Iowa at Ohio State
March 26-27, 2011
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Facilities: Buckeye Field
Tickets: Admission is free.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After playing 25 games on the road, the Ohio State softball team returns to Columbus for its home opener this weekend against conference opponent Iowa at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Buckeye Field. The Scarlet and Gray finished their early-season tournament schedule with a 7-18 ledger, while the Hawkeyes enter the weekend at 16-12, winning eight of their last 10 games.
FOLLOWING FROM HOME
Buckeye fans can watch the games vs. Iowa this weekend at OhioStateBuckeyes.com for live video streaming on Buckeye Vision. Packages available for purchase include a one-month subscription for Buckeye Vision for $11.95 or a four-month plan for $39.95.
A link for live stats can be found on the softball schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com or hawkeyesports.com.
Fans also can listen live on OhioStateSports.net – the official student radio of Buckeye sports. Charlie Danis and Chrissy Rankin will have the call.
All softball fans are encouraged to enter off Olentangy River Road and park behind the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for the Ohio State-Iowa game at 2 p.m. Saturday. Heavy traffic is expected in the area.
Iowa leads the all-time series, 58-36, against the Buckeyes. Last season, Ohio State swept the Hawkeyes in Iowa City Feb. 12-13 with 2-0 and 4-2 victories.
BUCKEYE QUICK HITS
KALAFATIS CLAIMS 500 WINS
Head coach Linda Kalafatis claimed her 500th career victory at the helm of the Buckeyes last week in the 4-1 win vs. Harvard March 18 in San Diego, Calif.
In her 15th season at Ohio State, Kalafatis is one of the most successful coaches in the Big Ten and the NCAA. She is one of four conference coaches with more than 700 career wins, placing her among the Top 30 active coaches in the country. The 2007 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Kalafatis is third among current Big Ten coaches in number of victories – with five fewer years of coaching experience than her nearest colleague.
The Buckeyes have won 30 or more games in nine of Kalafatis’ 14 seasons in Columbus and in each of the last seven seasons. Also the Big Ten coach of the year in 2002, she has guided Ohio State to six of the program’s seven NCAA tournament appearances (2002, ’04, ’06, ’07, ’09, ’10), including its first trip to the NCAA Super Regional in 2009.
Kalafatis entered the 2011 campaign with a 493-298 (.623) record in 14 years at Ohio State, which marks the best win total and winning percentage in program history. In 22 years as a collegiate head coach, including stops at her alma mater California (Pa.) and Akron, she owns a record of 773-429-2 (.644).
Junior co-captain Alicia Herron is leading the team with a .419 batting average through 25 games this season. The Cypress, Calif., native hit .583 at the Holiday Inn Tulsa-City Center Festival, recording six RBI with two doubles and a home run. Herron recorded a season-high four RBI in the 10-4 loss vs. Drake March 5 – the big offensive game was the second time this year she has claimed at least four RBI in a single game.
Senior Brittany Goodchild led the team in hitting in Tulsa, batting .600 at the plate with six hits, a double and two walks.
10 STRIKEOUTS VS. THE TOREROS
Karisa Medrano, a native of Albuquerque, N.M., led the Buckeyes to a 4-2 victory at San Diego March 18 with a career-high 10 strikeouts en route to her second win of the season. The OSU starter was dominant throughout the game and had a no-hitter through 4.1 innings vs. the toreros. The win for Medrano was her second-career complete game performance as a Buckeye.
PLANTS CLAIMS FIRST COLLEIGATE WIN
Freshman pitcher Audrey Plant, a native of Upper Arlington, Ohio, claimed her first collegiate win in the 8-0 victory against Iowa State March 4, throwing a complete game one-hitter vs. the Cyclones. In the five innings of work, the Buckeye rookie allowed just one hit with five strike outs. The only hit she allowed came in the bottom of the second inning when ISU shortstop Dayln Varela singled to left field. Plant was dominant throughout the game as only two ISU batters reached second base, while retiring the last nine batters she faced in the game.
CARRILLO’S 11-GAME HIT STREAK
Freshman Evelyn Carrillo, a native of Corona, Calif., began her Buckeye career with a team-high 11-game hit streak from Feb. 12-Feb. 26. During the streak, the Buckeye first baseman collected a .359 batting average with 14 hits and 11 RBI. Currently batting .283 this season, Carrillo has played in all 25 games for Ohio State and is fourth on the team with 21 hits, slugging .430 at the plate.
FOUR BUCKEYES EARN FIRST WIN IN 2011
Seniors Brittany Goodchild and Karisa Medrano as well as freshmen Kasie Kelly and Audrey Plant each have claimed their first career wins in the circle for the Buckeyes this season.
Goodchild, a native of West Hills, Calif., picked up her first career win after throwing the last 5.2 innings in the Buckeyes’ 12-4 come-from-behind win against Evansville Feb. 20 at the South Alabama Tournament in Mobile. In her relief effort, Goodchild shut down the Evansville batters, allowing no runs on five hits with one strikeout. She is 1-0 overall in 2011, coming in from the outfield as a relief pitcher for the Scarlet and Gray.
Medrano, a native of Albuquerque, N.M, gave the Scarlet and Gray their first victory of the season in the 10-1 victory against North Florida at the FIU Combat Classic in Miami, Fla. In just her second-career start, the Buckeye pitcher threw a complete-game vs. the Ospreys, allowing just three hits and one earned run in seven innings of work. She didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings of the game and struck out three UNF batters.
Kelly, a native of Wooster, Ohio, earned her first victory after Ohio State defeated FIU, 2-1, Feb. 12 in Miami, Fla. The Buckeye rookie pitched five innings, allowing three hits and one earned run, striking out five FIU hitters. The OSU starter is 3-4 overall this season with 5.35 ERA in a team-high 19 appearances in the circle.
Plant, claimed her first collegiate win in the 8-0 victory against Iowa State March 4 in Tulsa, Okla., throwing a complete game one-hitter vs. the Cyclones. In the five innings of work, the Buckeye rookie allowed just one hit with five strikeouts. She is 1-3 overall this season with a 6.16 ERA in 12 appearances for Ohio State.
BIG TEN CO-FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Melissa Rennie, a freshman catcher, was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week, the conference office announced Feb. 21. The native of Wellington, Ohio, claimed the weekly laurel along with freshman pitcher Cassee Layne of Michigan State.
It was the first weekly award of Rennie’s career and first conference recognition of the season for the Buckeyes. The OSU rookie earned the honor after helping the squad to two wins 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 opened 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
Seven Buckeyes have homered through the first five weeks of the season, including freshman Melissa Rennie (3), junior Alicia Herron (3), freshman Evelyn Carrillo (3), sophomore Cara Longworth (1), senior Rachael Shepherd (1), sophomore Julia Pecina (1) and freshman Melaina Saalfeld (1). In all, the Buckeyes have recorded 43 extra-base hits.
Rennie led the Buckeyes with three long balls Feb. 18-20 at the South Alabama Invitational in Mobile. She recorded two of the three home runs in the 12-4 comeback victory against Evansville Feb. 20. Longworth and Carrillo also homered in the game – each tallying their first career home runs.
On the first day of the tournament Feb. 18, Herron tallied two home runs – one vs. Tennessee-Chattanooga and another against South Alabama. In Tulsa, the native of Cypress, Calif., launched a three-run home run vs. Drake March 5 in her second four-RBI performance of the season. She has 29 career home runs, which is fifth on the Ohio State all-time career list.
Saalfeld hit her first career long ball in the 4-3 win over Southeastern Louisiana Feb. 19. In just her third career at-bat, the native of Modesto, Calif., drove a pitch over the left center wall to give the Scarlet and Gray a 3-1 lead – the home run was her first collegiate hit.
At the 2011 FIU Combat Classic to begin the year, Pecina posted her first career home run. With only two outs left vs. Memphis Feb. 12, Pecina tied the game, 3-3, with a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, sending the game into extra innings.
THE BUCKEYES ARE RUNNING
Aggressive running has been a factor for the Buckeyes to begin the season, going 21-of-24 in the stolen base department in 2011. Alicia Herron leads the way, going a perfect 7-for-7, while Dee Dee Hillman is 5-for-5. Megan Coletta is 2-for-2 and Brittany Goodchild is 2-for-3 this season.
12 AND 11
Ohio State recorded a season-high 12 runs and 11 RBI, batting .415 against Evansville Feb. 20. The Buckeyes also had a team-high four home runs by three different players as freshman Melissa Rennie, sophomore Cara Longworth and freshman Evelyn Carrillo slugged homers.
Since 2000, Ohio State has won 426 games, the third-highest win total in the Big Ten during that time. The Buckeyes own a .664 winning percentage, good for third in the league.
The 2010 squad recorded 39 wins, the fifth-most in school history, and advanced to the program’s fourth NCAA regional appearance in the last five years. Ohio State has notched 30 or more wins for seven-consecutive seasons, the longest 30-win stretch in Buckeye history.