COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the second straight year, five members of the Ohio State softball team earned All-Big Ten honors as the conference released its postseason awards today. Lilli Piper and Shelby McCombs claimed spots on the first team while Emily Clark was on the second team. Becca Gavin joined Piper on the All-Defensive Team and Niki Caver garnered a place on the All-Freshman Team. Megan Choinacky was the Sportsmanship Award honoree.
Piper was a unanimous selection on the first team for the second time after batting .373 in conference play with seven home runs, 23 RBI and 19 runs scored. McCombs hit a team-best .409 in Big Ten games and stood third in the conference with a .879 slugging percentage and eight home runs. In the circle, she picked up eight wins, had a 2.93 ERA and 57 strikeouts over 71.2 innings. Clark drove in 22 runs in Big Ten play while hitting five homers and scoring 13 runs. Carver chipped in 13 runs, six RBI and three home runs on her way to a .365 batting average. Gavin caught eight runners stealing, the second-best mark in the league, and recorded 124 putouts and a 1.000 fielding percentage from behind home plate.
Coming off a 34-win regular season, the Buckeyes enter this weekend’s Big Ten Tournament as the No. 5 seed, which is being held at the Goodman Diamond in Madison, Wis. Ohio State will take on 12th-seeded Iowa Thursday at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET live on BTN.
Lilli Piper | First Team All-Big Ten and All-Defensive Team
- In overall games, she leads the conference in home runs (19) and slugging percentage (.899) while coming in second in batting average (.409) and RBI (56).
- Her 19 home runs ties the program’s single-season record. She is the third Buckeye to reach milestone.
- She currently has 56 RBI and 48 runs scored, making her one of two players in Ohio State history with at least 50 RBI and 40 runs in a season.
- Has a team-high 18 multi-hit and multi-RBI games.
- Appears in multiple categories in the national rankings – fourth in home runs per game (0.40), fifth in home runs (19), ninth in RBI per game (1.19), 10thin slugging percentage (.899), 11thin total bases (134) and 17th in RBI (56).
- Three-time Big Ten Player of the Week and USA Softball Top 25 Collegiate Player of the Year finalist.
Shelby McCombs | First Team All-Big Ten
- Earns her first all-conference accolades of her career.
- Big Ten Pitcher of the Week (Feb. 12).
- Sports a 2.97 ERA and .228 batting against average with 119 strikeouts. Offensively, she is second for the Buckeyes hitting .348 with 13 home runs.
- Hit a two-run walk-off home run vs. N.C. State (2/16) and scored the walk-off run vs. Michigan State (4/22).
- Had a 0.34 ERA, 25 strikeouts and did not give up an extra-base hit to go 3-0 during opening weekend with a career-high 12 strikeouts vs. FAU (2/10).
Emily Clark | Second Team All-Big Ten
- Named All-Big Ten for the second time in as many years.
- Stands second on the team with 43 RBI and third behind 12 home runs.
- Has connected on two grand slams this season against NIU (2/9) and Texas (2/24).
- Chipped in seven RBI, four runs, four hits, two homers, a double, triple and a 1.300 slugging percentage vs. Maryland (4/27-4/29).
- Over the last 10 games, she has a .414 average, 15 RBI, 12 hits, 11 runs scored, five home runs, two doubles, a triple and 1.069 slugging percentage.
Niki Carver | All-Freshman Team
- Two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
- Went 4-for-5 with a career-high three RBI and two runs against FAU. One of only five players to record four hits in a single game as a freshman.
- Played in 21 of 22 conference games and hit .365 with 13 runs scored, six RBI, three home runs, three doubles and two triples.
- Batted .625 with five hits, four runs, two RBI, a double, triple, home run and 1.375 slugging percentage against Maryland (4/27-4/29).
- First all-conference accolade of her career.
Becca Gavin | All-Defensive Team
- Has caught 14 stealing, which is the third-best total in the conference.
- Accumulated 286 putouts from behind the plate and has four games with at least 10.
- Earns her first career all-conference honor. Was a NFCA All-Midwest Region selection last season.
- Had her first homer of the season, a two-run shot, against LMU (3/13).
- Was 2-for-2 with two runs, one RBI, a double and a walk vs. Michigan State (4/20).
Megan Choinacky | Sportsmanship Award
- The award is given to student-athletes who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior while holding a good academic standing and demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
- Pharmaceutical Sciences major.
- Appeared in 10 games this season.
- OSU Scholar-Athlete.