#29 Ohio State Softball 2019 Preview

Ohio State Buckeyes
Overall Rank: #29
Conference Rank: #3 Big Ten
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Ohio State won 36 games last season, their most during the successful reign of Coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly. The Buckeyes continued that success in the NCAA Tournament, but they were drawn into the Gainesville Regional and Florida was just too much for Ohio State to handle. The success of the program should continue into 2019 though and this is a group that has the talent to compete for a Big Ten title and potentially make a serious run towards a Super Regional appearance.
2018: 36-16, 14-8
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kelly Kovach Schoenly
Key Departed Players:
Shelby McCombs, P/DP, .338 BA, 13 HR, 35 RBI, 2.85 ERA, 17-8 W/L, 164.1 IP, 139 SO
Ashley Goodwin, 1B, .248 BA, 10 HR, 31 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Lilli Piper, IF, .404 BA, 20 HR, 58 RBI
Emily Clark, C/UTL, .260 BA, 12 HR, 43 RBI
Niki Carver, UTL, .257 BA, 5 HR, 18 RBI
Morgan Ray, P, 2.58 ERA, 18-7 W/L, 157.2 IP, 145 SO
Once again the Buckeye will have a very potent one-two punch in the circle. Morgan Ray returns after boasting a 2.58 ERA and an 18-7 record. The addition of Missouri transfer Lauren Rice will help replace Shelby McCombs. As a freshman last year, Rice was the team’s top pitcher, recording a 3.25 ERA in 146.2 innings pitched. With a year of experience under her belt and in the Big Ten, expect Rice’s ERA to dip significantly. The Buckeyes ranked in the top ten in homeruns last year and they will have plenty of power in 2019 too. Lilli Piper hit 20 homeruns as a junior and also led the team with 58 RBIs and a .404 batting average. Piper is one of the most dangerous hitters in the country and she is even more dangerous with talented hitters like Emily Clark and Niki Carver around her in the lineup.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament