May 31, 2017
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sophomore shortstop Lilli Piper put an exclamation point on her standout 2017 season by earning third team All-America honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), the organization announced today. Piper is the 12th All-American in program history and the second in as many years.
“I’m so excited for Lilli to be recognized for her phenomenal year,” said head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly. “Her stats were clearly worthy, but what I loved about Lilli this year was that she brought passion, energy and a love for the game that was contagious to our team. This is a fitting honor for a consistent, relentless competitor.”
Piper emerged this season as one of the most dangerous hitters in the Big Ten. In 48 regular season games, she was third in the league in batting (.420) with 49 RBI, 44 runs scored, 16 home runs and a .784 slugging percentage. While stats from conference tournament and regional games are not included in All-American voting, she continued her torrid pace in the postseason, hitting .438 with a pair of two-run home runs – including one in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals and another in the NCAA Tournament – to go along with a .813 slugging percentage. Her overall numbers included a .421 average, 18 home runs, 53 RBI, 47 runs scored, .787 slugging percentage and .436 on-base percentage.
A transfer from Akron where she played both basketball and softball for the Zips, Piper set a program record for home runs by a newcomer and was just one shy of tying the single-season mark of 19 set by Sam Marder (2009) and Alex Bayne (2016). She had a team-high 24 multi-hit games and 15 multi-RBI games. Against RPI Top-75 teams (21 regular season games), she hit .429 with 23 RBI, eight home runs and 17 runs scored. Among the highlights was a career-high six RBI effort against Central Florida and a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to clinch a series win at Illinois.
In 23 Big Ten games, Piper batted .430 and slugged a conference-best 10 home runs while driving in 22 runs and scoring 24 times. Her overall numbers ranked among the top 10 in seven different offensive categories as she was a unanimous first team all-conference selection and first team all-region choice. In Ohio State’s record book, her .421 average is fourth-best in a single season, 53 RBI rank fifth and 75 hits and 18 home runs are tied for second most.
With Piper’s help, Ohio State went 35-18, 15-8 in the Big Ten and earned its second consecutive at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 35 overall wins and 15 in the Big Ten were both the most since 2010. After finishing third in the conference standings during the regular season, Ohio State advanced to the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the first time in 10 years. Piper was one of nine All-America choices from Big Ten programs, the third most of any conference.
OHIO STATE SOFTBALL ALL-AMERICANS
Shauna Bowman | Third Team 1991
Krinon Clark | Second Team 1994 | Third Team 1993
Jen Fredrickson | Second Team 1994
Wendy Allen | Second Team 2002
Anna Smith | First Team 2002
Jennifer Link | Third Team 2002
Stacy Roth | Third Team 2002
Brittany Vanderink | Third Team 2008
Sam Marder | Third Team 2008 | Second Team 2009 | Third Team 2010
Kim Reeder | Third Team 2009
Cammi Prantl | Third Team 2016
Lilli Piper | Third Team 2017
Unanimous first team All-Big Ten.
First team NFCA All-Midwest Region.
Big Ten All-Tournament Team after hitting .500 with hits in all three games and a two-run home run in the semifinals vs. Michigan State.
Batted .429 with eight home runs, 23 RBI and a .886 slugging percentage in 21 games vs. RPI Top 75 opponents.
Went 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBI vs. No. 21 California (2/26).
Career-high six RBI vs. Central Florida (3/10/17).
Drove in the game-winning run with a triple vs. Missouri (3/17).
Big Ten Player of the Week after hitting .727 with eight RBI, two home runs and a 1.364 slugging percentage vs. Maryland.
Ended Michigan’s 45-scoreless inning streak with a solo home run (4/8).
Two-run home run as part of 3-for-3 game at Pitt.
3-for-4 with a pair of two-run home runs in series finale at Michigan State.
Hit .430 with 10 home runs in Big Ten-only games.
Led the Big Ten in conference-only home runs and was third overall in batting.
Go-ahead home run in the seventh inning of a 3-2 series-clinching win over No. 22 Illinois.
Ohio State was 13-4 in games in which Piper hit a home run.
Ohio State’s first sophomore to garner All-America honors since Sam Marder in 2008.