COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team hosts Nebraska in a three-game conference series this weekend at Buckeye Field. The two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday and will conclude the series at 2 p.m. Sunday.
This will be the first meetings between the two schools since Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference last summer. The game Sunday will be streamed live on BTN.com. The Buckeyes (26-16, 5-6 Big Ten) return to the field after sweeping Ohio in a doubleheader Wednesday.
Saturday, April 21
• Buckeyes Go Pink – pink wrist bands for the first 100 fans
Sunday, April 22
• Kids run the bases, team autographs
Gametracker will be available for each of the three games. A link can be found on the softball schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
WATCH THE BUCKEYES LIVE
Ohio State fans can watch the OSU home softball games by logging on to OhioStateBuckeyes.com for live video streaming on Buckeye Vision. Packages available for purchase include a one-month subscription for Buckeye Vision for $9.95 or a yearly all-inclusive pass for $79.95. Sign up today and watch the Buckeyes from anywhere.
• The Buckeyes are sixth in the Big Ten standings with a 5-6 record. Last time out, Ohio State swept Ohio in a doubleheader Wednesday at Buckeye Field to improve to 7-0 at home in non-conference action.
• Senior captain Alicia Herron is eighth in the nation in on-base percentage (.559), 18th in slugging percentage (.841) and 17th in RBI per game (1.13).
• In the Big Ten, Herron is first in slugging percentage (.841), on-base percentage (.559) and total bases (90) and tied for first in home runs (11). The OSU shortstop is second in batting average (.411), runs scored (36), RBI (43) and triples (4) and fourth in walks (24).
• Herron has reached base safely in a career-high 37-consecutive games.
• Freshman Taylor Watkins has a team-best 14 multi-hit games in 2012.
• Herron leads the squad with 12 multi-RBI games. She has 43 multi-RBI performances in her career.
• Sophomore Evelyn Carrillo has collected 12 multi-RBI games.
• Senior pitcher Mikayla Endicott is sixth overall in the Big Ten with a 2.53 ERA and third in strikeouts (151) in 31 appearances.
• As a team, Ohio State is in the Top 5 in several conference batting statistics, including third in triples (7), fourth in runs scored (210), hits (314), home runs (31) and total bases (461).
• In Big Ten games, Carrillo is tied for second in batting average (.500) and hits (18) and tied for third in RBI (16).
• Ohio State claimed its 1,000th win in program history after claiming a 5-0 shutout vs. Georgetown in game one and a 12-3 victory in five innings vs. Longwood in game two March 2 at the 2012 Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla.
• 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.
LAST TIME OUT
The Ohio State bats posted 22 runs in two games vs. the Bobcats Wednesday, winning game one, 9-5, before notching a 13-3 run-rule victory in five innings in game two.
In game one, senior captain Alicia Herron went 2-for-2 with a double, RBI and two walks, while freshman Taylor Watkins was 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and one walk. In the circle, senior Mikayla Endicott improved to 16-10 overall, throwing 5.1 innings, allowing two earned runs with no walks and three strikeouts.
In game two, eight of the Buckeyes’ 11 hits went for extra bases. The eight extra base hits ties a season-high for the team after claiming eight in a 10-5 win vs. Long Beach State Feb. 18 in Las Vegas. At the plate, sophomore Evelyn Carrillo had two doubles and four RBI, while junior Megan Coletta collected a double, triple and three RBI. Freshman Maddy McIntyre and sophomore Melaina Saalfeld each had two RBI, while Alicia Herron was walked three times to extend her reach base total to 37-consecutive games. Sophomore Melanie Nichols improved to 9-6, throwing four innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits with a strikeout.
LAST TIME IN BIG TEN PLAY
Ohio State dropped two games at Purdue April 15 in West Lafayette, Ind., losing game one, 2-1, while falling, 8-3, in game two. Senior Katie Simonton collected her sixth multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-3 in game two, while Taylor Watkins claimed two hits as well in the second contest. Senior captain Alicia Herron notched two hits in the doubleheader vs. the Boilermakers and now has 219 career hits.
SCOUTING THE HUSKERS
Nebraska is 27-16 overall and 8-4 in Big Ten play this year. The Huskers are batting .271 as a team led by Gabby Banda at .372 and Ashley Guile at .333. In the circle, Ashley Hagemann is 19-13 with a 2.71 ERA, limiting opponents to a .205 average with a Big Ten-best 260 strikeouts in 204.1 innings pitched.
The Buckeyes and Huskers are tied, 3-3, in the all-time series between the two schools. Last season, Nebraska defeated the Scarlet and Gray at the Cathedral City Classic.
HERRON CHASING MULTIPLE RECORDS
In her final season as a Buckeye, Alicia Herron is chasing multiple OSU career batting records. Most recently, Herron passed former Buckeye Nycole Koyano (2004-07) for second on the OSU career runs scored list with 159 after plating three runs in the doubleheader vs. Ohio Wednesday.
- Second in home runs (46)
- Second in RBI (172)
- Tied for fourth in hits (221)
- Second in runs scored (159)
- Tied for fourth in triples (11)
- Fourth in batting average (.375)
- Fifth in walks (95)
- Tied for fifth in doubles (39)
37 AND COUNTING
Senior captain Alicia Herron has reached safely in a career-high 37-consecutive games this season. The OSU shortstop posted a career-high 15-game hit streak during the stretch between Feb. 19 and March 24. Herron is batting .422 with 43 hits, 32 walks and a .582 on-base percentage during the span.
BIG TEN TRIPLE CROWN CONTENDER
Alicia Herron has been one of the best hitters in the Big Ten this season. Herron is leading the league with a .418 batting average, an .845 slugging percentage and a.576 slugging percentage. She is bidding to win the Big Ten triple crown, as in addition to her league-leading average, Herron is tied for the Big Ten lead with 44 RBI and 11 home runs. She is also tied for the league in walks with 34 and four triples.
The 2012 senior class has stepped up to the challenge of leading a team. Along with senior captain Alicia Herron, who is leading the squad and the Big Ten in several offensive categories, classmates Vanessa Spears, Mikayla Endicott and Katie Simonton are putting together solid performances on the field for the Scarlet and Gray.
In the circle, Mikayla Endicott is 16-10 overall with a 2.53 ERA in 33 appearances in 2012. The first-year Buckeye has collected 154 strikeouts, which is third-best in the conference.
Spears, a native of Brea, Calif., is batting .314 with a team-high eight doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI. The OSU starting left fielder, Spears went 3-for-4 with a grand slam and four RBI in game two at Michigan State March 31 in East Lansing, Mich. Last week, Spears was 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored in a 3-2 win vs. Dayton April 11.
Simonton, a native of Dublin, Ohio, has a .313 batting average and leads the team with 10 stolen bases in 33 starts in right field. She has collected six multi-hit games this season.
WATKINS, LEBEAU AT THE PLATE
Freshman Taylor Watkins and junior Danielle LeBeau are having productive seasons at the plate in their first campaign with the Buckeyes, batting .377 and .301, respectively.
Watkins, a native of Bonney Lake, Wash., is first on the team in hits with 52 and third in runs scored with 32. The Buckeye lead-off hitter claimed a season-high 15-game hit streak, from March 3-April 4. She is first on the team with 14 multi-hit games.
LeBeau, a junior from Poway, Calif., has a .398 slugging percentage, 31 hits, two home runs and 19 RBI. LeBeau, who has 29 starts as the designated player, collected a nine-game hit streak from March 2-March 20. She has posted seven multi-hit games, including a two-double performance in game two vs. Buffalo March 28.
WATKINS CHASING FRESHMAN BATTING RECORD
Freshman Taylor Watkins has been a key batter in the OSU lineup this season as lead-off hitter. She is currently second on the OSU freshman batting average list with a .377 average in 40 starts this season. The OSU center fielder is .12 points off the OSU freshman record held by former Buckeye Kelly Kelland at .389 during the 1981 season. Watkins also is tied for eighth on the freshman hits list with 52 this season.
AND IT’S GONE
Sophomore Evelyn Carrillo posted her first grand slam in game two vs. Michigan April 7 to up Ohio State’s grand total in 2012 to 31, which is fourth in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes have seen 11 players combine for 31 home runs this season with senior shortstop Alicia Herron recording a team-high 11 in 35 games. Sophomore Evelyn Carrillo, who has 11 career long balls, is second with five home runs, while junior Megan Coletta and freshman Caitlin Conrad each have three. Junior Danielle LeBeau and senior Vanessa Spears each have two home runs.
The Ohio State pitching corps has allowed its opponents to hit just 16 home runs this season.
Five Buckeye freshmen have made key contributions to the OSU lineup in 2012. The 2015 class has been led by lead-off hitter Taylor Watkins, who is second on the team in batting with a .377 average, collecting 52 hits, 32 runs scored and 21 RBI. She has started in center field in 40 games for the squad this season.
Freshman Maddy McIntyre has become a regular in lineup the past few weeks, starting in 24 games at second base for the Buckeyes. In the last 10 games, McIntyre is hitting .292 with two doubles, a home run and nine RBI.
Caitlin Conrad, a native of Richwood, Ohio, has shown signs of power at the plate for the Scarlet and Gray, notching three home runs with nine RBI in 16 starts, including 11 starts in right field. Freshman Shelby Pickett has started in 25 games behind the plate for the Buckeyes, posting a home run, two doubles and eight RBI.
In the circle, freshman Olivia O’Reilly is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA in nine appearances. She claimed her first career victory in her first start as a Buckeye vs. Belmont March 17, throwing four innings, allowing just three hits and no earned runs with four strikeouts.
The Buckeyes will conclude the 2012 home schedule in a three-game series vs. Iowa May 5-6. The two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 6 p.m. May 5 and conclude the series at 2 p.m. May 6. Game one will help kick off the Ohio State Department of Athletics’ 2012-13 Centennial Celebration – a yearlong event that will commemorate the department’s 100th anniversary and membership in the Big Ten Conference. The doubleheader will also be broadcasted live on BTN.
FOLLOW THE BUCKEYES
To stay up to date on Buckeye softball, follow the team on its official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OhioStateSoftball. Fans can also follow the squad on Twitter here: @OhioState_SB.
Humphrey Highlights | Taylor White