COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team will play in front of its home crowd at Buckeye Field for the final time this season when Illinois comes to town this weekend. The Buckeyes open the three-game set on Friday at 6 p.m. and picks play back up on Saturday at 2 p.m. The series finale takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday. All of the games will be streamed on BTN Plus/BTN2Go. Ohio State will celebrate its six seniors following Sunday’s contest.
|Ohio State vs. Illinois | April 26 | 6 p.m. | Live Stats | Live Stream|
|Ohio State vs. Illinois | April 27 | 2 p.m. | Live Stats | Live Stream|
|Ohio State vs. Illinois | April 28 | 1 p.m. | Live Stats | Live Stream|
Friday – Free popcorn for the first 100 youth, parking advisory
Saturday – Military and First Responders Appreciation, Ohio State puzzles for the first 100 youth, parking advisory
Sunday – Senior Day postgame recognition, Ohio State folders for first 100 youth
Illinois is on a five-game skid after falling to Michigan over the weekend and Northwestern on Tuesday. The Illini top the conference in batting average (.318) and hits (407) while ranking second in runs scored (268) and doubles (83). Individually, Bella Loya is hitting .411 and leads the Big Ten with 46 RBI. Sydney Sickels has a 17-11 record in 36 appearances in the circle. She has a team-best 3.25 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 140 innings.
The Buckeyes and Fighting Illini have not faced each other since the 2017 season when Ohio State took the series, 2-1, in Champaign. OSU holds a 20-15 lead in the all-time series versus Illinois.
Bri Betschel | Anaheim, Calif. | Major: Human Development and Family Science
Megan Choinacky | Greenwood, Ind. | Major: Pharmaceutical Science
Emily Clark | Prospect, Ohio | Major: Sport Industry
Kat Duvall | Seals Beach, Calif. | Major: Integrated Language Arts/English Education
Lilli Piper | Norton, Ohio | Major: Sport Industry
Morgan Ray | Frenchtown, Mt. | Major: Health Sciences
ROOTS IN CHAMPAIGN
Assistant coach Jenna Hall played softball at Illinois from 2003-06. She will be the first member of the program to be inducted into the UI Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 20. Hall was a four-time first team All-Big Ten selection and set nearly every hitting record during her career. She still owns the single-season batting average record at .481.
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 46 home runs so far this season. Ohio State has at least one homer in 26 games, including three grand slams. The underclassmen are responsible for 30 home runs.
EYEING THE RECORD BOOK
|Ohio State Career Records Standings|
|Lilli Piper||.420 batting avg.||2nd|
|47 home runs||3rd|
|40 stolen bases||10th|
|Emily Clark||169 RBI||3rd|
|40 home runs||5th|
|Morgan Ray||44 wins||5th|
The Buckeyes take their final trip of the regular season next weekend to Iowa May 3-5.