May 9, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team closes the 2012 season with a three-game series at Penn State Friday-Saturday at Beard Field in State College, Pa. The Buckeyes (29-22, 8-12 Big Ten) play the Nittany Lions (17-30, 8-13 Big Ten) in a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Friday before closing out the series at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The first game of the doubleheader vs. Penn State Friday will be televised live on BTN.
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 an 8-12 record. Last time out, Ohio State claimed one win in a three-game series at home vs. Iowa May 5-6. Ohio State posted a 2-1 victory in the home finale on Senior Day.
• Ohio State is fifth in runs scored (259), RBI (229) and home runs (36) and tied for fifth in doubles (56) in the Big Ten.
• With two runs scored vs. Iowa, senior captain Alicia Herron will become the program’s all-time career runs 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 (.779) and on-base percentage (.552) and tied for first in home runs (13) and runs scored (45). She is second in walks (44) and total bases (102), fourth in RBI (45) and fifth in batting average (.374).
• Herron reached base safely in a career-high 37-consecutive games from Feb. 10 to April 21.
• Freshman Taylor Watkins has a team-best 16 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 42 RBI.
• Junior Danielle LeBeau is batting .417 with three doubles, four RBI and a .542 slugging percentage in the last 10 games.
• Senior pitcher Mikayla Endicott is eighth overall in the Big Ten with a 2.58 ERA and third in strikeouts (178) in 38 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 Iowa, 2-1, May 6 in the home finale on Senior Day. Freshman Shelby Pickett claimed a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, scoring classmate Taylor Watkins – who scored both OSU runs in the contest. Senior pitcher Mikayla Endicott notched her team-high 17th win of the season after throwing seven innings, allowing one earned run with four strikeouts.
SCOUTING THE NITTANY LIONS
Penn State is 17-30 overall and 8-13 in Big Ten play this season. The Nittany Lions are hitting .238 as a team led by Cassidy Bell at .407 with five doubles, a triple and nine home runs. In the circle, Marissa Diescher has notched 11 wins this year with a 4.26 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 172.2 innings pitched.
Ohio State leads the all-time series between the two schools, 43-28. Last season, Penn State swept the Buckeyes in a doubleheader in Columbus.
THE 2012 SENIOR CLASS
The 2012 senior class has recorded 129 victories in their four seasons at Ohio State, including 43 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.).
OHIO STATE CO-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Freshman Shelby Pickett was named Ohio State Co-Athlete of the Week Tuesday after claiming a walk-off RBI single to give Ohio State a 2-1 win vs. Iowa in its home finale last Sunday at Buckeye Field. Pickett, a native of Temecula, Calif., has started in 32 games behind the plate. Pickett is currently on a six-game hit streak, batting .400 with a double, triple, home run and three RBI during that span.
HERRON NAMED TO CAPITAL ONE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM
Senior Alicia Herron was named to the Capital One Academic All-District V First Team for the third time in her career May 4. The four-year starter at shortstop, Herron leads the Big Ten with a .779 slugging percentage and 13 home runs, while maintaining a grade-point average greater than 3.30 in speech and hearing science. The Cypress, Calif., native becomes the first Buckeye in program history to be named to an All-District V Team in three-consecutive seasons.
HERRON IN THE RECORD BOOKS
With two runs scored this weekend vs. the Nittany Lions, 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 (174), home runs (48), fourth in hits (224) and triples (11), and fifth in doubles (39), batting average (.367) and walks (105).
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 17-13 overall with a 2.58 ERA in 38 appearances in 2012. The first-year Buckeye has collected 178 strikeouts, which is third-best in the conference.
Spears, a native of Brea, Calif., is batting .306 with a team-high 10 doubles, two home runs and 17 RBI. Spears is tied for fourth in the Big Ten with a career-high 42 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 .287 batting average and is second on the team with 11 stolen bases in 42 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 .351 and .323, respectively.
Watkins, a native of Bonney Lake, Wash., is first on the team in hits with 59 and third in runs scored with 36. The Buckeye lead-off hitter claimed a season-high 15-game hit streak, from March 3-April 4. She leads the squad with 16 multi-hit games this season.
LeBeau, a junior from Poway, Calif., is third on the team in batting average (.323), second in doubles (7) and tied for third with 23 RBI. LeBeau, who has 36 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.
AND IT’S GONE
Sophomore Leesa Gresham notched her first career home run in game two of a doubleheader vs. Iowa May 5 to up Ohio State’s grand total in 2012 to 36, which is fifth in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes have seen 12 players combine for 36 home runs this season with senior shortstop Alicia Herron recording a team-high 13 in 49 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 .351 average, collecting 59 hits, 36 runs scored and 23 RBI. She has started in center field in 49 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 , launching three home runs with nine RBI in 17 starts. Freshman Shelby Pickett has started in 32 games behind the plate, posting two home runs, two doubles a triple and 11 RBI.
In the circle, freshman Olivia O’Reilly is 1-0 with a 3.10 ERA in 13 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.
Lilli Piper: Make You Proud