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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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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Anthem Buddies Join Ohio State Softball Players For Michigan Game

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Ohio State Junior Outfielder Bailee Sturgeon gives the anthem buddies  high fives

On Saturday, the 8th of April, young softball players from all over the state of Ohio came out to Buckeye Field in Columbus joining the Buckeyes on the field for the National Anthem before the day’s doubleheader against the Buckeyes archrival, Michigan. Hundreds of excited girls poured out onto the field and stood by the Buckeye players as the National Anthem played before a record-setting crowd of over 1,700.

The girls then left the field and returned to the stands to watch the Buckeyes take on the Wolverines under a beautiful, warm spring sky. Sadly, the Buckeyes dropped the doubleheader but all the girls and their families had a great time cheering for their beloved Buckeyes!

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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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Ohio State Hockey Gets Split In Ann Arbor

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Buckeyes forward John Witala celebrates his team’s first goal of the game by Tanner Lacyznski in the second period. 

Yost Ice Arena, Ann Arbor, Michigan: On Friday night the 11th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes hockey team rolled into Ann Arbor to take on their bitter rivals. Michigan has been having an off year in hockey this season having only won 1 game in conference play, and only 8 overall. The Buckeyes are the second best scoring team in the nation averaging 4 goals a game, only trailing Penn State in that category. They are the only two teams in the nation averaging 4 goals a game or above.

Michigan was well rested coming off a bye week while the Buckeyes just lost two tough games to Wisconsin, one in overtime at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Both teams came strong out of the gate trading several hits in front of a raucous crowd. At the 8:21 mark it was Michigan’s Evan Allen who was able to beat Buckeye netminder Christian Frey. The 1-0 lead held up until, with  33 seconds left in the period, the Wolverines Adam Winborg was able to score his 5th goal of the season, helping the Wolverines go into the break with a 2-0 lead.

Michigan came out strong in the second period keeping the Buckeyes shots to a minimum and at the 6:47 mark local boy Cooper Marody scored his first goal of the year. But The Buckeyes are a tenacious team with a never say die attitude and fought back drawing a penalty to the Wolverines  catching them on a big mistake with too many men on the ice. The Buckeyes were able to take advantage as near the end of the power play Tanner Laczynski was able to net his 7th of the year with help from his teammates Matt Miller & Matt Joyaux. Lazcynski, from Shorewood, Illinois is having an outstanding freshman season.

But things got bad fast as Marody scored two more goals in the period for the hat trick and a big 5-1 Michigan lead going into the third. The Buckeyes were getting badly outshot at this point and their Head Coach Steve Rohlik would have to make some serious adjustments.

Whatever Rohlik told his boys in the locker room worked because before you couldn’t even blink after the referee dropped the puck in the faceoff,  it was the captain Nick Schilkey getting the big goal only 6 seconds in! He was assisted by Mason Jobst, who with that point kept his 11 consecutive game point streak alive.

After the faceoff, it was the Buckeyes Miguel Fidler putting the puck in the back of the net giving the Buckeyes 2 goals in just 23 seconds!!! The Florida Panther prospect was assisted by Schilkey and Jobst.

The Buckeyes played more aggressively in the third and were able to beat the Wolverine netminder once more on the power play, silencing the crowd and cutting the lead to only 5-4,  after Dearborn Michigan native Dakota Joshua picked up his 5th goal of the season assisted by defenseman Gordi Myer and Schilkey.

The teams went back and forth with the Buckeyes getting good chances, but the comeback stalled out there giving Michigan the 5-4 victory. Both teams had 7 penalties on the night while the Buckeyes were outshot 38-29 while they dominated in the faceoff circle with Jobst winning 15 and Joshua winning 9.  Local Buckeye from Chelsea Ronnie Hein won 2 faceoffs and had 2 big shots on goal in limited playing time as he was injured during the game.

Game 2: On Saturday the two teams squared off again. This time it was the Buckeyes striking first on the power play as Schilkey netted his 19th goal of the season assisted by Jobst and Myer. Schilkey’s great play is why many people have him in the conversation for the Hobey Baker award.

But Michigan came back 4 minutes later with Marody scoring unassisted. Dakota Joshua answered back 2 minutes later assisted by David Gust & Sasha Laroocque. But then the Wolverines went on a tear scoring 3 goals in a row and with the early part of the second period had a big 4-1 lead. But the Buckeyes were in this very predicament the night before and didn’t roll over and weren’t about to tonight either.

Halfway through the period with Michigan’s James Sanchez off for a cross check, Jobst scored his 11th of the season assisted by Myer and Gubst. There were plenty of penalties to this point and the game was getting very chippy. There were several slashes and trips from the U of M players and at the 7:18 mark of the second period 4 players went off for unsportsmanlike conduct calls. Let’s face it, these two schools are bitter rivals and it shows.

Michigan added another goal to take a 5-2 lead but from the end of the second period on it was all Buckeyes as they skated away from Michigan defenders, laid out great hits, and were able to entice the Wolverines to take dumb penalties leading to Buckeye goals, as they took advantage of the power play. John Wiitala got his 9th goal of the year to cut into the lead then Jobst scored his 12th of the season the power play to tie it up.

Both teams went back and forth as Ohio State netminder Matt Tomkins, who subbed in for Frey in the 2nd, stood tall, making many outstanding saves. It looked like the regulation time was going to expire in a tie until the Captain Schilkey blasted a shot past the Wolverine goaltender Hayden Lavigne for the go ahead goal with only 30 seconds left! The Wolverines pulled Lavigne but couldn’t get a handle on the puck as the Buckeyes took a huge 6-5 victory over their rivals.

Mason Jobst was the first star of the game as the Speedway Indiana native finished he night with 2 goals and 2 assist. The Captain Nick Schilkey received the third star for 2 goals and 1 assist on the night, including the big game winning goal, his 20th of the season.

The Buckeyes are 13-7-6 overall on the season and 4-5-1v in conference play. They will play again  Friday and Saturday, February 10th and 11th, when they host the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

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