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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