COLUMBUS, Ohio – Coming off a 5-0 season-opening weekend, No. 21/22 Ohio State is heading to Raleigh, N.C. to take part in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on the campus of N.C. State. The Buckeyes will face the Wolfpack and Louisville twice during the three-day tournament.
Ohio State at N.C. State | Friday, Feb. 16 | 4 p.m. ET
Ohio State vs. Louisville | Saturday, Feb. 17 | 10 a.m. ET
Ohio State at N.C. State | Saturday, Feb. 17 | 12:30 p.m. ET
Ohio State vs. Louisville | Sunday, Feb. 18 | 10 a.m. ET
N.C. State will have multiple events happening on campus Sunday, Feb. 18. Fans planning to attend Sunday’s game are advised to arrive early and allow a few extra minutes to find parking. Fans are encouraged to use the Reynolds Coliseum Deck (201 Jeter Road), the Dan Allen Deck (110 Dan Allen Drive), and the West Deck (2 Watauga Club Drive) for their parking needs.
2018 Record: 3-2
Last Weekend: Began the season at the FGCU Kickoff Classic and posted wins against Georgetown, LIU Brooklyn and Memphis. Lost to FGCU and Ball State.
Top Hitter: Sam Russ, .667, 6 runs, 6 hits, 2 RBI
Top Pitcher: Devin Wallace, 2-1, 15.2 IP, 3.13 ERA, 14 Ks
2018 Record: 4-1
Last Weekend: Picked up wins over Butler, UCF, North Florida and Illinois at the UCF Friends of Jaclyn Invitational. Lost to North Carolina.
Top Hitter: Nicole Pufahl, .385, 4 runs, 5 hits, 4 RBI
Top Picher: Danielle Watson, 3-0, 15.2 IP, 0.89 ERA, 12 Ks
ACC/B1G CHALLENGE HISTORY
The Big Ten has posted a combined 33-31 record in the first two years of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Ohio State, Illinois, Nebraska, Purdue, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State and Wisconsin will represent the Big Ten this year. The Buckeyes were 2-2 at North Carolina a season ago, splitting the four-game series with the Tar Heels and Louisville.
Ohio State outscored its opponents by a 37-8 margin over a perfect 5-0 opening weekend. It is the first time since the beginning of the 2015 season that the Buckeyes have swept its first weekend of action. The squad did not surrender more than two runs in a game and held its opponents to a .268 on-base percentage. Ohio State’s pitching staff recorded a 1.00 team ERA through 35 innings and stifled the opposition as they hit .169 with just two hits for extra bases.
PAIR OF B1G WEEKLY HONORS
McCombs started her senior campaign in stellar fashion as she picked up three wins in the circle, including two complete games. She had a 0.34 ERA and tallied 25 strikeouts in 20.2 innings of work. Batters only hit .164 against her and she did not give up an extra-base hit. Against FAU, the RHP tallied a career-high 12 strikeouts and only walked one of the 26 batters she faced. Offensively, McCombs hit .500 (4-for-8) with two RBI and a home run. She picked up a career-high three hits against the Owls, including the third homer of her career.
Carver had an impressive debut in Scarlet & Gray as she started every game over the weekend. She connected on eight hits in 18 at-bats for a .444 batting average and added seven RBI and five runs. She spent time covering first and third base, where she notched 29 putouts, two assists and a .969 fielding percentage. The rookie from Gainesville, Ga., went 4-for-5 with a career-high three RBI and two runs against FAU. Carver’s first four-hit game of her collegiate career come on a pair of singles, a double and two-run homer. With that, she is one of only five athletes to record four hits in a single game as a freshman. Carver successfully reached base in all five contests and is on a four-game hitting streak.
TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK
Ohio State had six players hit .400 or better through five games last weekend – Shelby McCombs, Ashley Goodwin, Bailee Sturgeon, Lilli Piper, Niki Carver and Bri Betschel. The group combined for 35 of the Buckeyes’ 47 hits, which comes out to 74 percent.
The Buckeyes continue their travels with the Texas Invitational Feb. 23-24 in Austin, Texas. Ohio State will challenge Virginia Tech, tournament-host Texas and Wichita State.
McCombs, Carver Claim B1G Weekly Honors