Lantern file photo
On a day when three Ohio State seniors stepped to the plate with a chance to win the game in their final appearance at Buckeye Field, the unlikeliest of heroes emerged in the form of freshman catcher Shelby Pickett.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Pickett hit an RBI single into center field that scored freshman outfielder Taylor Watkins and gave the Buckeyes a 2-1 victory against Iowa on Senior Day.
Going into Sunday’s game, Pickett was hitting just .184 with 10 RBIs on the season. While she said she has been gaining confidence lately at the plate, she admitted being a little nervous before her final at-bat because she tends to over think certain situations.
“I was just trying to breathe because I get a tendency of getting too anxious when I’m up there,” Pickett said. “I just took a deep breath and I was like ‘If you can’t do it, we’re out on [defense] again so I might as well just relax and keep doing what I’m doing.'”
Senior shortstop Alicia Herron said that Pickett’s hit was “huge” for the team and the seniors because it allowed them to finish their career with a win at home. She also said it’s an encouraging sign of things to come.
“It’s very promising for our future as a program,” Herron said. “A clutch hit, bottom of seven, two outs, bases loaded, we know somebody’s gonna come through. It was really exciting and promising that our young ones are stepping up and doing the job.”
In her final appearance on the mound at home as a Buckeye, senior pitcher Mikayla Endicott gave up eight hits and just one run, a solo home run in the top of the seventh, to a Hawkeye team that combined for 15 runs and 21 hits in the first two games of the series. OSU lost both of those games Saturday, 2-0, and, 13-5, respectively.
The win Sunday moved Endicott to 17-13 on the season and the Oregon-native said she wanted to bring a little more to the mound in her final home game at OSU.
“I just wanted to come in and attack them and make them earn their hits,” Endicott said. “Today was Senior Day and I wanted to come out and really put on a show. It’s our last outing here so I wanted to come out and just shut it down and just finish strong.”
The Buckeyes improved to 29-22 overall with the win on Sunday and moved to 8-12 in Big Ten play. OSU finishes the year 11-8 at home and will close the 2012 schedule with a three-game series in State College, Pa., against the Penn State Nittany Lions. The teams will play a doubleheader Friday with the first game beginning at 4 p.m.