April 13, 2017

PREVIEW: Buckeyes Take On Hoosiers This Weekend in Columbus


April 13, 2017

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – At home in the friendly confines of Buckeye Field for the third straight weekend, 21st-ranked Ohio State welcomes in Indiana for a three-game series beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. The Buckeyes are Hoosiers are also slated to meet on Saturday at 2 p.m. followed by the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Indiana at No. 21 Ohio State | Friday, April 14 | 6 p.m. | Buckeye Field
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Indiana at No. 21 Ohio State | Saturday, April 15 | 2 p.m. | Buckeye Field
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Indiana at No. 21 Ohio State | Sunday, April 16 | 1 p.m. | Buckeye Field
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• After splitting a midweek doubleheader at Penn State on Wednesday, Ohio State is 24-10 overall and 8-3 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have won 17 of their last 21 games.
• Seven different players who have at least 70 at-bats checking in with a .300 or better average. As a team, Ohio State is fifth in the conference hitting at a .307 clip and also is among the league leaders in slugging percentage (.503) and on-base percentage (.396).
• Sophomore Lilli Piper leads the team with a .407 average, which is also good for seventh best in the conference. Her 39 RBI also leads the team and she’s third on the squad with 32 runs scored. Piper also leads the team with 17 extra base hits (10 home runs, five doubles, two triples).
Alex Bayne, a senior from Manvel, Texas, is batting .336 this year and has continued to show the power that helped her hit 19 home runs last year. Her .673 slugging percentage is second best on the team and she’s already hit 11 home runs this year, which is tied for third most in the conference.
• Junior Taylor White had two more hits in Wednesday’s doubleheader and is now batting .481 over the last 10 games and .469 in conference. She’s driven in 21 runs in 11 conferences games thus far, best in the league.
• Senior Anna Kirk and sophomore Emily Clark check in with almost identical averages (.315 and .314, respectively) and have combined for 53 RBI and 55 runs scored. Kirk’s .488 on-base percentage is eighth best in the league.
• With three hits in Wednesday’s doubleheader at Penn State, Becca Gavin raised her average to .313 and has hit safely in each of the last four games.
Ashley Goodwin drove in a career-high four runs in the nightcap at Penn State while Maddie Marotti went 3-for-3 with a career-high three RBI and a triple. Marotti is hitting .474 over the last 10 games while Goodwin has seven RBI in the last three contests.
• The Buckeyes’ five-person pitching staff has a collective ERA of just 2.36 and batting average against of .238. On Wednesday, Morgan Ray pitched two scoreless innings in the first game and Lena Springer picked up a save in the second contest.

All three games of this weekend’s series will be streamed live on BTN Plus (subscription required). A link to live stats can also be found on the schedule tab of OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

2017 Record: 18-22, 4-7
2016 Record: 29-25, 10-13
Top Hitter: CaraMia Tsirigos – .300, 27 RBI, seven home runs, six doubles; Taylor Uden – .298, 30 RBI, six home runs, 25 runs scored
Top Pitcher: Tara Trainer – 10-11, 3.17 ERA, 126.0 IP, 137 Ks, .240 batting average against
Series History: The Hoosiers lead the all-time series 57-45-2, although the Buckeyes have won seven of the last 10. Last season, the Hoosiers took two of three from Ohio State in Bloomington after the Buckeyes had won all four match-ups – including one in the Big Ten Tournament – in Columbus during the 2015 campaign.

• Bayne has seven career games and 20 at-bats against the Hoosiers to her credit. She’s 9-for-20 (.450) with six runs scored, two doubles and five RBI.
• Clark drove in five runs last year at Indiana, including a home run in the series finale.
• In 2015, Kirk went 6-for-8 with three home runs, seven runs scored and four RBI in the regular-season ending series at Buckeye Field. For her efforts, she was named the Big Ten Player of the Week.
• Hursh has pitched 26.0 innings with three games started and a 3.23 ERA to go along with 23 strikeouts. In the 2015 series, she appeared twice in relief and gave up just one earned run in six innings. Last year, she pitched 14.1 innings, starting twice, and picked up a save.

• Ohio State stole seven bases against the Nittany Lions in the nightcap, a new single-game record. The previous mark was five set on three different occasions, most recently vs. Samford in 2015. For the season, the Buckeyes have been successful in stealing on 37 of 39 occasions (.949).
• White is the first Buckeyes this year to move into double digits in stolen bases (11-for-12) and is No. 14 on the career charts with 34.
• Dating back to 2013, the Buckeyes have won nine of the last 12 meetings against the Nittany Lions.
• With 12 hits in the second game, Ohio State has registered double digit hits in seven of the last 11 contests.

Maddie Marotti | 9-for-19, .474, three RBI, one triple
Starting with a 3-for-3 performance in the series finale against Maryland, Marotti has continued to stay hot at the plate. On Wednesday at Penn State, she drove in three runs – two during a five-run first inning and one more as part of a four-run rally in the third inning – and also had her first triple for the Scarlet and Gray.

Taylor White | .485, three home runs, 14 RBI
White’s 14 RBI over the last 10 games is tied with Piper for most on the team in that span and she’s also increased her power output. White’s 1.000 slugging percentage has been aided by three home runs, one double and two triples. She’s currently seventh in the conference with a .469 average in B1G-only games and leads the league with 21 RBI in conference games.

Alex Bayne | .485, 12 runs scored, nine RBI
Bayne collected three hits on Wednesday, including a double in the top of the first inning of the opening game. With 16 hits in her last 33 at-bats, Bayne has raised her season average to .336 and is currently second on the team with 33 runs scored. She’s also just two RBI short of becoming the second member of this year’s 30/30 club (30 RBI, 30 runs scored).

In its seven home games thus far at Buckeye Field, Ohio State is hitting .374 as a team with a .655 slugging percentage that includes 13 home runs, one triple and seven doubles. Clark has been the most productive Buckeyes at home, batting .643 with two home runs, 11 RBI and 10 runs scored. Overall, four players who have started all seven games are hitting .400 or better at home.

On Saturday, 1,764 fans saw the first game of last weekend’s series between Ohio State and Michigan, setting a new single-game record. That record, however, only lasted for 24 hours. On Sunday, 1,836 packed the stadium. The total weekend attendance 4,979 is a series record as well.

With an average attendance of 1,152 through seven games, the Buckeyes are on pace to nearly double last year’s record of 598 fans/game.

Over the last three seasons, Buckeye Field has hosted 10 crowds of 1,000 or more:
• 3/21/15 vs. Michigan: 1,389
• 4/18/15 vs. Rutgers: 1,124
• 5/8/15 vs. Nebraska: 1,345
• 3/26/16 vs. Maryland: 1,172
• 4/24/16 vs. Purdue: 1,627
• 5/8/16 vs. Michigan State: 1,392
• 4/2/17 vs. Rutgers: 1,163
• 4/8/17 vs. Michigan: 1,764
• 4/8/17 vs. Michigan: 1,379
• 4/9/17 vs. Michigan: 1,836

The fourth RPI of the 2017 was released on Monday and Ohio State is No. 29. The Buckeyes are 3-2 vs. teams ranked between 26 and 50 and own eight wins against Top 100 teams. It has already played 11 games against Top 50 opponents and has four remaining on the schedule (three vs. Illinois and one vs. Pittsburgh).