college, field hockey, ohio state, OSU, sports

Ohio State Field Hockey Defeated in Big 10 Tournament

 

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Ohio State’s Liz Tamburro makes a great save in the first half 

 

Less than 48 hours after braving harsh elements to defeat Indiana the lady Buckeyes were back on Ocker Field in Ann Arbor to play their biggest rival, the Michigan Wolverines. The field was still wet from the cold rains that had been falling and the game-time temperature was only 44 degrees. But the Buckeyes excitedly took the field against the number 3 team in the nation in the Big 10 tournament quarterfinal matchup.

With their grey uniforms on the Buckeyes took control of the ball first and both teams played very solid careful defense throughout the beginning of the first half of play. Neither team was able to get the ball upfield easily and was unable to get a shot on goal until about 6 minutes in when Michigan was able to get a shot off but Buckeye Senior goalkeeper Liz Tamburro was able to make the big save. A few minutes later Tamburro would come up big again making 2 outstanding saves at point blank range.

With halfway through the first half, Tamburro had made 6 saves to keep the score tied at zero. With 4 minutes left in the first half, the first penalty corner of the game was called and Michigan took advantage as the ball just narrowly made it past her for the goal as she jumped outstretched to try to stop it,  A couple minutes later with just 33 seconds left in the half, Michigan would score again off the corner again to take a 2-0 lead into the half.

But the Buckeyes would not give up and kept playing hard and put pressure on the Michigan defense. Tamburro would make several more outstanding saves but Michigan would score again on another penalty corner to move on in the tournament with a 3-0 victory over the Buckeyes. Michigan would outshoot the Buckeyes 16-4 and had 6 corners compared to only 1 for the Buckeyes. Michigan will face the Northwestern Wildcats next Saturday in East Lansing in the semifinal round.

As the Buckeyes left the field there were lots of hugs for one another and tears shed as the 10 Buckeye seniors closed out their college playing careers. But in spite of the sadness, the seniors consisting of  Maddy HumphreyMaartje BongersLauren Carroll,      Liz TamburroNatalie FaustSofia HaramisCarolina Vergroesen Kelsey NolanCaroline Rath and  Morgan Kile all took solace in the encouraging words of first-year Head Coach Jarred Martin. They also can take pride knowing they got to live their dreams on the field at one of the greatest and the biggest universities in the United States of America. All will go to graduate and do wonderful things in the world and will never forget the friendships and memories they made and shared.

The Buckeyes finished the season 10-9, their best record since the 2012 season and some of the players made a big mark on the program adding their names in the record books. Humphrey, Tamburro, and Rath each etched their names all over the Ohio State record book. Tamburro ends her career with 436 career saves, the fourth most in program history. Her seven total saves in the game Sunday pushed her past Andie Dunbar (1976-79) for the No. 4 spot.

Rath closed her career by starting in 68 career games and recording 17 defensive saves in her career, the fourth most ever by a Buckeye.

Humphrey capped off an excellent four-year career with 43 career goals, the eight most in program history. In addition to ranking high on the career goals list, her point total of 114 will go down as the seventh most in the record book.

The Buckeyes will be a very young team next season as they will only have 3 seniors,   Casey Cole, Courtney Daniels, and Hannah Pany. But with new recruits and a great underclassmen group, the Buckeyes will be hoping for another great season.

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Awards, Buckeyes, college, ohio state, OSU, sports

Ohio State’s Lilli Piper Earns All American Status In Softball

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Ohio State’s Star shortstop before the Big 10 Tournament

Ohio State’s Lilli Piper steps into the batter’s box against Michigan State in the Big 10 Softball tournament semi-final game. The sophomore from Norton Ohio, just southwest of Akron, falls behind in the count. As the Spartan pitcher serves up what she hopes is the final strike Lilli steps up into the pitch and puts it out of the park over the left-center field fence for a two-run homer and a big Ohio State lead.

“You can’t catch Lilli with the changeup, ” smiles the Buckeyes hitting coach Jenna Hall.  “You just can’t.”

This was just one of the many highlights of the young shortstop’s career thus far as a Buckeye earning her third team All-America honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Lilli is the 12th Buckeye in the softball program’s history to earn the prestigious honor.

I’m so excited for Lilli to be recognized for her phenomenal year,” said head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly. “Her stats were clearly worthy, but what I loved about Lilli this year was that she brought passion, energy and a love for the game that was contagious to our team. This is a fitting honor for a consistent, relentless competitor.”

Lilli emerged this season as one of the most dangerous hitters in the Big Ten. In 48 regular season games, she was third in the league in batting (.420) with 49 RBI, 44 runs scored, 16 home runs and a .784 slugging percentage. While stats from conference tournament and regional games are not included in the All-American voting, she continued her torrid pace in the postseason, hitting .438 with a pair of two-run home runs – including one in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals and another in the NCAA Tournament – to go along with a .813 slugging percentage. Her overall numbers included a .421 average, 18 home runs, 53 RBI, 47 runs scored, .787 slugging percentage and .436 on-base percentage.

A transfer from Akron where she played both basketball and softball for the Zips, Lilli set a program record for home runs by a newcomer and was just one shy of tying the single-season mark of 19 set by Sam Marder (2009) and Alex Bayne (2016). She had a team-high 24 multi-hit games and 15 multi-RBI games. Against RPI Top-75 teams (21 regular season games), she hit .429 with 23 RBI, eight home runs and 17 runs scored. Among the highlights was a career-high six RBI effort against Central Florida and a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to clinch a series win at Illinois.

In 23 Big Ten games, Lilli batted .430 and slugged a conference-best 10 home runs while driving in 22 runs and scoring 24 times. Her overall numbers ranked among the top 10 in seven different offensive categories as she was a unanimous first team all-conference selection and first team all-region choice. In Ohio State’s record book, her .421 average is fourth-best in a single season, 53 RBI rank fifth and 75 hits and 18 home runs are tied for second most.

With Lilli’s help, Ohio State went 35-18, 15-8 in the Big Ten and earned its second consecutive at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 35 overall wins and 15 in the Big Ten were both the most since 2010. After finishing third in the conference standings during the regular season, Ohio State advanced to the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the first time in 10 years. Lilli was one of nine All-America choices from Big Ten programs, the third most of any conference.

Lilli is the daughter of Gary and Ronda Piper and her Aunt Kay Piper was a two-sport athlete (softball and volleyball) at Akron from 1982-85.

Batting

 

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Chelsea’s Ronnie Buford Announces College Commitment

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Chelsea Bulldog Ronnie Buford picks off a pass in his junior season

The Chelsea High School football team has produced yet another great young athlete to commit to a Division 1 college as Junior Ronnie Buford announced that he has officially committed to Western Michigan University (WMU) to continue his football career.

Ronnie has committed to the Broncos as a defensive end, where he excelled for the 11-1 Bulldogs team in 2016. The 6 foot 4 inch Buford also excels on the basketball court where he and his Bulldog teammates won the Districts in their division last season.  Buford moved recently to Chelsea from Ann Arbor where he was the starting quarterback for Skyline, but he was moved to defensive end for the Bulldogs where they could take advantage of his size and speed.

“The adjustment from offense to defense wasn’t a real big deal to me,” Ronnie stated. “It was a smooth transition because I understood both offensive and defensive schemes and learned quickly what my coaches were teaching me.”

Many colleges noticed Ronnie’s play in his first year on defense and were interested in him and he and his family visited many of them to get a feel for the community and check out the academics to see if the fit was right for him. Ronnie took his time and with the help of his loving family, friends, and coaches finally decided on his gridiron home for the 2018 season.

“The decision was hard, yet easy. We went to many places but when we went to WMU I just knew I wanted to be a Bronco after the first unofficial visit,” Ronnie stated. “As soon as I stepped foot on the Bronco’s football field,  I just had this feeling that I had at no other visit! It was a confirmation feeling like I belonged there.”

Ronnie also gives much credit to the WMU coaches for making him and his family feel comfortable on their visit.

“They treated me and my family so nice,” Ronnie said. “They were extremely good to my little brother and I could tell this was a great, solid family organization like Chelsea football is. And that’s what I’m all about, family.”

Ronnie plans to major in Business and get a minor in civil engineering while enjoying all the community of Kalamazoo and WMU have to offer. Ronnie is the son of Willie Buford, and Shallis and Laura Mask.

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Oho State Powers Its Way Over Wisconsin in Big 10 Softball Tournament

 

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Emily Clark Tags Out a Badger At Second

 

After watching their arch rivals Michigan get upset by the Michigan State Spartans, the Ohio State Buckeyes took the field to square off against a very tough Wisconsin Badgers team. The third-seeded Buckeyes had Shelby Hursh on the mound and she pitched a great game striking out a season-high 10 players and having some great defensive help behind her to secure a hard fought 3-2 victory at Alumni Field in Ann Arbor.

All three Ohio State runs crossed the plate in the bottom of the third. It started when Ashley Goodwin laced a one-out single to left field and the next batter, Becca Gavin, followed with a double to left field, moving Goodwin to third. After a strikeout, a critical error at first base on a ground ball by Bri Betschel allowed both Goodwin and Gavin to score, giving the Buckeyes an early 2-0 lead. Senior Anna Kirk then drove in what would prove to be the winning run as she singled to center, allowing Betschel to cross the plate.

The score would remain 3-0 until the top of the sixth when Wisconsin would finally break through against Hursh. After a line out, two infield singles and ground out, Stephanie Lombardo singled off the center field wall, but White threw her out as she attempted to stretch the single into a double. The hit, however, scored two runs to make the score 3-2.

Hursh’s 10 strikeouts are just three off her career high set on April 6 of last season in a no-hitter against Penn State. She’s just seven strikeouts shy of 500 for her career. A second team All-Big Ten selection earlier this week, she’s now 15-5 on the season with a 2.28 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 125.2 innings.

Goodwin, Gavin, and First Team all Big Ten sophomore Lilli Piper each had 3 hits on the night for the Buckeyes. This game catapulted the Buckeyes into a semifinal showdown with the Spartans.

 

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college, sports

Michigan State Stuns In State Rival Michigan In Big 10 Softball Tournament

 

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The Spartans celebrate their huge upset victory

 

There were a lot of disappointed fans Wilpon Field Friday as the Michigan State Spartans took down heavily favored 17th rank and second-seeded Michigan5-4. The Spartans battled back and scored 3 runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead using a leadoff hit-by-pitch and four singles to retake the lead and earn their second straight comeback win in the tournament.

Kaitlyn Eveland knocked in the go-ahead run with an RBI single. Lea Forrester’s RBI double and Kelcey Carrasco’s game-tying bloop single also helped the Spartans rally from a 4-2 deficit entering the inning.

Ramirez drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh and advanced to second on a groundout to put the tying run in scoring position, but a popup to third base ended the game and eliminated Michigan from the tournament.

The Wolverines plated two runs apiece in the fourth and fifth innings to rally from an initial two-run deficit. Junior rightfielder Aidan Falk got Michigan on the board with a sacrifice fly to leftfield, but senior third baseman Lindsay Montemarano evened the score with a bouncing single up the middle.

Sophomore second baseman Faith Canfield, who along with Ramirez led U-M with two hits, sliced a two-run single down the leftfield line, dropping it just fair on the line, to drive in the go-ahead runs. Senior centerfielder Kelly Christner kickstarted the surge with a two-strike double — also down the leftfield line. Michigan carried the 4-2 lead into the seventh.

Lea Foerster went 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs for the Spartans. Bridgette Rainey picked up the win, allowing two runs on three hits in three innings. She relieved starter Kristina Zalewski in the fifth for MSU, which hasn’t won this many games since going 33-26 in 2006-07. Senior Michigan RHP Megan Betsa (23-8) took the loss — Michigan’s first at home this season — after giving up eight hits and four walks. She struck out six.

“Any time you can beat a team that’s consistently perennial is great,” said MSU coach Jacquie Joseph. “(To beat) a top-ten team in the country, and to win at their place with the crowd, I thought our kids just showed tremendous poise. It’s a very difficult place to play if you watch the game, our kids were really unfazed. And that’s not an easy thing to do. it’s a big program win, no question.”

Michigan (41-11-1) had won 36 straight home games and 19 straight over MSU, dating back to 2009. The comeback comes a day after Michigan State erased a three-run deficit in the sixth inning to eliminate Indiana, 8-7, on Thursday.

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Hockey’s Ronnie Hein, From Bulldog To Buckeye

 

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 Chelsea Michigan & Ohio State’s Ronnie Hein    

Ronnie Hein takes a pass from his new teammates Miguel Fidler and Josh Healey in only his second regular season game for his new college team, the Ohio State Buckeyes.  His team is down by a goal against Air Force as they play in the Icebreaker tournament in Denver Colorado. Hein takes the pass and buries it past Air Force first team all-star netminder Shane Starrett. The crowd erupts, especially his parents and grandparents who are in attendance. Hein pumps his fist in celebration and hugs his linemates as he takes it all in, his first goal in Division one hockey, the first of many more to come.

“That was definitely the best moment of my college career,” Hein stated. “It was definitely a very cool moment.”

Hein has been playing hockey since he was 4 years old. He tried other sports but hockey was and is his first love. Before he came to Ohio State he was committed to Ferris State and played two seasons with the Waterloo Iowa Black Hawks in the USHL where he had 49 points, with 14 goals and 35 assists, in 57 regular season games. His squad reached the USHL Clark Cup conference finals where he had seven points (3g, 4a) in nine playoff games.

Hein grew up in Chelsea, Michigan, a really close, tight-knit community located only 15 minutes from the OSU Buckeyes biggest rivals, the Michigan Wolverines. When asked about becoming a Buckeye coming from Wolverine territory Hein says, “it’s not that bad.”

“I got a few jokes here and there when I first signed with Ohio State but not so much anymore,” Hein said. “I think most everyone is just happy with what I’ve accomplished so far and are very proud of me playing for a Big 10 school, even if it is the Buckeyes.”

Hein had 5 goals and 6 assist in 16 games and was seeing lots of ice time and winning a high percentage of faceoffs his freshman year before a season-ending injury occurred against the Buckeyes arch-rivals in Ann Arbor. In the second period, he tore his hip flexor.

“My freshman year experience has been bittersweet for sure,” says Hein. “The first half of the season was great for me and the team! We were having a very successful season and it was hard to have to sit out the rest of the way.  As tough as it was not playing, it was still nice to be around the guys and the rink everyday. Now that I’ve gotten past both surgeries, my only goal is to be back by the start of next season and be better than I was this previous year. I have a lot of rehab and work to do this summer.”

The Buckeyes had a very successful season, making it to the Regional Semi-finals but then fell to Minnesota-Duluth 3-2 in overtime. Minnesota-Duluth is a very tough team, making it to the Frozen Four where they will face off against Harvard on April 6th in search of their second title.

The Buckeyes will be graduating 7 seniors next season but will be bringing back many underclassmen including leading scorer Mason Jobst and of course Hein, who will hopefully be healed in time to show off his speed and great two-way forward skills.

Hein hasn’t picked a college major yet but is leaning towards real estate or sports industry. As a freshman, he still has plenty of time to decide on that.  Hein plans to spend his summer back home in Chelsea and do a lot of golfing and just laying around on the lake mostly. Ronnie is the son of Larry and Tracy and has two younger siblings Ryan, and Rachel.

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Chelsea’s Joey Mangner Outstanding Swimmer

Chelsea’s standout senior Joey Mangner has capped a career that’s seen him win two MHSAA championship. s Mangner swam the fastest 50-yard freestyle time in Michigan this winter (20.78 seconds) to win the race at Saturday’s Southeastern Conference White championship meet and was part of three more victories and four school records total to earn the Michigan Army National Guard’s “Performance of the Week.”

Mangner also won the 100 freestyle (46.50) and swam on winning 200 medley (1:35.59) and 400 freestyle (3:12.10) relays as Chelsea finished second to Dexter, the reigning MHSAA champion in Lower Peninsula Division 2. Chelsea is ranked No. 3 in LPD3 and finished third last season, and Mangner has played a significant part in helping the program rise over his four seasons. He’s an eight-time conference champion and as a freshman helped the Bulldogs to their first league title since 1995. He’s an 11-time all-stater, with individual titles in the 50 as a sophomore and as anchor of the medley relay last season. He’s also earned All-America status in both of those events and is part of five Chelsea pool records in addition to the four school bests.

 

“Joey is an extremely gifted young man,” Chelsea Head Coach Dave Jolly said. ” He has the ability to do some of the most amazing things in the water. What is even more special is how humble he has stayed throughout all his acclaim. He is all about his team and watching them all be successful. It has been a true honor and privilege to have had the opportunity to work with him over these past four years.”

“Out biggest rival was Dexter, in conference at least, and we knew they had a lot more depth than us, a lot more people, and we knew it would be hard to compete team-wise and scoring wise,” Mangner said of the league meet. “Going especially into my senior year, with all the other seniors, we wanted to do the best we could. It’s probably one of my favorite meets. At the state meet level, it’s more about being super serious, super on. This (league meet), being at home, knowing the teams close to us, it’s more of a fun meet, for me at least. I was trying to have as much fun as I could have with it and finish off the league as best I could.”

“When I think about last year, there was a lot of pressure on me,” Mangner stated. “I had won the 50 as a sophomore, and coming back my junior year as the defending champ, I had all the pressure. Going into this year, I can’t do anything that isn’t better than last year, and that takes a little weight off my shoulders.”

“It just shows if you just try hard, try your best at something, you can do whatever you want to achieve,” Mangner said on the Chelsea swim team rise in performance. “In the offseason, I didn’t swim as much as other guys did – I still practiced, but I didn’t go to every single meet – so it’s just exciting to be one of the better swimmers to come out of Chelsea.”

“I did water polo all four years as well, and I tried track my sophomore year but I didn’t like that too much, Mangner  stated discussing his Chelsea sports career. “But I like to play pretty much any sport. If basketball season wasn’t the same as swim season, I definitely would’ve given basketball a try, and I also think baseball is fun.”

“It definitely would be fun to win the medley again,” Mangner said discussing his dream finals finish. “Coming back from last year, I’d hopefully love to be the champion in the 50 free. I’m looking at the 100 (free) more so for getting the varsity record; I’m not too worried what place I get in the 100. One of our relays, the 200 or 400 free, we’re going to stack on them and go for a state (LP Division 3) record. For the 50 I’ve tied the D3 record so I would love to get that.”

Mangner intends to swim collegiately next season and likely will choose between Oakland University and University at Buffalo, with a course of study to be determined.

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