Senior Danielle LeBeau
May 2, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State softball team will conclude the 2013 regular season with its final road conference series Friday-Sunday at Illinois in Champaign, Ill. The Buckeyes (32-19, 9-11 Big Ten) and Fighting Illini (20-25, 9-11) are tied for sixth in the Big Ten standings with 9-11 records heading into the last weekend of the conference schedule. All three games vs. Illinois will be streamed on BTN.com.
Fans who will not be able to watch Ohio State and Illinois can catch all the action on BTN.com as part of the Big Ten Digital Network. (Note, there is a fee to view games airing on BTN.com. Fans who have already subscribed to Buckeye Vision can use the same log in information for the Big Ten Digital Network as both are part of CBSSports.com College Network.)
FOLLOWING FROM HOME
A link to Gametracker for each game this week can be found on the Ohio State softball schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Follow live action and play-by-play also on our twitter page at @OhioState_SB.
Ohio State vs.
Illinois: 17-12; Ohio State leads the all-time series vs. the Fighting Illini. Last time out, Illinois swept the Buckeyes in a two-game series in Columbus during the 2011 campaign.
The Fighting Illini have won nine-consecutive games after defeating in-state foe Southern Illinois, 4-2, in eight innings Wednesday night in Carbondale, Ill. Offensively, Illinois is led by Alex Booker who is batting .368 with three doubles ,a triple and 13 RBI, while going 20-for-21 in stolen bases. In the circle, Shelese Arnold is 9-10 overall with a 2.75 ERA, while Pepper Gay is 11-15 with a 4.11 ERA.
2013 BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
Tickets for the 2013 Big Ten Softball Tournament May 9-12 hosted by Nebraska University at Bowlin Stadium are now on sale. All 12 schools will participate in the Big Ten Tournament, with the top four seeds receiving a first-round bye. The tournament will be single-elimination, with 11 total games being played. The Big Ten Network will televise both semifinals on Saturday, as well as Sunday's championship game. To order tickets and for more information on the tournament can be found at www.huskers.com.
- The Buckeyes are currently tied for sixth in the Big Ten with a 9-11 league mark.
- Ohio State is 32-19 overall and 9-11 in Big Ten play after sweeping Wright State in a doubleheader Wednesday evening at Buckeye Field.
- First-year assistant coach Jenna Hall returns to her alma mater this weekend at Illinois. Hall was an NFCA all-American and is the program record holder for best career and single-season batting averages.
- As a team, Ohio State leads the Big Ten in doubles (80), second in hits (402), runs scored (270) and RBI (247) and fifth in batting average (.295).
- Freshman Cammi Prantl is second on the team in batting average (.356) and leads the squad with 62 hits in 2013. The OSU left fielder is tied for fourth in the conference in hits and is nine hits shy of the Ohio State freshman record for hits in a single season.
- Sophomore Taylor Watkins guides the Buckeyes with a .360 average with a team-best 44 runs scored and 15 stolen bases. She is second in hits (59), doubles (12), home runs (7), RBI (37), slugging percentage (.573) and on base percentage (.458).
- Sophomore Maddy McIntyre is tied for first the conference in walks with a career-high 39 free passes. She leads Ohio State with a .472 on base percentage and is currently on a career-high 13 game reached-base streak.
- Junior Leesa Gresham is tied for 11th in the Big Ten with nine home runs. She also leads the Buckeyes in doubles (13) and slugging percentage (.583).
- Ohio State is 24-2 this season when scoring first, 18-0 when holding its opponents to 0-2 runs and 18-1 when leading after six innings.
- First-year head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly picked up her first win at Ohio State in the opening game of the season after the team downed Elon, 10-2, in five innings.
- The Buckeyes were named the 2013 Red and Black Showcase Champions Feb. 10 after going 4-1 at Georgia's opening tournament. The weekend was a highlighted by a 5-4 upset over No. 8 Georgia in eight innings Feb. 9. The win marked first win against the Bulldogs in program history and first road victory against a Top 25 opponent since the 2010 season.
- The Buckeyes defeated No. 16 Louisville, 1-0, Feb. 16 in eight innings, marking the second win vs. a nationally-ranked opponent this season.
- Ohio State downed No. 14 Arizona, 6-0, Feb. 22 at the Marry Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs for its third win over a Top 20 opponent.
A MEMORABLE LAST HIT AT BUCKEYE FIELD
Highlighting the Buckeyes' sweep of Wright State Wednesday was senior third baseman Megan Coletta, who posted a home run in her final at bat at Buckeye Field. The native of Fullerton, Calif., Coletta connected on a 1-1 pitch for a solo shot over the left field. Coletta, who has played in 201 career games with 194 career starts, has posted a .465 slugging percentage in her last 15 contests, collected three home runs, a double and 10 RBI.
PRANTL IN THE RECORD BOOKS
With a team-best 62 hits, freshman left fielder Cammi Prantl is nine hits shy of the Ohio State freshman record set by former Buckeye Amy Haug during the 1996 campaign. Prantl, a native of Ashville collected a season-high 12-game hit streak from April 7-24. She has boasted a team-best 19 multi-hit contests, was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week March 18 after hitting .560 (14-for-25) with one double, eight runs scored and five RBI, helping Ohio State to a 6-1 record during the team's spring break trip.
WATKINS GOING FOR 40-40 CLUB
Sophomore Taylor Watkins posted a career-high four runs scored vs. Minnesota April 28 and leads the squad with 44 runs scored and second with 37 RBI in 2013. With three more RBI, Watkins would become the first Buckeye to collect at least 40 runs scored and 40 RBI in a single season since former Buckeye Alicia Herron posted 48 RBI and 48 runs scored in 2012.
Watkins, a native of Bonney Lake, Wash., is currently batting .360 at the plate. The OSU centerfield also has compiled a career-high 15 stolen bases for the Buckeyes.
BUCKEYES BLAST GOPHERS WITH 18 HITS
Ohio State tallied a season-high 18 hits in a 14-6 win in six innings against Minnesota April 28 at Buckeye Field. The contest was delayed in the top of the second with the score 3-0 in favor of Ohio State and play resumed after a 72-minute rain delay. Following the stoppage, the Buckeye bats posted four runs in the third, two in the fourth, three in the fifth and two additional runs in the sixth inning to earn the win. An impressive seven different Buckeyes tallied multi-hit performances, while eight different players crossed the plate vs. the Gophers.
BUCKEYES SHUTOUT BALL STATE
Ohio State posted an 8-0 shutout vs. Ball State April 17 in Columbus. Ohio State scored three runs in the third, three in the fourth and added two additional runs in the fifth to claim the win. Overall, the Buckeyes outhit Ball State, 9-2, in the contest. Offensively, Cammi Prantl went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a season-high four RBI, while sophomore Shelby Pickett was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, two RBI and a two-run home run. Junior Leesa Gresham went 2-for-3 with a stolen base vs. the Cardinals.
In the circle, Alex DiDomenico posted her 12th win of the season, throwing five shutout innings, limiting the BSU bats to two hits with a strikeout in five innings of work.
SERIES SWEEP VS. PENN STATE
Ohio State improved to 6-6 in the Big Ten after claiming three wins April 12-14 at Buckeye Field. The team shut out Penn State, 2-0, in game one April 12 before downing the Nittany Lions, 16-7, in five innings April 13. The Buckeyes claimed the sweep with a 4-3 win in eight innings in game three April 14.
Offensively, Cammi Prantl batted .444 in the series with five runs scored, a double and two RBI, while Melissa Rennie notched a home run, double, four RBI and three runs scored. Maddy McIntyre plated a team-best five RBI, while Caitlin Conrad, Evelyn Carrillo and Leesa Gresham each homered vs. the Nittany Lions. In the circle, Alex DiDomenico finished off a strong week with two complete game wins vs. Penn State in game one and game three, respectively.
BUCKEYES TAKE TWO IN ATHENS
Ohio State swept a doubleheader at Ohio April 9, defeating the Bobcats, 4-2, in game one before downing Ohio, 6-1, in game two at Ohio Softball Field. Highlight the sweep, was sophomore pitcher Alex DiDomenico, who posted a career-high 17 strikeouts in game two, retiring the first 15 outs by strikeout. Offensively, sophomore Maddy McIntyre batted .500 (3-for-6), including a double and triple, while junior Leesa Gresham, sophomore Taylor Watkins and senior Megan Coletta each had a home run vs. Ohio.
AND IT'S GONE
Senior Megan Coletta notched a solo home run in her last at bat at Buckeye Field Wednesday to up Ohio State's grand total in 2013 to 35, which is seventh in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes have seen eight players combine for 35 home runs this season with junior designated player Leesa Gresham recording a team-high nine in 49 games. Sophomore Taylor Watkins is second with a career-high seven homers, while Coletta has boasted five home runs. Sophomore Caitlin Conrad has notched a season-high four home runs, while sophomore Maddy McIntyre and junior Evelyn Carrillo each have three. Junior Melissa Rennie posted a two-run home run April 12 for her second long ball of the season.
Sophomore pitcher Alex DiDomenico tossed a career-high 17 strikeouts in a 6-1 win at Ohio April 9, which marked the second-most strikeouts by a Buckeye in a single game in program history. She was just one shy off the school record held by former Buckeye Kristi DeVries, who posted 18 strikeouts in a contest during the 2001 campaign. The 17 strikeouts are the most by a Big Ten pitcher in a single game this year.
GRESHAM AT THE PLATE
Junior Leesa Gresham is having a breakout year for the Buckeyes at the plate and has become the team's top power hitter in 2013. Gresham, a native of Fresno, Calif., leads the squad with nine home runs and a .583 slugging percentage. She came into the 2013 season with one home run in her Buckeye career.
JUNIOR PRODUCTION FROM 88 AND 86
Junior Melissa Rennie and redshirt junior Melanie Nichols have both provided solid production for the Buckeyes during the Big Ten season. Rennie, a native of Wellington, Ohio, has a .300 average with nine runs scored, two doubles, a triple, a home run and eight RBI through 20 league contests in 2013. In the circle, Nichols, a native of San Jacinto, Calif., is 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in Big Ten play, striking out 21 batters in 24.0 innings of work, while holding opponents to a .230 average.
SOME NOTES FROM MICHIGAN SERIES
- Junior Leesa Gresham boasted a career-high five RBI in game three vs. the Wolverines April 7, crushing a two-run home run in the top of the third before clearing the bases on a three-run double in the top of the fifth. The performance marked her team-best ninth multi-RBI contest and 11th multi-hit game.
- Junior Melissa Rennie collected a hit in each of the three games vs. Michigan, going 4-for-6 at the plate.
PRANTL NAMED BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Ohio State freshman Cammi Prantl has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week, the conference office March 18. The award is the first career Big Ten weekly honor for Prantl.
Prantl, a native of Ashville, Ohio, hit .560 (14-for-25) with one double, eight runs scored and five RBI, helping Ohio State to a 6-1 record on the spring break trip March 13-17. The OSU outfielder recorded five multi-hit games, including two 3-for-3 efforts, and scored at least once in five contests. Prantl becomes the first Ohio State Big Ten Freshman of the Week since Melissa Rennie was honored during the 2011 campaign.
DIDOMENICO IN THE CIRCLE
Ohio State sophomore Alex DiDomenico leads the Buckeyes in the circle, posting a 14-9 overall record with a 2.58 ERA. She is fifth among Big Ten pitchers in hits allowed (114) and opposing batting average (.207). DiDomenico was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week Feb. 18 after notching a spotless earned run average pitching 15 innings in three appearances at the Jacksonville Tournament Feb. 15-17 where she held opponents to a .130 average.
Overall, DiDomenico has claimed wins against three Top 20 teams this season, including Georgia, Louisville and Arizona. She also has collected a team-best five complete-game shutouts. She posted her 100th strikeout of the season in a win vs. Penn State April 14.
CARRILLO NAMED OHIO STATE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
First baseman Evelyn Carrillo helped the Buckeyes become Red and Black Showcase Champions with a 4-1 record Feb. 8-10 in Athens, Ga. She batted .444 with eight hits, seven RBI, a home run and a stolen base in five games. Carrillo went 3-for-5 at the plate with an RBI in the 5-4 extra inning, upset victory over No. 8 Georgia Feb. 9. The win marked the first for the Buckeyes against the Bulldogs in program history.
The Buckeyes are guided by first-year head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly, who spent six seasons at Miami, posting a program-best 188 wins for the RedHawks.
Schoenly led the RedHawks to their first MAC Tournament title in 2009 before winning again in 2012. Schoenly also helped the team to two NCAA Tournament berths in both 2009 and 2012, respectively. Prior to her stint at Miami, Schoenly was an assistant coach at Penn State (1998-2006) for eight seasons and helped guide the Nittany Lions to seven Big Ten Tournament appearances and six NCAA Tournament berths. Before her time in State College, Schoenly was an assistant at her alma mater, Michigan, for three years (1995-98), helping the squad reach the NCAA Women's College World Series three consecutive times.
During her collegiate pitching career at Michigan (1991-95), Schoenly earned numerous conference and national awards, including 1995 NFCA First-Team All-America honors. A two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and three-time all-conference selection, Schoenly was a member of three Big Ten Conference Championship teams.
Kelly Kovach Schoenly is assisted by Amanda Buchholz and Jenna Hall. Buchholz comes from Miami (Ohio) where she spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach under Schoenly. During her time at Miami, Buchholz helped put together three of the Top defensive units in program history highlighted by the 2010 campaign when the RedHawks broke the team record for best fielding percentage with a .975 mark, breaking the .968 fielding percentage set in 1987 (The .975 fielding percentage was ranked tenth in the country). Her following two defensive squads notched .967 and .966 fielding percentages, respectively, despite having to replace more than half of the starting lineup. Buchholz was the starting shortstop for the Huskers from 2000-03, earning first team All-Big 12 honors, as well as Academic All-Big 12 honors. She led Nebraska to the 2002 College World Series and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Iowa City Regional.
Hall spent the last five seasons at Ohio University. Serving under head coach Jodi Hermanek, Hall helped guide the 2012 team to the best offensive season in program history as the Bobcats broke school records for most home runs (47), RBIs (255) and runs scored (293) in a single season. Prior to her time in Athens, Hall served as the student assistant coach at her alma mater - Illinois - under head coach Terri Sullivan.
Ohio State Stymied by No. 7 Washington