April 28, 2019

Ohio State Secures 5-4 Comeback Win over Illinois on Senior Day

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State sent its seniors out on a high note at Buckeye Field as it swept Illinois with a 5-4 comeback win on Senior Day. The Buckeyes are on their longest win streak of the season at eight games and have a 32-14 record and 15-5 Big Ten mark. The Fighting Illini fall to 27-22 overall and 6-14 in conference play.

THANK YOU, SENIORS

Following Sunday’s game, Ohio State honored its 2019 seniors – Bri Betschel, Megan Choinacky, Emily Clark, Kat Duvall, Lilli Piper and Morgan Ray. The six-member class is responsible for 137 Buckeye victories over the past four seasons, including 57 Big Ten wins. They have earned their spot in the record books as the ninth all-time winningest senior class in program history.

Ohio State Buckeyes

CLARK FOR THE WIN

Staring down two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Emily Clark went yard on a two-run homer to put Ohio State ahead 5-4. It was her 11th home run of the season and second of the weekend.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Illinois came out swinging in the opening frame with a bases-loaded two-RBI double.
  • A two-run homer in the second extended the Fighting Illini’s advantage to 4-0.
  • Consecutive walks put two on for Ashley Prange, who punched a RBI single through the left side in the third.
  • Kaitlyn Coffman singled up the middle and Claire Nicholson drew a full-count walk in the fourth. With two outs, Bri Betschel drove Coffman in with a RBI single. After Betschel’s hit, Illinois made a pitching change. A wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position and Lilli Piper walked, which stacked the bags. The Fighting Illini brought their starting pitcher back in to face Clark, whose eight-pitch at-bat resulted in a bases-loaded walk that cut the deficit to 4-3.
  • It was Clark again in the bottom of the sixth. Facing two outs, Piper singled through the middle. Up next, Clark smashed the ball off the scoreboard for a two-run dinger that gave OSU a 5-4 lead.

IN THE CIRCLE

Right-handed pitcher Morgan Ray went the distance for the 13th time in win No. 16 of the year. She gave up four runs on eight hits but struck out nine batters. Ray has recorded a decision in the last eight games with seven wins and a save.

BUCKEYE BITS

  • It is the first time the Buckeyes have swept the Fighting Illini since the 2009 season.
  • Ohio State improves to 23-15 all-time against Illinois.
  • With three wins this weekend, the Buckeyes are 76-30 at Buckeye Field over the last seven seasons and have won a minimum of 10 games each year.
  • Ohio State did not have an error but forced Illinois to commit four miscues over three games.
  • Lilli Piper recorded her 200th hit in the finale and paired it with two runs and two walks.
  • Emily Clark drove in three of OSU’s five runs and walked a career-high three times.
  • Bri Betschel and Ashley Prange each had a hit and one RBI.
  • Meg Otte and Kaitlyn Coffman both scored a run.
  • On the weekend, Piper batted .600 with three hits, seven runs, seven walks, two RBI and a 1.200 slugging percentage.
  • Clark chipped in eight RBI, five walks, three hits, two runs and two homers. She hit .500, had a 1.500 slugging clip and recorded a .750 on-base percentage.
  • Coffman paced the freshmen with five hits, four runs, three RBI, one home run and a double.
  • Pitching duo Morgan Ray and Lauren Rice held Illinois to a .221 batting average and five hits for extra bases. They combined for a 2.21 ERA in 19 innings with 16 strikeouts.
  • Betschel extended her hitting streak to 12 games while Clark has successfully gotten on base in the last 17 outings.
  • Other hitting streaks: Prange (8), Clark (7), Piper (6) and Coffman (4).

UP NEXT

The Buckeyes conclude the 2019 regular season with a three-game series at Iowa May 3-5.