COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State hosts its final conference home games at Buckeye Field when Maryland comes to town this weekend. The Buckeyes will open the three-game set on Friday at 6 p.m. and pick play back up on Saturday at 2 p.m. The series finale will take place at noon on Sunday. All of the games will be streamed on BTN Plus/BTN2Go. Ohio State will celebrate its seven seniors following Sunday’s contest.
Maryland comes to Columbus with an 18-30 overall record and 7-10 Big Ten mark. The Terps are currently on a three-game skid after being swept by Michigan last weekend. As a team, Maryland is hitting .234 with 50 doubles and 16 home runs. The pitching staff has put 310.1 innings of work for a 4.60 ERA and 152 strikeouts. Individually, Skylynne Ellazar leads the Terps batting .324 with 46 hits, 17 RBI, 21 runs scored and six homers. In the circle, Ryan Denhart (10-14) has a 3.56 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 155.1 innings.
Ohio State and Maryland have only met 11 times with the Buckeyes claiming nine wins in the series. The Buckeyes traveled to College Park last year to open the conference slate and outscored the Terps, 38-8, on the way to a trio of victories. During the series, Ohio State hit .396 and five players with at least 10 at-bats hit .400 or better.
Becca Gavin | Gahanna, Ohio | Major: Biology
- Played in 146 games, making 122 starts.
- Fixture behind the plate at catcher, recording more than 600 putouts.
- Woody and Anne Hayes Scholarship Fund and Pierce Phoenix Award recipient.
Ashley Goodwin | Riverside, Calif. | Major: Criminal Justice
- Started 154 games in 189 appearances.
- Has accumulated 105 hits and 73 RBI.
- Holds a .981 career fielding percentage and over 700 putouts.
Maddie Marotti | Dublin, Ohio | Master’s Program: Sport Management
- Played 62 games in Scarlet & Gray.
- Registered 19 hits as a redshirt junior, including the first double and triple of her career.
- Two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
Shelby McCombs | Newark, Ohio | Major: Human Development and Family Sciences
- Appeared in 75 games, including 57 in the circle.
- Hitting .351 with 39 hits, 27 RBI, 18 runs, 11 homers and nine doubles this season.
- Has 25 career wins, 187 strikeouts and 217 innings pitched over three years.
Bailee Sturgeon | Ashville, Ohio | Major: Sport Industry
- Developed into one of the best slappers in the game this season with 36 hits and 21 runs scored.
- Played in 142 contests for Ohio State.
- Has a .956 career fielding percentage as an outfielder.
Alex Vargas | Chula Vista, Calif. | Major: Communications
- Seen action in 28 games.
- Scored two runs, walked three times and drove in a run against Maryland last season.
- Holds a spotless 1.000 fielding percentage over three years.
Taylor White | Granada Hills, Calif. | Major: Sport Industry
- Appeared in 195 games with 180 starts.
- Accumulated 164 hits, 121 runs, 106 RBI, 29 doubles, 21 home runs and 11 triples in her career.
- Has tallied at least 20 runs and 30 hits every year.
- Ohio State got back into the win column by sweeping Michigan State last weekend. The squad has a 29-11 mark on the season and is 10-6 in conference matchups.
- The Buckeyes took all three games from the Spartans for the first time since 2015.
- 1,719 of the Best Fans in the Land showed up to support the Buckeyes on Sunday, the fourth-largest crowd at Buckeye Field.
- Bri Betschel and Niki Carver both hit .571 against the Spartans. Betschel had four hits, two runs scored and a RBI while Carver tallied four hits, a double, triple, home run, three runs and two RBI with a 1.429 slugging percentage.
- Lilli Piper has successfully gotten on base in the last 15 games. Over the last 12 outings, she has drawn a walk 15 times, four 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 gotten her groove back over the last 14 games, hitting .326 with 15 hits, 14 runs, nine RBI, four doubles, two home runs and a triple. She also has a .587 slugging percentage and .418 on-base percentage.
- Lilli Piper appears in multiple categories in the national rankings. She stands fifth in home runs per game (0.40), eighth in home runs (16), seventh in slugging percentage (.898) and 12th in total bases (115). Her 1.18 runs batted in per game and 47 RBI rank 16th and 25th, respectively.
- Through 16 Big Ten contests, Shelby McCombs is batting .438 with 21 hits, 13 RBI, 12 runs, six homers, five doubles and a .917 slugging percentage. Bailee Sturgeon has accumulated 19 hits, 10 runs, four RBI, a triple, double and a .352 batting average. Bri Betschel is hitting .379 on 11 hits, nine runs, four RBI, two double and two triples.
- Ohio State leads the conference with 50 home runs while coming in second in opposing batting average (.218). The Buckeyes are third in slugging percentage (.486), fielding percentage (.965) and doubles (64). The team has a 2.76 ERA and 247 strikeouts for fifth. Nationally, Ohio State is eighth in home runs per game (1.25) and 13th in doubles per game at 1.60. The squad also has a .486 slugging percentage (19th).
- In the circle, the 1-2 punch of Shelby McCombs and Morgan Ray have logged nearly every inning this year. The duo has 230 strikeouts over 248.2 innings of work. Ray ranks seventh in the Big Ten in ERA (2.27) and fifth by limiting opponents to a .196 batting average with strikeouts (125). McCombs stands 13th with a 3.07 ERA, ninth in opposing batting average (.229) and strikeouts (105).
- 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 11 games in double figures.
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. McCombs also scored the walk-off run against Michigan State.
SWING FOR THE FENCE
Through 40 games, Ohio State has connected on 50 home runs. The Buckeyes have recorded at least one home run in 30 contests, has four games with three homers and one outing with five dingers. Lilli Piper is responsible for 16 of Ohio State’s home runs while Shelby McCombs has 11.
Ohio State is 32nd in the latest RPI, released on Monday. The Buckeyes are 8-5 vs. teams ranked in the Top 50 and owns 15 wins against Top 100 teams. It has already played 13 games against Top 50 opponents and has four remaining on the schedule (three vs. Michigan and one vs. Pittsburgh).
Ohio State closes its eight-game homestand when it welcomes Pittsburgh for the final nonconference matchup of the regular season on Wednesday, May 2.