May 8, 2019

Ohio State Places Six on All-Big Ten Teams



COLUMBUS, Ohio – Six members of the Ohio State softball team received All-Big Ten honors as the conference released its postseason awards today. Lilli Piper and Emily Clark earned first team recognition while Bri Betschel, Ashley Prange and Morgan Ray secured spots on the second team. Prange was also an All-Freshman Team honoree. Claire Nicholson was placed on the All-Defensive Team and is the Sportsmanship Award recipient. The Buckeyes’ six honorees is the most under head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly during her seven-year tenure.

Piper is a unanimous selection on the first team for the third year in a row after hitting .574 in conference play to be this season’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). Clark batted .380 in Big Ten games and stood third in the league with 29 RBI and eight stolen bases. 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). 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. Ray picked up nine wins (4th), had a 2.36 ERA (6th), 91 strikeouts (4th) and a .188 against average (4th) over 86 innings. Nicholson caught 11 runners stealing, which tied for first in the conference, recorded 123 putouts and a .993 fielding percentage from behind home plate.

The Buckeyes had a 17-6 mark during the Big Ten season, the most wins under Schoenly and since the 1994 campaign. Ohio State carries a 34-15 overall record into this weekend’s Big Ten Tournament as the No. 4 seed, which is being held at Andy Mohr Field in Bloomington, Ind. Ohio State will take on the winner of No. 5 Wisconsin/No. 12 Iowa Friday at 11 a.m. ET live on the Big Ten Network.

Lilli Piper | Unanimous First Team All-Big Ten

  • In overall games, she ranks second in the conference behind a .437 batting average, .543 on-base percentage and 53 runs scored.
  • Has been named Big Ten Player of the Week five times during her career, which ties for third-most in conference history and Sam Marder ’10 for the most ever by a Buckeye.
  • Appears in multiple categories in the national rankings – 14th in on-base percentage (.543), 16th in batting average (.437), 17th in runs per game (1.08) and 37th in hits (66).
  • Drafted to the Cleveland Comets as the No. 15 pick at the 2019 National Pro Fastpitch College Draft.
  • Tops the team with 18 multi-hit games.

Emily Clark | First Team All-Big Ten

  • Named All-Big Ten for the third time in as many years with this being her second appearance on the first team.
  • Leads the Buckeyes with 54 RBI, 14 doubles and 12 home runs.
  • Successfully got on base in the first 25 games of the season, a career high.
  • Has connected on two grand slams this year against Ole Miss (Feb. 8) and Illinois (Apr. 27).
  • Her 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.
  • Drafted to the Cleveland Comets as the No. 16 pick at the 2019 National Pro Fastpitch College Draft.

Bri Betschel | Second Team All-Big Ten

  • Earns the first all-conference accolade of her career.
  • Third on team by batting .354 and scoring 31 runs.
  • Hit the game-winning RBI single in the eighth for a 2-1 walk-off win over No. 21/18 Michigan in the series finale.
  • Featured at No. 9 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 after making a div­ing catch in right field with the bases loaded on Apr. 13.

Ashley Prange | Second Team All-Big Ten and All-Freshman Team

  • First all-conference honors of her career.
  • Leads the underclassmen thanks to 46 hits, 33 RBI, 22 runs and 10 doubles.
  • Hit the first grand slam of her career against Rutgers on Apr. 7.
  • With two outs, she belted a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game and force extra innings in OSU’s 2-1 walk-off victory against No. 21/18 Michigan in the series finale.
  • Drove in three runs and was 2-for-2 with a walk in a 4-3 win over Ohio on Apr. 16. She slugged 2.500 with a solo home run and two-RBI single.

Morgan Ray | Second Team All-Big Ten

  • Paces the pitching staff with a 17-7 record and 171.1 innings of work.
  • Sports a 1.96 ERA and .168 against average with 173 strikeouts.
  • First All-Big Ten recognition of her career.
  • Has three no-hitters this year, including two solo, to become the first Buckeye since 2007 to have multiple no-hitters in a season.
  • Went 3-0 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with a 0.44 ERA and 20 strike­outs in 16 innings. She did not allow a run for 15 straight innings (Feb. 22-24)
  • Faced the minimum 15 batters, recorded four strikeouts and did not allow a base runner until the fifth inning on her only walk in a five-inning no-hitter against Illinois on Apr. 26.

Claire Nicholson | All-Defensive Team and Sportsmanship Award

  • First postseason accolades of her career.
  • In overall games, she has caught 19 runners stealing, the best mark in the Big Ten.
  • Accumulated 246 putouts from behind the plate and has four games with at least 10.
  • Knocked her first home run in Scarlet and Gray against UCF on Feb. 9.
  • Went 4-for-4 and with two runs and a RBI versus Seattle on Mar. 8.