May 9, 2019

No. 4 Seed Ohio State to Face No. 5 Seed Wisconsin in Big Ten Tournament

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Postseason action begins Friday at 11 a.m. ET at Andy Mohr Field when fourth-seeded Ohio State takes on fifth-seeded Wisconsin in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament in Bloomington, Ind. The matchup will air live on the Big Ten Network.

WEEKLY BASICS

No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 5 Wisconsin | TV: Big Ten Network | Live Stats | Live Stream

BUCKEYE BREAKDOWN

  • Ohio State wrapped up its 2019 regular season with a 2-1 series win at Iowa last weekend and have a 34-15 overall record.
  • The Buckeyes finished with a 17-6 mark in Big Ten games, the most conference wins under head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly and since the 1994 season.
  • Ohio State had six players receive All-Big Ten honors on Wednesday, the most honorees during Schoenly’s seven-year tenure.
  • Lilli Piper was a unanimous first team selection for the third time. Emily Clark joined her on the first team, her third all-conference honor and second appearance on the first team.
  • Morgan Ray and Bri Betschel earned second team recognition along with Ashley Prange, who was also voted to the All-Freshman Team. Claire Nicholson was placed on the All-Defensive Team and was the Sportsmanship Award recipient. It is the first all-conference honors for the quartet.
  • Lilli Piper hit .574 in conference play to be named this year’s batting average champion. She also led the Big Ten in slugging percentage (.941), on-base percentage (.681), hits (39), assists (55) and fielding double plays (9) while finishing second in walks (23) and runs scored (33).
  • Emily Clark batted .380 in Big Ten games and stood third in the league with 29 RBI and eight stolen bases.
  • Bri Betschel ranked second on the team with a .390 batting average and paced the conference with 82 at bats while tying for fifth with 25 runs and seventh in hits (32).
  • Ashley Prange led Ohio State’s freshmen class by hitting .384 and driving in 23 runs. Her 46 total bases and 28 hits ranked eighth and 11th, respectively, in the Big Ten standings.
  • Morgan Ray picked up nine wins (4th), had a 2.36 ERA (6th), 91 strikeouts (4th) and a .188 against average (4th) over 86 innings of league action.
  • Claire Nicholson caught 11 runners stealing, which tied for first in the conference, recorded 123 putouts and a .993 fielding percentage from behind home plate.
  • In overall games, Emily Clark’s 54 RBI and 40 runs scored makes her one of three players in Ohio State history with at least 50 RBI and 40 runs in a season.
  • The Buckeyes are receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Collegiate Softball Top 25 polls.
  • Ohio State is up one spot to No. 37 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-game win streak (Apr. 13-28), Lilli Piper was batting .556 and has a 1.278 slugging percentage with 16 runs, 10 hits, seven RBI, four home runs and 14 walks. Emily Clark had tallied 16 RBI, 11 hits, nine runs, nine walks, three home runs and three stolen bases. Morgan Ray had a 1.68 ERA in 41.2 innings, 53 strikeouts, four complete games and a .173 against average.
  • Righty ace Morgan Ray has recorded a decision in 10 of the last 11 games with eight victories and a save.
  • In the national rankings, Lilli Piper stands 16th in batting average (.437), 14th in on-base percentage (.543) and 17th in runs per game (1.08). Emily Clark’s 54 RBI checks in at No. 21 while Morgan Ray’s seven shutouts is 23rd.
  • Claire Nicholson is making her mark as Ohio State’s starting catcher and has caught 19 stealing, the best mark in the Big Ten.
  • Defensively, the Buckeyes have caught 20 stealing (1st) and fielded 26 double plays (3rd).

SCOUTING REPORT

Wisconsin kept its postseason hopes alive with a 7-4 win over No. 12 Iowa on Thursday afternoon in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Badgers have won their last three games and bring a 39-11 record into tomorrow’s matchup. Kayla Konwent, the Big Ten Player of the Year, paces the team batting .479 with 72 hits and 51 RBI. In the circle, Haley Hestekin has a 2.36 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 136.2 innings.

SERIES HISTORY

The Badgers hold a slight 24-23-1 edge in the all-time series versus the Buckeyes. The teams did not face each other during the regular season, having last met in a three-game series in 2018. Ohio State took the series by winning the opener, 9-7, and the rubber match with a 7-0 decision.

TOURNEY NOTES

  • Indiana hosts the 2019 Big Ten Tournament on May 9-11 at Andy Mohr Field in Bloomington, Ind.
  • Ohio State is making its 13th overall and seventh straight appearance in the tournament.
  • The Buckeyes are 16-15 at the Big Ten Tournament.
  • During Ohio State’s last appearance in 2018, the Buckeyes fell to Iowa, 5-1, in the first round.
  • Ohio State won its only Big Ten Tournament title back in 2007.

PRO BUCKS

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 53 home runs so far this season. Ohio State has at least one homer in 30 games, including five grand slams. The underclassmen are responsible for 32 home runs.

EYEING THE RECORD BOOK

Ohio State Career Records Standings  
TotalsRank
Lilli Piper.420 batting avg.2nd
47 home runs3rd
151 runs 6th
143 RBI7th
40 stolen bases10th
Emily Clark169 RBI3rd
40 home runs5th
42 doubles5th
81 walks8th
Morgan Ray44 wins5th
414 strikeouts6th
455.1 IP10th