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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sports

Ohio State-Indiana Football Game Preview

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It’s been 35 years since the Indiana Hoosiers have begun the season with a Conference matchup and it is the first team in history the Ohio State Buckeyes open the season in Bloomington. It’s been 29 years since the Hoosiers have beaten the Buckeyes but the ever optimistic Hoosiers are hoping to snap that streak tonight before a National audience on ESPN.

The Hoosiers are led by Senior Quarterback Richard Lagow and are being led into battle by Hoosier first year coach Tom Allen. This game is dripping with several compelling storylines. Allen replaces Kevin Wilson who is now the Offensive Coordinator for the Buckeyes. Mike Hart, University of Michigan, is now the Hoosiers running back coach. And we all know how Buckeyes feel about “that team up north”, players past or present.

Buckeyes Head Coach Urban Meyer has only 6 losses total in his career at OSU. In fact, his Buckeyes team lead all FBS teams in wins on opening day. Although the Buckeyes lost several great players to the NFL Draft and to graduation, they always are able to reload their team with top tier players.

Malik Hook, defensive back, is gone but stepping up is Daman Webb, a senior out of Detroit Cass Tech High School. Other Michiganders looking to make their mark today are sophomore running back Mike Weber who gained over 1,000 yards last year who graduated from Cass Tech also. His High School teammate Joshua Alabi will be pushing bodies up front with his solid 300-pound frame.  Sophomore Offensive lineman  Michael Jordan out of Canton will be looking to get some action also today.

The Buckeyes are strong on defense and have much depth and can roll bodies in and out and terrorize you with different schemes at any time. Their depth will be too much for the Hoosiers today.

Ohio State 45 Indiana 16

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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, OSU, sports

BUCKEYES EARN AT-LARGE BID TO 2017 NCAA SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A 35-win season and Big Ten Tournament finals appearance has earned the Ohio State softball team an at-large bid to the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes were one of 32 teams to secure an at-large selection when the 64-team field was announced live on ESPN2 Sunday night.

Ohio State (35-16) is headed to the Knoxville Regional where it is the No. 2 seed and will face No. 3 seed USC Upstate (44-11) on Friday at 4:30 p.m. live on ESPN3. The other two teams in the regional are No. 1 seeded and host Tennessee (44-10) and fourth-seeded Big South champion Longwood (28-27). The Vols and Lancers face each other on Friday at 7 p.m.

This will mark Ohio State’s ninth NCAA Tournament appearance and second in a row. For Kelly Kovach Schoenly, it will be her fourth as a head coach – she took Miami to the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and 2012 as well as the Buckeyes in 2016.

“We’re thrilled to be headed back to the NCAA Tournament,” said head coach Kovach Schoenly. “We tested this team against a very difficult schedule and they’ve always found a way to rise to the occasion. It’s gratifying to be able to continue our season, especially for the seniors and leaders who have pushed us the entire year.”

The Buckeyes earned their at-large bid of the strength of a regular season that saw them win 13 games against RPI Top 100 teams and finish 15-8 overall in Big Ten play, good for a third-place finish. At this past weekend’s Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State knocked off Wisconsin and Michigan State in making its first championship game appearance since 2007. Other highlights of the 2017 campaign include:
• The Buckeyes played 18 games against teams that earned a spot in the 2017 tournament.
• Ohio State was ranked or receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Collegiate Softball Top 25 poll for every week during the regular season.
• The Buckeyes were 18-7 against a non-conference schedule that featured 11 games against teams from Power 5 conferences.
• Ohio State’s non-conference RPI was ranked No. 24 nationally, third highest in the Big Ten, and included 11 games against programs that were in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
• The Buckeyes compiled 12 true road win and a total of 25 victories at either road or neutral sites.
• Ohio State played its first 25 games away from home, going 18-7 in that stretch.
• The Buckeyes’ 35 wins to this point in the season are the most since 2010.

Statistically, the Scarlet and Gray are led by sophomore Lilli Piper, who is batting .424 this year with 17 home runs, 51 RBI, 46 runs scored and a .785 slugging percentage. The first team All-Big Ten selection was a member of the Big Ten’s All-Tournament Team after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning of Saturday’s semifinal versus Michigan State. Classmate Emily Clark was also an all-tournament selection and is hitting .338 this year with nine home runs, 44 RBI, and 29 runs scored.

In the circle, the Buckeyes boasted the Big Ten’s best overall ERA in 2017 at 2.46. Senior Shelby Hursh leads the way at 15-5 with a 2.33 ERA over 129.0 innings and 115 strikeouts. All four pitchers who have seen at least 60 innings of action have an ERA of under 2.80.

KNOXVILLE REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, May 19
Game 1: Ohio State vs. USC Upstate | 4:30 p.m. | ESPN3/WatchESPN
Game 2: Tennessee vs. Longwood | 7 p.m. | ESPN2

Saturday, May 20
Game 3: G1 Winner vs. G2 Winner | 12 p.m.
Game 4: G1 Loser vs. G2 Loser | 2:30 p.m.
Game 5: G3 Loser vs. G4 Winner | 5 p.m.

Sunday, May 21
Game 6: G3 Winner vs. G5 Winner | 12 p.m.
Game 7: G6 Winner vs. G6 Loser (If necessary) | 2:30 p.m.

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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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