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Buckeyes host Indiana for a 5 p.m. Wednesday doubleheader

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After recording a perfect 4-0 record last week, the No. 19/23 Ohio State softball team returns to Columbus to host six Big Ten games in seven days, starting with a doubleheader vs. Indiana at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The Buckeyes (26-11) have won 13 of their last 15 contests and will face the 11-27 Hoosiers. In Big Ten action, Ohio State is 5-1 while IU sits at 3-5 after recording a series sweep at Minnesota. Indiana is 3-2 in their last five games.

FOLLOWING FROM HOME
Fans can watch Ohio State softball home games live online this season on Buckeye Vision at OhioStateBuckeyes.com or BigTenNetwork.com. Standard rates apply.

The Ohio State-Indiana doubleheader will be aired live on BigTenNetwork.com and replayed on the Big Ten Network at 3 and 5 p.m. Friday.

In addition, a link for live stats can be found on the softball schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

THE BUCKEYES ARE ON THE RADIO
Softball fans can tune into Scarlet and Gray Sports Radio at www.ohiostatesports.net as senior Ohio State students Evan Winkofsky and Joey D’Amico call the action at Buckeye Field this spring. Audio from the Scarlet and Gray Sports Radio show also can be heard on the Buckeye Vision live streaming production at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

ALL-TIME SERIES
Ohio State trails Indiana in the all-time series, 51-32-2. However, under head coach Linda Kalafatis, the Buckeyes are 19-9 against the Hoosiers. In the last eight meetings, Ohio State owns a 6-2 ledger vs. Indiana. The Scarlet and Gray swept the Hoosiers in 2009 and 2007 while splitting a Big Ten series with IU in 2006 and 2008.

BUCKEYE QUICK HITS
– Sophomore Alicia Herron leads the squad, batting .432 overall. The shortstop has started all 37 Buckeye games and has 30 RBI, 13 doubles and six home runs.
– Herron, senior catcher Sam Marder and senior designated player Courtney Pruner are in a three-way tie for the most RBI with 30 each.
– Marder has 176 RBI in her career to hold No. 1 in the all-time program record book while also holding the all-time Buckeye home run (56) and walks (210) records. Pruner is third on the all-time RBI and home run lists with 146 and 34, respectively.
– Freshman Melanie Nichols leads the Buckeyes in wins (13), strikeouts (91), ERA (2.09) and innings pitched (113.2). The OSU pitching corps has a combined ERA of 2.39 while its opponents have combined for a 5.58 ERA.
– Ohio State returned 14 letterwinners and seven starters from its 2009 squad that went 47-11 and 16-4 in the Big Ten, finishing second in the league.

LOOKING AT OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are 13-2 in their last 15 games after sweeping Bowling Green at home last Wednesday and Michigan State on the road last weekend. Ohio State shutout BGSU, 4-0 and 10-0, at Buckeye Field before downing MSU in East Lansing, 12-3, Saturday and, 7-3, Sunday.

In the last four games, sophomore shortstop Alicia Herron leads the Buckeyes with a .533 batting average while hitting five doubles, scoring five runs and notching five RBI. Senior Sam Marder was walked seven times with five of them intentional.

IN THE BIG TEN
With a 5-1 ledger, Ohio State continues to hold on to third place in the Big Ten standings. Michigan is first with a 9-0 conference record while Iowa holds second at 8-1.

The Buckeyes have swept Wisconsin (March 27) and Michigan State (April 17-18) while splitting a series vs. Illinois (April 10-11). April 7, Ohio State lost two games to Mother Nature while visiting Purdue in West Lafayette.

Sophomore Alicia Herron leads the league with a .432 overall batting average and 51 hits while holding second with 13 doubles. Senior Sam Marder leads the Big Ten with a .562 on base percentage and 39 walks. Marder also is second in the conference with an .849 slugging average and 13 home runs.

Freshman pitcher Melanie Nichols is tied for second with 10 complete games while senior Megan Miller has allowed the least earned runs (24) and hits (71) in the league.

In Big Ten games only, senior Courtney Pruner leads the Buckeyes with a .474 batting average. Pruner and Herron are tied for the team lead with nine RBI and six runs scored each. As a team, the Buckeyes have outscored their league opponents, 49-19, in six games.

OUT-SPARKING SPARTY
Senior Rebecca Schultz went 3-for-4 against Michigan State last weekend, including a clutch hit-and-run RBI double Saturday. Schultz and classmate Whitney Cooper tied with a team-high four runs in the series.

Alicia Herron hit two doubles and a three-run home run to lead the squad with five RBI while senior Sam Marder hit two solo homers for the Buckeyes.

NICHOLS FANS EIGHT
Freshman pitcher Melanie Nichols fanned a career-best eight batters vs. Bowling Green in game one last Wednesday. Her previous high had been seven notched vs. UC Riverside (March 5).

DOUBLE TROUBLE
Sophomore Alicia Herron leads Ohio State with 13 doubles while 12 Buckeyes have combined for a total of 57 doubles on the year. Senior Whitney Cooper has eight for second on the team while classmates Sam Marder and Courtney Pruner are not far behind with six and five, respectively. Senior Rebecca Schultz and juniors Dee Dee Hillman, Brittany Goodchild, Karisa Medrano and Rachael Shepherd also have chipped in four apiece.

JUMPING AHEAD
The Buckeyes are 14-1 when scoring in the first inning in 2010. Ohio State took a 1-0 lead in the first vs. Bowling Green in game one last Wednesday en route to a 4-0 victory at Buckeye Field.

AND IT’S GONE
Last week, Ohio State hit five home runs to up its total to 38 this season. Senior Whitney Cooper, sophomore Alicia Herron and freshman Megan Coletta each hit multi-run homers last weekend vs. Michigan State.

Senior catcher Sam Marder has launched a team-high 13 in 37 games while boosting her Ohio State all-time career record to 56. Pruner, who has 34 career homers and sits at No. 3 all-time in the history books, has knocked eight over the fence this season. Herron is third with six homers while Cooper is fourth with five.

The Scarlet and Gray pitching corps has allowed its opponents to hit just 15 home runs so far this season.

LEADING OFF
Of Ohio State’s 38 home runs, nine have been leadoff homers and three have come in the sixth inning. The Buckeyes are 7-2 when they have an individual hit a leadoff home run.

13-2
Freshman pitcher Melanie Nichols came in prepared for Division I NCAA fast pitch softball. The rookie leads Ohio State with 13 wins, 91 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.09 in 113.2 innings pitched.

Nichols’ first loss of the season came to Central Florida March 24 as the Knights scored one earned and two unearned runs in a 3-0 defeat of the Buckeyes. April 11, the freshman battled hard against a strong Illinois team, which ranked third in the nation in runs per game, holding the Illini hitters to just three runs off of seven hits in the 3-2 loss.   

TAKE A BASE
Two-time All-American Sam Marder has been walked 39 times this season, including 14 intentional. She has been walked 210 times in her career, the most in Buckeye history. Since she joined Ohio State in 2007, Marder has been put on base intentionally 52 times – by far the most in school history dating back to the 1998 season. The second-most times a Buckeye had been intentionally-walked in a career in the last decade is six.