April 18, 2019

Ohio State Heads to Michigan State for Weekend Series

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team resumes Big Ten play when it visits Michigan State for a three-game weekend series. Action starts at 6 p.m. Friday. The Buckeyes and Spartans will battle live on the Big Ten Network at 11 a.m. Saturday before closing the series Sunday at 1 p.m.

WEEKLY BASICS

Ohio State at Michigan State | April 19 | 6 p.m. | Live Stats | Live Stream
Ohio State at Michigan State | April 20 | 11 a.m. | Big Ten Network | Live Stats | Live Stream
Ohio State at Michigan State | April 21 | 1 p.m. | Live Stats | Live Stream

BUCKEYE BREAKDOWN

  • Ohio State is coming off a 4-3 win over Ohio Tuesday night to wrap up its non-conference schedule.
  • The Buckeyes are 26-14 on the year and 9-5 in the Big Ten.
  • Ashley Prange had her eighth game with multiple hits and RBI. She drove in three of Ohio State’s four runs and was a perfect 2-for-2 with a walk, slugging 2.500 thanks to a solo home run and two-RBI single.
  • Ohio State checked in at No. 40 in this week’s NCAA RPI. Overall, the Big Ten came in with the fourth-best conference RPI.
  • Morgan Ray is second in the Big Ten in opposing batting average with a .171 clip. She also ranks eighth with 120 strikeouts and ninth behind a 2.13 ERA.
  • Emily Clark ranks in the top 12 of multiple categories in the conference, including slugging percentage (.664), total bases (83), RBI (35), doubles (13) and home runs (8).
  • Lilli Piper joins Clark in the Big Ten rankings – .391 batting average (5th), 15 stolen bases (7th), .480 on-base percentage (8th), 50 hits (8th), 22 walks (t-9th) and 33 runs scored (t-12th).
  • Claire Nicholson is making her mark as Ohio State’s starting catcher and has caught 16 stealing, the best mark in the Big Ten.
  • Lilli Piper paces the conference with 121 assists and stands second in fielding double plays (12).
  • Defensively, the Buckeyes have caught 17 stealing (1st) and fielded 21 double plays (3rd).
  • In Big Ten games only, Lilli Piper has 23 hits (1st) and is batting .511 (4th) with a .600 on-base percentage (3rd). Lauren Rice is fourth with six wins and fifth thanks to a 2.43 ERA.
  • Ohio State is 10-4 when scoring in the first inning and 18-0 when holding opponents to two runs or less.
  • The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 194-112.

SCOUTING REPORT

Michigan State is on a three-game skid after dropping games to a pair of ranked opponents, Minnesota and Michigan. Charla Echols is batting .377 with 43 hits, 30 runs scored and 23 RBI. In the circle, Alli Walker is 8-10 in 30 appearances. She has a 4.38 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 96 innings of work.

SERIES HISTORY

Ohio State owns a 71-45 record in the all-time series vs. Michigan State. The Buckeyes swept last year’s series in Columbus, outscoring the Spartans by a 22-9 margin. It was the first time since 2015 that OSU had taken all three games from MSU.

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 Monday night. 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.

WALK IT OFF

Ohio State had a 2-1 walk-off victory in the series finale vs. No. 21/18 Michigan on April 13. The Buckeyes handed the Wolverines their first loss in Big Ten play, snapping their 17-game win streak. Ashley Prange knocked a solo home run to tie the game and force extra innings, setting up Bri Betschel, who hit the game-winning RBI single in the eighth. In the circle, Morgan Ray fanned a season-high 10 batters to pick up OSU’s fourth win over a ranked opponent this season.

TV TIME

Bri Betschel’s bases-loaded diving catch in right field was featured at No. 9 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 (Apr. 13). She is the first Buckeye to make SC’s Top 10 since Taylor White on Apr. 27, 2016.

SWING FOR THE FENCE

The Buckeyes have connected on 39 home runs so far this season. Ohio State has at least one homer in 23 games, including three grand slams. The under­classmen are responsible for 27 home runs, led by Kaitlyn Coffman with eight.

SOMETHIN’ EXTRA

Bri Betschel extended her hitting streak to six games. Emily Clark has reached base safely in the last 11 contests. Lilli Piper paces the Buckeyes with 14 multi-hit games while Ashley Prange has eight outings with multiple RBI.

HOME COOKING

After hosting Ohio, Ohio State improved to 73-30 at Buckeye Field over the last seven seasons. The Buckeyes have won a minimum of 10 games at home in each of the past six years.

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

LILLI PIPER – BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR FINALIST

Senior shortstop Lilli Piper was one of five female Ohio State student-athletes named Big Ten Medal of Honor finalists on Wednesday night. The Big Ten Medal of Honor is awarded to one male and one female student from the graduating class of each member institution who has demonstrated excellence on and off the field throughout their college career. It is the highest honor a student competing in conference athletics can achieve in the Big Ten.

ROAD TRIPPIN’

Ohio State spent the first six weeks of the season on the road. The Buckeyes played 24 games away from Columbus, posting a 13-5 neutral site record and 2-4 away mark. During the stretch, the Buckeyes faced six opponents that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament, including defending national champion Florida State and runner-up Washington. Ohio State plays its last game against a team that made the postseason a year ago when Ohio visits.

WOMAN IN CHARGE

Head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly picked up her 200th win at the helm for Ohio State when the Buckeyes delivered a 7-0 shutout versus George Mason to open the 2019 season. Schoenly hit another milestone on March 12 when OSU swept its doubleheader at Portland State for win No. 400 of her 13-year career as a head coach.

UP NEXT

The Buckeyes return to Columbus to close out their home slate against Illinois April 26-28.