COLUMBUS, Ohio – Riding an eight-game win streak, Ohio State is set to hit the road to wrap up the regular season this weekend at Iowa. The series gets underway Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET and continues Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. First pitch of the finale is at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. All of the games will be streamed on BTN Plus/BTN2Go.
- Ohio State extended its win streak to eight games by sweeping Illinois for the first time since 2009. The team is 32-14 overall and 15-5 in Big Ten matchups.
- Morgan Ray opened the series with a five-inning no-hitter on Friday night. She faced the minimum 15 batters, recorded four strikeouts and did not allow a base runner until the fifth inning on her only walk of the game. Ray is first Buckeye since 2007 to have multiple no-hitters in a season.
- Kaitlyn Coffman hit a two-run homer to end the game in five innings for a 9-0 run-rule win Friday.
- Emily Clark had her second grand slam of the season Saturday. She also went yard on a go-ahead two-shot home run in the bottom of the sixth to secure a 5-4 comeback win on Senior Day.
- The Buckeyes are receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Collegiate Softball Top 25 polls.
- Ohio State is up three spots to No. 38 in this week’s NCAA RPI, released on Monday. Overall, the Big Ten came in with the fourth-best conference RPI.
- Head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly reached the 30-win mark for the 11th straight season in her 13-year head-coaching career.
- During Ohio State’s eight consecutive wins, Lilli Piper is batting .556 and has a 1.278 slugging percentage with 16 runs, 10 hits, seven RBI, four home runs and 14 walks. Emily Clark has tallied 16 RBI, 11 hits, nine runs, nine walks, three home runs and three stolen bases.
- RHP Morgan Ray has recorded a decision in the last eight games with seven victories and a save. During the streak, she has a 1.68 ERA in 41.2 innings, 53 strikeouts, four complete games and a .173 against average.
- In the national rankings, Lilli Piper stands 29th in batting average (.423), 15th in on-base percentage (.531) and 26th in runs per game (1.04). Emily Clark’s 51 RBI checks in at No. 23 while Morgan Ray’s six shutouts is 29th.
- Morgan Ray is second in the Big Ten in opposing batting average with a .168 clip. She also ranks seventh behind a 2.08 ERA and eighth with 159 strikeouts.
- Emily Clark ranks in the top 12 of multiple categories in the conference, including batting average (.383), slugging percentage (.745), on-base percentage (.480), hits (54), RBI (51), doubles (14), home runs (11) and total bases (105).
- Lilli Piper joins Clark in the Big Ten rankings – .423 batting average (3rd), 17 stolen bases (7th), .531 on-base percentage (2nd), 60 hits (t-9th), 96 total bases (10th), 34 walks (5th) and 48 runs scored (3rd).
- Claire Nicholson is making her mark as Ohio State’s starting catcher and has caught 18 stealing, the best mark in the Big Ten.
- Lilli Piper paces the conference with 128 assists and in fielding double plays (16). In Big Ten games only, she has 33 hits (t-2nd) and is batting .559 (1st) with a .675 on-base percentage (1st) and .915 slugging rate (4th).
- Defensively, the Buckeyes have caught 19 stealing (1st) and fielded 26 double plays (2nd).
- Ohio State is 13-4 when scoring in the first inning and 22-0 when holding opponents to two runs or less.
- The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 246-127.
Iowa is looking to snap a four-game skid after dropping a 4-2 decision to Northern Iowa on Tuesday night. DoniRae Mayhew leads the Hawkeyes batting .281 while Aralee Bogar has 20 runs and 20 RBI. Allison Doocy has a 14-14 record in 33 appearances in the circle. She owns a 2.45 ERA and 186 strikeouts in 182.2 innings. Heading into their final conference series, the Hawkeyes are tied for 12th with Maryland in the Big Ten standings. The top 12 teams will make next week’s Big Ten Tournament.
The Hawkeyes have a 67-42 lead all-time vs. the Buckeyes. The teams met once last year in the 2018 Big Ten Tournament when Iowa took a 5-1 decision in Madison, Wis. Lilli Piper scored Ohio State’s lone run on a solo dinger for her 20th of the year, which set a new Buckeye single-season home run record.
Seniors Lilli Piper and Emily Clark were selected in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, of the National Pro Fastpitch College Draft on Apr. 15. The Cleveland Comets drafted Piper and Clark with the No. 15 and No. 16 overall picks. Two selections in the draft are the most in one year in Ohio State’s program history. The duo joins Sam Marder and Alicia Herron, who were drafted to the then Akron Racers in 2010 and 2012, respectively.
SWING FOR THE FENCE
The Buckeyes have connected on 50 home runs so far this season. Ohio State has at least one homer in 29 games, including four grand slams. The underclassmen are responsible for 31 home runs.
EYEING THE RECORD BOOK
|Ohio State Career Records Standings|| ||
|Lilli Piper||.420 batting avg.||2nd
|47 home runs||3rd
|151 runs ||6th
|40 stolen bases||10th
|Emily Clark||169 RBI||3rd
|40 home runs||5th
|Morgan Ray||44 wins||5th