May 3, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State softball team closes the 2012 home schedule with a three-game series vs. Iowa Saturday and Sunday at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes (28-20, 7-10 Big Ten) play the Hawkeyes (23-24, 12-6 Big Ten) in a doubleheader at 6 p.m. Saturday before closing out the series at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The doubleheader Saturday evening will be televised live on BTN, while the game Sunday will be streamed live on BTN.com. As part of Senior Day, the squad will honor its four seniors following game three Sunday.
BIG TEN NETWORK
The games Saturday will be on BTN with Lisa Byington (@LisaByington) as play-by-play along with Jennie Ritter (@JennieRitter) as an analyst.
Fans who will not be able to watch Senior Day at Buckeye Field 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.)
Senior Day Sunday will re-air on BTN at noon Wednesday, May 9.
Gametracker will be available for each of the three games. A link can be found on the softball schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
The Buckeyes are 10th in the Big Ten standings with a 7-10 record. Last time out, Ohio State claimed one win in a three-game series at Northwestern April 28-29. Ohio State posted a 6-2 victory in the opening game before falling in a doubleheader last Sunday.
Ohio State is fourth in the Big Ten in runs scored (252) and hits (365) and fifth in batting average (.286), on-base percentage (.381), RBI (224), doubles (55) and home runs (34).
With three runs scored vs. Iowa, senior captain Alicia Herron will become the program's all-time career run scored leader passing former Buckeye All-American Anna Smith (1999-02).
Herron is the first Buckeye in program history to collect at least 170 RBI, 200 hits, 100 walks, 45 home runs, 35 doubles and 160 runs scored.
In the Big Ten, Herron is first in slugging percentage (.778), on-base percentage (.547), runs scored (44) and tied for first in home runs (12). She is second in RBI (45), total bases (98) and walks (39) and fourth in batting average (.381).
Herron reached base safely in a career-high 37-consecutive games from Feb. 10 to April 21.
Freshman Taylor Watkins has a team-best 15 multi-hit games in 2012.
Herron has 12 multi-RBI games. She has 43 multi-RBI performances in her career.
Sophomore Evelyn Carrillo has collected a season-high 12 multi-RBI games. Carrillo is sixth in the league with 41 RBI.
Junior Danielle LeBeau is batting .391 with three doubles, five RBI and a .522 slugging percentage in the last 10 games.
Senior pitcher Mikayla Endicott is ninth overall in the Big Ten with a 2.74 ERA and fourth in strikeouts (165) in 35 appearances.
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 IN BIG TEN PLAY
Ohio State defeated Northwestern, 6-2, in the first game of the series last Saturday before dropping a pair of games in a doubleheader last Sunday. Sophomore Melanie Nichols claimed her 11th victory of the season, throwing her eighth complete game of the year, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts.
Iowa, under the direction of second-year head coach Marla Looper, is 23-24 overall and 12-6 in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes rank second in the league in team pitching (2.30), third in team fielding (.966) and ninth in team batting (.262). Iowa is hitting .262 as a team led by Megan Blank at .409, which is first in the conference. In the circle, Kayla Massey is 12-10 with a 2.15 ERA. In her last five starts, she is 4-1 with a 0.40 ERA with three complete game shutouts.
Iowa leads the all-time series, 61-36. The Buckeyes dropped two games at home vs. the Hawkeyes last season.
THE 2012 SENIOR CLASS
The 2012 senior class has recorded 128 victories in their four seasons at Ohio State, including 42 wins in Big Ten play. As freshmen, the class was part of the 2009 team that advanced to the program's first NCAA Super Regional in program history, while hosting an NCAA Regional as sophomores during the 2010 campaign. The class includes pitcher Mikayla Endicott (Roseburg, Oregon), shortstop Alicia Herron (Cypress, Calif.), right fielder Katie Simonton (Dublin, Ohio) and left fielder Vanessa Spears (Brea, Calf.).
HERRON IN THE RECORD BOOKS
With three runs scored this weekend vs. the Hawkeyes, Alicia Herron will break the OSU all-time career runs scored record with 167, passing former Buckeye Anna Smith (1999-02). Herron, a three-time All-Big Ten selection, also is second in RBI (173), home runs (47), fourth in hits (223) and triples (11), and fifth in doubles (39), batting average (.369) and walks (100).
HERRON'S REACHED BASE STREAK
Senior captain Alicia Herron reached base safely in a career-high 37-consecutive games from Feb. 10 to April 21. The OSU shortstop posted a career-high 15-game hit streak during the stretch between Feb. 19 and March 24. During the span, Herron batted .422 with 37 runs scored, six doubles, four triples, 10 home runs, 41 RBI, 32 walks and .853 slugging percentage.
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 16-12 overall with a 2.74 ERA in 35 appearances in 2012. The first-year Buckeye has collected 165 strikeouts, which is third-best in the conference.
Spears, a native of Brea, Calif., is batting .309 with a team-high 10 doubles, two home runs and 17 RBI. Spears is third in the Big Ten with a career-high 41 runs scored. 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.
Simonton, a native of Dublin, Ohio, has a .295 batting average and leads the team with 10 stolen bases in 39 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 .354 and .328, respectively.
Watkins, a native of Bonney Lake, Wash., is first on the team in hits with 56 and third in runs scored with 33. The Buckeye lead-off hitter claimed a season-high 15-game hit streak, from March 3-April 4. She leads the squad with 15 multi-hit games this season.
LeBeau, a junior from Poway, Calif., is third on the team in batting average (.328), second in doubles (7) and tied for third with 23 RBI. LeBeau, who has 34 starts as the designated player, collected a nine-game hit streak from March 2-March 20. She has posted 10 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI performances in 2012.
Since Big Ten play started in late March, sophomore Evelyn Carrillo has found her swing as clean-up hitter for the Buckeyes. In league play, Carrillo is tied for third in the conference in RBI (19) and hits (23) and fifth in batting average (.426). Carrillo has a season-high 41 RBI after posting 34 RBI during her freshman campaign in 2010.
AND IT'S GONE
Freshman Shelby Pickett notched her second home run of the season last time out vs. Northwestern to up Ohio State's grand total in 2012 to 34, which is fifth in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes have seen 11 players combine for 34 home runs this season with senior shortstop Alicia Herron recording a team-high 12 in 46 games. Sophomore Evelyn Carrillo, who has 11 career long balls, is second with five home runs, while junior Megan Coletta has a season-high four home runs.
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 .354 average, collecting 56 hits, 33 runs scored and 23 RBI. She has started in center field in 46 games for the squad this season.
Freshman Maddy McIntyre has started in 27 games at second base for the Buckeyes with four doubles, a home run and 15 RBI. Caitlin Conrad, a native of Richwood, Ohio, has shown signs of power at the plate for the Scarlet and Gray, nothing three home runs with nine RBI in 16 starts. Freshman Shelby Pickett has started in 29 games behind the plate for the Buckeyes, posting two home runs, two doubles and 10 RBI.
In the circle, freshman Olivia O'Reilly is 1-0 with a 2.62 ERA in 12 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.
CARRILLO NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK, NICHOLS NABS CO-PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONOR
Sophomore Evelyn Carrillo was named Big Ten Player of the Week April 3, while sophomore Melanie Nichols was named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week.
Carrillo, a native of Corona, Calif., hit .917 in Ohio State's three-game sweep of the Spartans over the March 31-April 1 combining for an OPS of 2.167. The OSU first baseman was 11-for-12 during the three-game set, going a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate in games two and three of the series. Carrillo drove in eight runs, including a career-high six RBI in the opening game of the series and scored three more on the weekend. She wins her first career conference accolade.
Nichols, a native of San Jacinto, Calif., earned two wins and a save March 28-April 1 in three appearances, allowing no earned runs in 12 innings of work. She earned the win in a midweek game against Wright State, striking out three against just five hits. Nichols pitched a complete-game against the Spartans in game two of the set before coming on in relief for a three-inning save in the finale, combining for just six hits in eight innings of work against Michigan State. She wins her first career conference accolade.
HERRON NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior shortstop Alicia Herron was named Big Ten Player of the Week March 19 after help leading the team to a 3-0 mark at the TSU Classic Tournament March 16-18 in Nashville, Tenn.
The Cypress, Calif., native batted .500, drove in eight runs, scored five more and stole two bases in the three games. She finished the week with an OPS of 1.917 after hitting two home runs and two singles, while also drawing two walks. This is the third accolade for Herron in her career and the first for Ohio State this season.
THREE BUCKEYES NAMED TO THE TSU CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Seniors Alicia Herron and Vanessa Spears and freshman Taylor Watkins were named to the 2012 TSU Classic All-Tournament Team after leading the team to a 3-0 record at TSU Classic Tournament March 16-18 in Nashville, Tenn.
Herron, a three-time All-Big Ten honoree, posted two home runs, eight RBI, five runs scored and two stolen bases in the three games in Nashville. Spears, a native of Brea, Calif., batted .455 at the plate with five hits, a team-high six runs scored, one home run and three RBI. Watkins, a native of Bonney Lake, Wash., led the team in hitting with a .583 average, collecting seven hits with a double and five runs scored.
HERRON DRAFTED BY AKRON
Senior captain Alicia Herron had a day to remember March 8 after being drafted in the fourth round (14th overall) of the 2012 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) College Draft by the Akron Racers. Akron Racers President/GM Joey Arrietta added another Buckeye to the Racers roster as she selected Herron at the shortstop position.
"We've had an eye on Herron for a while now," said Arrietta. "Playing down the road in Columbus we've seen that she moves well up the middle and has a powerful swing at the plate. She has a future in the NPF and could fill a hole at shortstop for us as a rookie."
CATHEDRAL CITY CLASSIC
Ohio State was 3-1 in action at the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs. Mikayla Endicott pitched the Buckeyes to shutout wins over Fresno State (3-0) and Cal State Fullerton (9-0) and the senior also got the win against Colorado State in a time-shortened 9-8 Buckeye victory. At the plate, Danielle LeBeau hit .400 with five RBI and Melissa Rennie hit .500 with a three-run home run.
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 three games, with a double and three RBI. Spears, who hit .438 in five games, tallied seven hits and two RBI. Shortstop Alicia Herron accounted for 18 total bases, hitting three home runs and a double among her seven hits. Mikayla Endicott posted a 3-1 record in the circle over the weekend with a 1.99 ERA.
Ohio State wraps up the regular season next weekend at Penn State in State College, Pa. The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions will play a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Friday and will close out the series at 1 p.m. Saturday. The first game Friday will be aired live on BTN.
Humphrey Highlights | Taylor White