 2.07 ERA and 163 strikeouts during 132 innings of work.
Ohio State holds a 48-21 lead in the all-time series with Ohio. The two teams last faced off in 2016 in Athens, Ohio. The Buckeyes picked up a pair of wins on the road trip behind a 1-0 decision in the opener and 10-4 victory in the finale.
- Ohio State is hoping to get back into the win column on Tuesday after dropping a pair at Northwestern over the weekend. The team has 26-10 mark on the season.
- Ashley Goodwin went 4-for-6 during two contests at Northwestern for a .667 batting average. She drove in three runs, hit a three-run homer, tallied a pair of runs and had a 1.167 slugging percentage.
- Lilli Piper has successfully gotten on base in the last 11 games. Over the last eight outings, she has drawn a walk 11 times, three of which have been intentional.
- Bailee Sturgeon had a 10-game hitting streak from Mar. 25 through Apr. 13. During that span, she batted .429, had 15 hits, eight runs scored, three RBI and a .514 slugging percentage. The streak was highlighted by her first career triple versus Penn State Apr. 11.
- Taylor White has started to come into her own over the last 10 games, hitting .429 with 15 hits, 12 runs, eight RBI, four doubles, two home runs and a triple. She also has a .771 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage.
- Lilli Piper appears in multiple categories in the national rankings. She stands third in home runs per game (0.44), fifth in slugging percentage (.949) and home runs (16), sixth in total bases (112) and eighth in RBIs per game (1.28). Her 46 RBI and 1.03 runs per game rank 18th and 21st, respectively.
- Through 13 Big Ten contests, Shelby McCombs is batting .421 with 16 hits, 10 RBI, nine runs, five homers, two doubles and a .868 slugging percentage. Bailee Sturgeon has accumulated 16 hits, nine runs, three RBI, a triple, double and a .356 batting average. Taylor White is hitting .341 on 15 hits, 12 runs, eight RBI, four doubles, two home runs and a triple.
- Ohio State leads the conference with 47 home runs while coming in second in opposing batting average (.214) and slugging percentage (.486). The Buckeyes are third in fielding percentage (.964) and fourth with a 2.77 ERA. The team has roped 57 doubles while the pitching staff has struck out 228 batters, both totals ranks fifth. Nationally, Ohio State is fourth in home runs per game (1.31) and 16th in doubles per game at 1.58. The squad also has a .485 slugging percentage (21st).
- In the circle, the 1-2 punch of Shelby McCombs and Morgan Ray have logged nearly every inning this year. The duo has 211 strikeouts over 225.2 innings of work. Ray ranks fourth in the Big Ten by limiting opponents to a .196 batting average, 10th in ERA (2.35) and fifth in strikeouts (118). McCombs stands 14th with a 2.98 ERA, eighth in opposing batting average (.217) and ninth in strikeouts (93).
- Lilli Piper was tabbed as the Big Ten Player of the Week for the third time this season on Apr. 9. She had a .667 batting average, six hits, three runs, three homers and nine RBI. She also had an outstanding 1.778 slugging percentage, .750 on-base percentage, 1.000 fielding percentage, 16 total bases and four extra-base hits. Piper had a three-run dinger on Friday and a pair of two-run homers on Sunday.
- The Buckeyes connected on five home runs in the series finale against Rutgers Apr. 8 to tie the program record for most home runs in a game, which last happened on Apr. 16, 2017 vs. Indiana. It was the fourth time in program history that the Buckeyes hit five homers in a contest.
- Ohio State has reached its season high in hits (13) four times and has 10 games in double figures. The team has tallied double-digit hits in four of the last seven games.
Ohio State spent the first seven weeks of the 2018 season on the road and clocked in 26 games. During their time away from Columbus as a whole, the Buckeyes went 12-3 in neutral site games and are 10-6 in away matchups.
Ohio State has been pushed to extra innings six times, including a span of 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 eight 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 36 games, Ohio State has connected on 47 home runs. The Buckeyes have recorded at least one home run in 28 of 36 games, has four games with three homers and one contest with five dingers. Lilli Piper is responsible for 16 of Ohio State’s home runs.
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 and picked her 100th RBI against Rutgers on Apr. 8. Emily Clark has surpassed a pair of milestones as she recorded the 100th hit of her career against Northern Illinois on Feb. 10 and notched her 100th RBI on a two-run homer vs. Penn State Apr 11. Morgan Ray secured her 200th strikeout on Apr. 6 at Rutgers. Ashley Goodwin picked up her 100th hit on a two-shot home run vs. Penn State. Piper has driven in 99 runs during her two years in Scarlet & Gray.
The Buckeyes jump back into Big Ten action when it hosts Michigan State this weekend for a three-game series.