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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field hockey, ohio state, OSU, sports

Ohio State Field Hockey Defeats Indiana 3-1

 

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Maddy Humphrey (left) celebrates number 10 Adelaide Penzone’s first goal of the season 

 

Despite near-freezing temperatures and a hard cold rain for most of the game, the Buckeyes Field Hockey team were able to defeat the Indiana Hoosiers in Ann Arbor in the Big 10 tournament and won their play in game 3-1 advancing the Buckeyes to the quarterfinals.

The Buckeyes were able to brave the elements and pepper the Hoosiers with 24 shots on net and controlled the tempo of the game with crisp passing and an outstanding defense.

Sophomore Esther Clotet Alsina got the scoring started for the Buckeyes at about the 10-minute mark of the first half. She was on the right side of the circle and then blasted the ball across the Indiana goalkeeper’s body to the left side of the net for the goal. It was her 5th goal of the season which ties her for second on the team in goal scoring.

Senior Sensation Maddy Humphrey unleashed a big shot which the Hoosier goalie blocked but Sophomore Adelaide Penzone found herself in the perfect spot for the rebound as she buried it into the net for her first goal of the season and gave the Buckeyes a big 2-0 lead headed into the half.

Late in the second half, it was Humphrey putting the icing on the cake with a big security goal as she scored off a corner which she started. She worked her way to the net and was able to redirect  Juliette Duquesne’s initial shot for the score. It was Humphrey’s 9th goal of the season and the first assist of the season for Duquesne.

Senior goalkeeper Liz Tamburro wasn’t tested often but when she was she stepped up big making several great saves and only letting in 1 goal on 9 shots giving her an outstanding 1.39 goals against average on the season.

The Buckeyes, 10-8 on the season, will take on the regular season Big Ten champions, Michigan, on Sunday at 12 p.m. ET in Ann Arbor, MI. The Buckeyes battled the Wolverines in an overtime contest in Columbus on Sept. 22 and eventually fell by a score of 1-0 in the first overtime period.

 

 

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ohio state, OSU, sports

OHIO STATE SWEEPS DOUBLEHEADER WITH WRIGHT STATE

 

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Freshman Skylar Hayward was outstanding in her first start for the Buckeyes

 

OSU loaded the bases on an error, single and walk in the second. Bailee Sturgeon remained patient in the box to earn a walk and give the Buckeyes a 2-1 lead.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State softball team capped off its first Fall Ball weekend with a doubleheader sweep of Wright State on Sunday afternoon at Buckeye Field. On a very unseasonably warm fall day, the Scarlet and Gray took the opening game, 4-1, before getting an 11-2 (6) victory to close the twin bill.

The Buckeyes had six players bat at least .400, led by Emily Clark with four hits, two runs, two RBI, a double and triple for a .800 average.

On the mound, Ohio State’s pitching staff of Shelby McCombsSkylar Hayward and Katya Duvall combined for a 2.08 ERA and 17 strikeouts.

GAME ONE

McCombs got the job done as she tossed a complete game for six hits, one run, and 10 strikeouts.

The Raiders got on the board first thanks to an RBI single in the opening frame. Ohio State evened things out in the bottom of the first on a double by Clark to plate Lilli Piper.

 

With runners in scoring position, an error by the second baseman helped the Buckeyes to a two-run advantage in the third. Maddie Marotti drove a single to the left side for the final tally, 4-1.

 

GAME TWO

Hayward, the young true freshman out of Georgia,  pitched four innings, allowing only a single hit, one run, and fanned four batters in her first start for the Buckeyes. Hayward looked very comfortable and good on the mound. Duvall, a Junior from California,  took over for the final two innings. She let in three hits but held the Raiders to one run and had three strikeouts.

Yet again, Wright State struck in the top of the first, this time on a wild pitch.

The Scarlet and Gray exploded for four runs on seven hits and one error to take a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the first. Piper’s single brought in a run before a throwing error by the first baseman allowed another Buckeye to come home. Clark tripled to the left field wall to score Piper and Carley Gaskill singled to center for another run.

Megan Choinacky drove in a run in the third with a single after Kallie Boren got on base with a double. The hits kept coming in the fourth as Claire Nicholson smashed a two-RBI double to extended the upper hand to 7-1.

The Raiders brought the score to 7-2 in the top of the sixth on a RBI double. Boren responded for Ohio State with a two-run double to push the score to 9-2. Andi Farrah’s single and Becca Gavin’s walk stacked the bags for the Buckeyes with two outs. Up next, Ashley Goodwin drilled a walk-off double through the left side for an 11-2 triumph.

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field hockey, ohio state, OSU, sports

Ohio State Field Hockey Battles Back For 5-5 Tie

DSC_5243The Ohio State Field Hockey Team had a bit of a rough season last year, finishing with only 6 wins but several close losses. Many of their losses were by 1 goal. But there is much optimism in  Columbus this season with the addition of new head coach Jarred Martin, who was on the coaching staff for Duke University the last 10 years. And it seems to have paid off as the Buckeyes downed Ohio University in their first scrimmage 5-1. Two days later the Buckeyes fought back hard from a late deficit to battle their way to a 5-5 tie against Miami of Ohio.

The Redhawks struck first within the first minute of the game and on their first shot. The Buckeyes battled right back though under a blazing sun before a large crowd. They got a great opportunity on a penalty shot by All Big Ten and All Midwest senior Maddy Humphrey. Humphrey ripped a shot but it was stopped on the left side by Redhawk goalkeeper Maddie Passarella.

Humphrey came back shortly thereafter and set herself up by grabbing her own rebound and as she dove to the ground buried the ball into the back of the net to tie the game up. 2 minutes later it was Kelsey Nolan taking a pass from Caroline Rath and beating the Redhawks netminder to her right side giving the Buckeyes the lead.

The Redhawks scored two quick goals, one off a corner,  to take a 3-2 halftime lead. The Buckeyes came back strong and the game went back and forth after the half but the Scarlet and Gray found themselves down 5-3 with time running out.  With 7 and a half to go the Buckeyes were able to score off the corner, putting the ball over the goalkeeper’s right side to bring them within one.

With 3 and a half minutes left the Buckeyes pulled their goalkeeper hoping to gain the advantage. The Redhawks threatened to score on the empty net but the Buckeyes defense stood strong and was able to clear the ball upfield and threaten to score. But the Redhawks netminder made several outstanding saves.

But with only 23 seconds left the ball was fed to Junior midfielder Casey Cole who blasted a rocket of a shot past a sprawling Redhawk goalkeeper to bring the Buckeyes back and give them the tie.

The Buckeyes played a very good game in spite of the heat and Buckeye goalkeeper Liz Tamburro was very solid in net making several great saves. The Buckeyes will hit the road on Sunday, the 27th, and travel to take on Lehigh in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, then head home on Friday, September 1st for the first home game of the season against Louisville.

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Buckeyes, ohio state, OSU, sports

Ohio State Softball Adds Sharonda McDonald To Staff

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Sharonda McDonald, a nine-year coaching veteran who most recently helped the University of Florida reach the Women’s College World Series finals, has been hired by Ohio State as an assistant coach. She will join the Buckeyes in August at the conclusion of her first season as head coach of the Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch League (NPF).

“In every way, Sharonda fits what we’re looking for,” said Kovach Schoenly. “She’s been around championship-caliber teams both as a player and a coach and will have a great ability to connect with our student-athletes on and off the field. She’s widely respected in coaching circles and the combination of her experiences will enhance the positive momentum we’re experiencing at every level of the program. It was clear during this process that Ohio State attracts incredibly talented people, and Sharonda rose to the top of the group.”

With McDonald’s assistance, the Gators won the SEC regular season title in both 2016 and 2017, went 114-17 overall and appeared in the 2017 Women’s College World Series finals for the third time in the last four seasons. McDonald oversaw the development of the outfield, which included Amanda Lorenz, the program’s first-ever SEC and NFCA Freshmen of the Year. She also instructed slap hitters, base runners and served as the program’s recruiting coordinator, playing a vital role in the Gators securing two classes that were ranked in the top-10 nationally.

“I’m thrilled for this wonderful opportunity to join Ohio State and the Big Ten Conference,” said McDonald. “In making this decision, I was extremely impressed with the overall culture and direction of the program under Coach Schoenly’s leadership. I look forward to getting to campus and starting to work with the coaches, staff, and players.”

This summer, McDonald is serving as the head coach of one of NPFs perennial powers, the Chicago Bandits. No stranger to the league, McDonald spent six seasons playing professionally. In 2014, she finished her career with the USSSA Pride after playing the 2010-12 seasons for the Akron Racers and the 2007-08 seasons with the Philadelphia Force. In addition to the NPF, McDonald spent the 2009 season playing with the Fiorini Softball Club of the Italian Professional League.

A three-time All-NPF selection during her career, McDonald garnered the prestigious Diamond Spikes Award in 2012 after hitting .303 with 13 stolen bases while with the Racers. She ended the 2014 season with a career average over .270 to go along with more than 100 runs scored during her professional career.

The Houston Texas native made four collegiate coaching stops prior to arriving at Florida. In 2015, she served as an associate head coach at Texas Tech. In her one season in Lubbock, Texas, McDonald helped the Aggies finish the season with wins in a school-record four-straight Big XII series and nine of the last 12 games overall. Under her tutelage, outfielder Kristi Belshe made the All-Big XII second team.

As a volunteer assistant coach at LSU in 2013 and 2014, McDonald and the nationally-ranked Tigers made back to back NCAA Regional appearances. While coaching the outfield, McDonald developed A.J. Andrews into an All-American who was along the SEC and NCAA leaders in hits, batting average, and stolen bases.

McDonald spent three seasons (2010-12) as an assistant coach at Ohio University alongside Jenna Hall, who just completed her fifth season on Ohio State’s staff and serves as the Buckeyes’ hitting coach. McDonald and Hall contributed to the Bobcats winning the 2011 Mid-American Conference East Division and appearing in the 2011 MAC championship game. During her tenure, Ohio had six different players secure All-MAC accolades.

McDonald began her coaching career as an assistant coach for Texas Southern in 2009. Under her supervision, the Tigers more than doubled their stolen base output from the season before, sparked by Latrece Shello’s 17 steals.

A standout outfielder during her playing days for national power Texas A&M, McDonald played for the Aggies from 2004-07. In that time, she garnered NFCA All-Region honors three times and a quartet of All-Big 12 selections. She holds Aggie single-season records for runs scored (60) and stolen bases (48) and also ranks as the program’s all-time leader in both categories (195 runs, 153 stolen bases). Her 48 steals in 2005 led the nation and helped her earn the 2005 NCAA Division I Softball Golden Shoe Award awarded to the nation’s top baserunner.

McDonald holds A&M’s sixth-best career average at .338 and is second all-time with 249 hits. She also boasts the Aggies’ top three single-season stolen base marks and set a NCAA record by swiping 73 consecutive bases. As a senior in 2007, she led the Aggies back to the Women’s College World Series for the first time in 20 years.

McDonald received a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Texas A&M in 2008.

QUICK FACTS
• McDonald finished her professional playing career in 2014 by winning the Cowles Cup title for the USSSA Pride.
• McDonald garnered the NPF’s prestigious Diamond Spikes Award in 2012 after hitting .303 with 13 stolen bases while with the Akron Racers.
• Three teams from the SEC advanced to the Women’s College World Series and McDonald had ties to all three. She played at Texas A&M and coached at both LSU and Florida.
• As a both a player and a coach, McDonald has competed in eight NCAA Regionals, three NCAA Super Regionals and two Women’s College World Series.
• During her McDonald’s two seasons in Gainesville, Florida stole bases at a 86 percent clip (169-for-197) and led the nation in fielding percentage both years (.984 and .985, respectively).

The McDonald File
Season Position Notable
2017-present Head coach, Chicago Bandits Bandits have won four Cowles Cup titles
2016-2017 Assistant coach, University of Florida No. 1 national seed, WCWS finalist in ‘17
2015 Associate head coach, Texas Tech Won four of six Big 12 series
2013-14 Volunteer assistant coach, LSU 80 wins, two NCAA Regional appearances
2010-2012 Assistant Coach, Ohio University Coached six All-MAC selection
2009 Assistant coach, Texas Southern Tigers more than doubled stolen-base output
2004-2007 Center fielder, Texas A&M Aggies’ all-time runs, stolen bases leader
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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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Buckeyes, ohio state, OSU, sports

Ohio State Extends Softball Head Coach Kovach-Schoenly’s Contract

 

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Buckeyes Head Coach Kelly Kovach-Schoenly (left) hugs hitting coach Jenna Hall to celebrate the Buckeyes going to the Big 10 championship game  

 

After five seasons with the Buckeyes, Softball Head Coach Kelly Kovach-Schoenly received a contract extension through 2020. Coming into this season, she had led the Buckeyes to 128 wins, including nine over top-25 opponents. In 2016, Ohio State appeared in its first NCAA Regional game since 2010.

“Coach Kovach Schoenly has done a terrific job with the softball program over the past five years and we’re very excited to reward her with a contract extension,” said Shelton. “The program is in a good place as athletes have excelled in the classroom, on the field with back to back NCAA bids and in the community with increased fan support. This is a clear sign that it’s heading in an upward trajectory. Coach Kelly and her staff have built a solid foundation for continued future success.”

“I am grateful that [athletic director] Gene Smith and [OSU associate athletics director for sports administration] TJ Shelton have offered this contract extension to continue to coach for a program and university that I love,” Kovach Schoenly told OSU Athletics. “Ohio State is where I want to be, with this group of incredible ladies, for as long as they’ll have me. I thoroughly enjoy developing young woman through sport to be ready to leave this place and go conquer the world.”

Kovach Schoenly, in her fifth year with the Buckeyes since arriving from Miami University, has more wins (163) than any coach in program history during the first five years of their respective tenures. She has twice led the Buckeyes to NCAA Tournament appearances and last week guided the Scarlet and Gray to its first Big Ten Tournament championship game in 10 years. Overall, she’s 163-105-1 with a 63-51-1 mark in Big Ten play since taking over the program in 2013. In her 11th year as a head coach, she’s won 30 or more games for eight consecutive years. Kovach Schoenly also became the fastest coach in program history to reach 100 wins and also reached 300 career wins last season.

Although Kovach Schonely is a Michigan graduate, she is a proud Buckeye through and through and loves to sport the scarlet and gray colors which the Buckeyes have made famous.  She has helped to boost the OSU fan support, and Ohio State set a single-game attendance record April 9 when 1,836 people watched the Buckeyes defeat her alma mater, 5-0, although there were hundreds more lined up outside looking over the fences.

Kovach Schoenly’s 2017 Buckeyes are 35-18 overall, the most wins in a single season since 2010. Her 2015 squad set school records for batting average, home runs and runs scored, while the 2016 Buckeyes were third in the Big Ten in overall earned run average and had five pitchers with an ERA of 3.00 or less.  They also finished 15-8 in the Big Ten for the highest conference finish in seven years. She’s coached 13 All-Big Ten selections, nine NFCA All-Midwest Region choices and one All-American (Cammi Prantl, the program’s first in six years).

In the classroom, 18 student-athletes finished the 2016-17 academic year with a 3.0 or better grade-point average. In 2014, the program had five Big Ten Distinguished Scholars – the most of any softball team in the conference.

“I love playing for coach because she’s always pushing us to be better, both on and off the field,” said sophomore Lilli Piper, who currently leads the team with a .424 average, 17 home runs, and 51 RBI. “She’s shown us that we can compete and win at a high level all while having a lot of fun. We’ve got great things happening for us now and she’s our leader.”

Currently, the Buckeyes are set to play South Carolina Upstate in the Knoxville regional of the NCAA tournament Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET.

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