Palm Springs Ahead
Feb. 23, 2012
Columbus, Ohio -
OHIO STATE AT CATHEDRAL CITY CLASSIC (FEBRUARY 24-26, 2012, CATHEDRAL CITY, CALIFORNIA)
SETTING THE STAGE
The Ohio State softball team (6-4) continues the 2012 season Friday-Sunday at the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, California.
The Buckeyes will play four games at the classic. Ohio State faces Fresno State at 10 a.m. Friday and Oregon State at 12:30 p.m. Friday (all times are Pacific). On Saturday, the Buckeyes will face Cal State Fullerton at 6 p.m. On Sunday, Ohio State faces Colorado State at 9 a.m.
Follow all five games from the Cathedral City Classic live on Gametracker available on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. A link to view the stats will be available on the schedule page of Ohio State softball at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Live stats will be available throughout the 2012 season at that location.
Ohio State needs just 5 more victories to register 1000 wins in program history.
The Buckeyes are on a four-game win streak entering the Cathedral City Classic.
Vanessa Spears currently has a 10-game reached base streak
Alicia Herron is now third among OSU career home run (39) leaders and fourth in RBI (140)
Ohio State returns 13 letterwinners and five starters from its 2011 squad.
Nine newcomers join the Buckeye roster for this season, seven of them freshmen.
The Buckeyes have made four NCAA appearances in the last six years, including their first run in program history to the NCAA Super Regional in 2009. Ohio State also made the tournament in 2006, 2007 and 2010.
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORDS/Ohio State versus:
Fresno State: 5-5, last meeting in 2008; the Buckeyes won 1-0 in a game at the Palm Spring Classic February 22
Oregon State: 1-7, last meeting in 2010; Ohio State lost 7-6 to the Beavers in the Northridge Tournament of Champions February 9
Cal State Fullerton: 7-17; last meeting in 2010; the Buckeyes lost 10-2 in a game at the Cal State Fullerton/Worth Invitational March 1
Colorado State: 5-1; last meeting in 2009; the Buckeyes were 11-2 winners in a game at the New Mexico State Tournament February 8
IN LAS VEGAS
The Buckeyes posted a 4-1 record in the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, with wins over Idaho State, Long Beach State, San Jose State and host UNLV. Outfielders Taylor Watkins and Vanessa Spears led the Buckeyes at the plate. Watkins hit .500 in 3 games, with a double and 3 RBI. Spears, who hit .438 in 5 games, tallied 7 hits and 2 RBI. Shortstop Alicia Herron accounted for 18 total bases, hitting 3 home runs and a double among her 7 hits. Mikayla Endicott posted a 3-1 record in the circle over the weekend, with a 1.99 ERA.
AT THE DOT
Ohio State was 2-3 in the Dot Richardson tournament held at the National Training Center. Vanessa Spears hit .538 for the weekend, with 7 hits and 2 RBI. Alicia Herron accounted for 6 hits, a home run, 2 triples and 5 RBI. Melanie Nichols was 2-1 in the circle in 15 innings pitched. ON THE ROAD Ohio State is opening the 2012 campaign with five early-season tournaments on the road, playing 25 road games before hosting a Big Ten series vs. Indiana March 24-25 in Columbus. The Buckeyes were 2-3 in opening-weekend action at the Dot Richardson NTC tournament in Clermont, Fla., and 4-1 in action at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas.
AT THE HELM
Head coach Linda Kalafatis enters her 16th season at the helm of the Buckeyes as one of the most successful coaches in the Big Ten and the NCAA. She is one of four conference coaches with more than 700 career wins, placing her among the Top 30 active coaches in the country. The 2007 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Kalafatis is third among current Big Ten coaches in number of victories - with five fewer years coaching experience than her nearest colleague.
The Buckeyes have won 30 or more games in nine of Kalafatis' 15 seasons in Columbus and in seven of the last eight seasons. The Big Ten coach of the year in 2002, she has guided Ohio State to six of the program's seven NCAA tournament appearances (2002, `04, `06, `07, `09, `10) including the Buckeyes' first-ever trip to the NCAA Super Regional in 2009. Kalafatis now holds a 513-339 (.602) record starting 16 seasons at Ohio State, which marks the best win total and winning percentage in program history. She recorded her 500th Buckeye win last season in a 4-1 decision over Harvard. In 24 years as a collegiate head coach, including stops at her alma mater California (Pa.) and Akron, she owns a record of 785-454-2 (.634).
Herron, a senior shortstop from Cypress, California, is a fourth-year starter who has earned all-Midwest Regional and all-Big Ten honors. The Buckeyes' leading hitter as a sophomore (.415) and junior (354), she was the 2010 Big Ten batting champion. Coletta, a junior third baseman from Fullerton, California, is a third-year starter for the Buckeyes, with a .245 career batting average and 44 RBI. Nichols, a redshirt sophomore pitcher from San Jacinto, California, was the 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, compiling a 21-3 record and 1.92 ERA in 36 appearances. Nichols took a medical redshirt last season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Ohio State welcomes nine newcomers to the 2012 squad, including an infielder, a catcher, four pitchers and three outfielders. Joining the outfield are freshmen Caitlyn Conrad (Richwood, Ohio), Anne McGowan (Seattle, Wash.) and Taylor Watkins (Bonney Lake, Wash.). Freshman Shelby Pickett (Temecula, Calif.) is a Buckeye catcher, while freshman Maddy McIntyre (San Diego, Calif.) joins the infield unit. New pitchers for Ohio State include senior Mikayla Endicott (a transfer from Oregon and a native of Roseburg, Ore.), junior Danielle LeBeau (from Palomar CC and Poway, Calif.), and freshmen Alex DiDominico (Youngstown, Ohio) and Olivia O'Reilly (Sylvania, Ohio).
Since 2000, Ohio State has won 438 games, which is the third-highest win total in the Big Ten during that time. The Buckeyes own a .664 winning percentage, good for third in the league. The 2010 squad recorded 39 wins, the fifth-most in school history, and advanced to the program's fourth NCAA regional appearance during a five-year period. Ohio State notched 30 or more wins for seven consecutive seasons between 2004-2010 -- the longest 30-win stretch in Buckeye history.
A LOOK BACK AT 2011
An injury-riddled Buckeye squad posted a 14-37 mark during the 2011 season, the first losing record in the past dozen seasons of Ohio State softball. Shortstop Alicia Herron received third team all-Big Ten recognition.
The Big Ten Network has announced its softball telecast schedule for 2012. Ohio State will be featured in five live broadcasts:
Friday, April 6 Michigan at Ohio State (5:30 p.m.)
Sunday, April 15 Ohio State at Purdue (2:00 p.m.)
Saturday, May 5 Iowa at Ohio State (6:00 p.m.)
Saturday, May 5 Iowa at Ohio State (8:00 p.m.)
Friday, May 11 Ohio State at Penn State (4:00 p.m.)
At least 176 Big Ten baseball and softball games will be broadcast by BTN on television or online in 2012, all in high definition. At least 27 Big Ten softball games will be broadcast on BTN this season, with a minimum of 66 additional games streamed on the digital network. A select number of streamed baseball and softball games will be televised on delay through BTN's Student U initiative.
In addition, all home softball games not aired live on BTN will be streamed live online at either BTN.com or Buckeye Vision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Specific information for online broadcasts will be announced in the near future.
More than 4,000 softball student-athletes, including six Buckeyes, representing 707 different academic institutions were named as a 2011 NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Representing Ohio State as All-America Scholar-Athletes for 2011 were Alicia Herron, Dee Dee Hillman, Karisa Medrano, Brittany Mills, Melissa Rennie and Katie Simonton.
The award is given to any player submitted by a member coach who achieved a 3.50 grade point average or higher during the 2010-11 academic year. This year's total of 4,331 honorees bested last year's total by more than 30 student-athletes. The membership category with the most participating institutions this year was Division III with 168, while high school led the way in total honorees with 1,160. For more information on the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, go to www.nfca.org.
The Buckeyes will travel to their fourth tournament of 2012 at the Citrus Classic in Orlando March 2-4. On Friday, Ohio State will face Longwood at 4:45 p.m. and Georgetown at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the Buckeyes square off against Notre Dame at 4:45 p.m. and Hofstra at 7 p.m. Ohio State concludes the Citrus Classic Sunday with a game against Pitt at 9 a.m.
Ohio State opens its home season at Buckeye Field March 24-25 hosting Indiana in a Big Ten series.