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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Melissa Rennie, a freshman catcher on the Ohio State softball team, was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.  The native of Wellington, Ohio, claims the weekly laurel along with freshman pitcher Cassee Layne of Michigan State.

This is the first weekly award of Rennie’s career and first conference recognition of the season for the Buckeyes. The OSU rookie earns the honor after helping the squad to two wins last weekend at the South Alabama Invitational in Mobile, Ala. In three games at the tournament, Rennie totaled seven hits, including three home runs with six RBI in her second career collegiate event.

In the Ohio State’s 4-3 win over Southeastern Louisiana Feb. 19, Rennie posted her first career three-hit game. In the following game against Tennessee-Martin, she led off an inning with her first career home run to give Ohio State a 6-3 lead over the SkyHawks. In the final game of the invitational, Rennie continued her hot bat at the plate with her first multi-homer performance with a season-high four RBI. Her offense was a main part of the Buckeyes’ rally to win 12-4 in extra innings vs. the Purple Aces. Rennie scored leadoff the top of the fifth with a home run to left center to cut the deficit to 3-2. In the eighth inning, the Buckeye rookie put Ohio State ahead, 6-3, with a two-run home run to help start a nine-run inning for the Scarlet and Gray.

Up next, Ohio State travels west to one of the premier Division I softball tournaments at the 2011 Cathedral City Classic at the Big League Dreams Sports Complex Feb. 25-27 in California.