April 24, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Looking to build momentum following its midweek sweep of Penn State, Ohio State welcomes No. 25 Northwestern to Buckeye Field for a three-game series beginning Friday night. First pitch on Friday is slated for 6 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. contest on Saturday and a 1 p.m. tilt on Sunday.
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
Ohio State is fresh off of a doubleheader sweep of Penn State on Wednesday. The Buckeyes won the first game, 3-1, before taking the nightcap, 3-0. In the wins, Ohio State received both timely hitting and clutch pitching.
At the plate, the Buckeyes are led by the combination of Taylor Watkins (.365, nine doubles, five home runs, 23 RBI), Evelyn Carrillo (.355, 30 RBI, five home runs), Caitlin Conrad (.341, 12 doubles, 28 RBI) and Cammi Prantl (.323, 13 doubles, five home runs, 25 RBI).
Junior Olivia O’Reilly has gotten the majority of the work this season in the circle, checking in with a 10-8 record and 3.03 ERA in 118.0 innings pitched. In Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Penn State, freshman Shelby Hursh tossed her third complete game of the season, allowing just three hits and striking out nine.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
The Wildcats are on a five-game winning streak in the Big Ten and six games overall after sweeping Indiana last weekend at Sharon J. Drysdale Field and taking both ends of a doubleheader at Illinois Tuesday evening. Senior Marisa Bast is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week and she kept her hot hitting going with six RBIs against the Illini. Freshman Nicole Bond tossed her best outing in the circle in her young career in game two in Champaign, allowing just two base runners and one total hit against nine strikeouts in a 9-0 (6) run-rule win.
FOLLOWING FROM HOME
All three games on this weekend’s series can be seen on Buckeye Vision and BTDN (subscription required). Additionally, live updates will also be available on the team’s official Twitter account, @OhioState_SB, and a link to live stats for each game can be found on the calendar tab of OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
ALL TIMES SERIES VS. NORTHWESTERN
The Buckeyes and Wildcats have met 95 pervious times with Northwestern holding a 60-32-3 advantage. The two teams did not play last year, but in 2012 the Wildcats took two of three games in Evanston. Ohio State won the first game of the series, 6-2, before dropping both games of a doubleheader the next day.
THE LAST 15
A look at the Buckeyes’ the top performers over the last 15 games:
Olivia O’Reilly – 5-6, 3.27 ERA, 31 K
CAREER RECORDS WATCH
Melanie Nichols, a fifth-year senior, is looking to work her way up the career record books for wins and strikeouts. In 2010, she made an instant impact as a freshman, going 21-3 with a 1.92 earned-run average of a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Nichols redshirted in 2011 while recovering from an injury and returned in 2012 to start 25 games (12-9, 3.45 ERA, 82 K). In 2013, Nichols went 6-2 with a 3.05 ERA and 51 Ks. Currently, she ranks sixth in all-time in wins (43) and sixth in strikeouts (303).
1. Kim Reeder (2006-09)………….. 77
6. Melanie Nichols (2010-pres.)… 43
1. Jamee Juarez (2004-07)……… 747
5. Genice Turley (1994-95))……. 307
6. Melanie Nichols (2010-pres.). 303
In addition, senior Evelyn Carrillo is also climbing her way up the career lists in hits and runs batted in. The senior from Corona, Calif., has played in 202 career games and currently ranks 11th in hits (200), just seven shy of 10th place. Her 143 RBI are good for fifth place.
1. Anna Smith (1999-02)………… 243
10. Megan Schwab (2004-07)….. 207
11. Evelyn Carrillo (2011-pres.).. 200
1. Sam Marder (2007-10)……….. 191
4. Courtney Pruner (2006-10)…. 158
5. Evelyn Carrillo (2011-pres.)…. 143
IN THE BIG TEN STATS
A look at where the Buckeyes stack up amongst their Big Ten counterparts:
Batting average…………….. 5th, .283
Runs……………………………. 6th, 199
Hits……………………………… 5th, 324
RBI……………………………… 6th, 185
Doubles………………………… 2nd, 70
Big Ten-only games:
Batting average…………….. 4th, .309
ERA……………………………. 7th, 4.66
Runs……………………………… 6th, 77
Hits……………………………… 5th, 129
Additionally, several individuals rank among the Big Ten leaders – Taylor Watkins is sixth in Big Ten-only batting average (.436) while Cammi Prantl is eighth (.429) and Evelyn Carrillo is 10th (.420). Caitlin Conrad is 10th in the conference in slugging percentage (.614) and Olivia O’Reilly is 11th in opposing batting average (.242).
THE CANNON CREW
Ohio State’s outfield of Caitlin Conrad, Cammi Prantl and Taylor Watkins have been dubbed “The Cannon Crew” (TCC) partly because the first letters of their first names spell TCC and also because they have combined for 13 outfield assists thus far. The group is also lethal at the plate:
Collectively, the group is hitting .341 with 76 RBI, 95 runs scored, 34 doubles, 12 stolen bases and 16 home runs.
THE CLASS OF 2014
A native of Corona, California, Evelyn has played in 204 games during her Buckeye career. She currently ranks fifth in the career record books in RBIs and 11th in hits. This season, she is batting .355 with 30 RBI, five home runs and seven doubles. Earlier this month, she hit a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the seventh against Ohio in a game the Buckeyes went on to win in extra innings.
Leesa came to Ohio State from Fresno, California and has played in 120 games during her career. Last year, she batted .298 with 13 doubles, 35 RBI and a .559 slugging percentage, the highest of the team. Two weeks ago, she stepped up to plate as a pinch hitter and hit a two-run home run against Purdue.
Kasie is a native of Wooster, Ohio and has played in 56 games over the course of her career. She has pitched 159.1 innings with nine wins, 79 strikeouts and four complete games. In the classroom, Kasie is a five-time OSU Scholar-Athlete honoree.
Originally from Mars, Pennsylvania, Rachel joined the Buckeyes at midseason after competing for four years as the starting goalie for the women’s soccer team. She made her debut in the second game of a doubleheader vs. Ohio, coming into the contest as a pinch runner.
Melanie came to Ohio State from San Jacinto, California and made an instant impact, going 21-3 with a 1.92 ERA as a freshman. She currently ranks sixth in school history with 43 wins and 303 strikeouts. Over her five years as a Buckeye, Nichols has played in 113 games and pitched 423 innings with 27 complete games and eight shutouts.
Audrey in a native of nearby Upper Arlington, Ohio and has pitched in 30 games during her Buckeye career. Earlier this year, she pitched 3.1 innings vs. Michigan State to and was the winning pitcher. In the classroom, Audrey a four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete honoree and was named an NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete last year.
Originally from Wellington, Ohio, Melissa has started 135 of the 146 games that she’s played over the last four years. In the classroom, she is a four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete, three-time Big Ten All-Academic selection and was named an NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete last year. In 2012 and 2013, she also earned Big Ten Distinguished Scholar accolades.
Melaina came to Ohio State from Modesto, California and is a veteran of 155 games in her career. This spring, she is having her most productive statistical year with career highs in batting average, hits, RBI and runs scored.
A MARKED IMPROVEMENT
Several Buckeyes are enjoying significant statistical improvements at the plate from 2013 to 2014, including senior Melaina Saalfeld, junior Caitlin Conrad and sophomore Jayla Saibene.
PLAYING THE BEST
The Buckeyes’ non-conference schedule will once again test Ohio State against some of the nation’s elite. In all, OSU will play at least 16 games against teams that qualified for last year’s NCAA Tournament, including eight against squads that advanced to the Women’s College World Series. Additionally, Ohio State plays 15 games against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the NFCA/USA Today Preseason Top 25 poll. Nine of those games are against Top 10 teams.
OHIO STATE/PURDUE NOTES
• Despite losing two of three games, Ohio State outscored Purdue, 12-6
• Cammi Prantl hit a team-best .444 over the weekend with a double, two RBI and a .500 on base percentage.
• Olivia O’Reilly limited the Boilermakers to just 10 hits over 17.2 innings.
O’REILLY EMERGES AS THE ACE
Junior Olivia O’Reilly is enjoying a season for the Buckeyes as she leads team in every major pitching category, including wins (10), ERA (3.03), strikeouts (75) and complete games (11). Two weeks ago, she pitched 25.2 innings and gave up just six earned runs while registering three complete games and two shutouts.
PACKIN’ THEM IN
A season-high crowd of 1,598 filled Buckeye Field on Sunday, marking the largest home crowd in at least 10 years. The top attendance figures in that span:
4/13/14 vs. Purdue…………….. 1,598
4/11/09 vs. Illinois……………… 1,277
4/7/12 vs. Michigan……………. 1,217
5/19/07 vs. Cal State Fullerton 1,175
5/2/12 vs. Iowa…………………. 1,147
5/9/09 vs. Penn State…………. 1,105
OHIO STATE/INDIANA SERIES NOTES
• The Buckeyes’ top four hitters (Conrad, Watkins, Prantl, Carrillo) combined to go 21-for-41 (.512) with seven doubles, three home runs and 18 RBI.
• As a team, Ohio State hit .386 in the series.
• 13 of Ohio State’s 34 hits vs. the Hoosiers were for extra bases.
BUCKEYES’ BATS COME ALIVE VS. MSU
Ohio State’s offense posted several impressive numbers in its Big Ten-opening sweep of Michigan State. As a team, the Buckeyes hit .432 with 38 total hits, nine doubles, one triple and five home runs. Additionally, several players enjoyed big weekends, including:
RETURNING STATISTICAL LEADERS
Entering the 2014 season, Ohio State returns eight of its top 10 hitters and all five of its pitchers. In total, 79.1 percent of its RBI total returns, 77.6 percent of its runs returns, 87.5 percent of its stolen bases and 82.2 percent of its total bases return.