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Four Ohio State players receive NFCA All-Region accolades

Four Ohio State players receive NFCA All-Region accolades

The Ohio State softball team was rewarded for its strong season on Thursday when the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced its all-region teams. The Buckeyes, who are in the Midwest Region, had four honorees, including two second teamers and two on the third team.

The Buckeyes’ all-region selections were outfielder Melina Wilkison (second team), designated player Sam Hackenbracht (second team), first baseman Mariah Rodriguez (third team) and shortstop Kami Kortokrax (third team).

Ohio State has produced four or more all-region players three times in the last five years. The Midwest Region includes seven Big Ten schools, three from the Big XII, five from the Horizon League, six from the Missouri Valley Conference, five from the Ohio Valley Conference and four from the Summit League.

Wilkison, a Greensburg, Ind. native, started all 53 games in right field and led the team with a .373 batting average. She also had the top mark on the team in home runs (11), runs scored (50), RBI (44) and slugging percentage (.718). Those marks also measured up well against her competition in the Big Ten. Wilkson ranked in the top 10 in batting average (seventh), RBI (10th), triples (first), slugging percentage (third), doubles (tied for seventh), OPS (fourth) and hits (third).

From Feb. 24 through April 29, Wilkison reached base in every game – 39 in total – which is the second-longest streak since 2013.

In a series earlier in the spring vs. Rutgers, Wilkison collected her 100th career hits in just her 83rd game. Through two seasons and 102 games, she has career totals of 56 RBI, a .355 batting average, 116 hits, 24 doubles and 83 runs scored.

She’s now a two-time All-Region selection after earning third team honors as a freshman in 2022.

Hackenbracht finished the season second on the team with a .360 batting average that include 19 extra base hits (10 doubles, one triple and eight home runs). Over the second half of the season – 30 games between March 19 and May 11 – she hit .426 with a .762 slugging percentage, .464 on-base percentage, 37 RBI and 43 hits.

In Big Ten games, she was just as good – Hackenbracht hit .421 against conference opponents and drove in 24 runs over those 23 games. In the Big Ten Tournament, she went 4-for-4 with two home runs, five RBI and hit a three-run walk-off home run in the seventh inning of a 7-4 win over Rutgers. A second team All-Big Ten member and Big Ten All-Tournament Team selection, this is the third All-Region honor of her career.

Kortokrax started all 53 games at shortstop and last week earned first team All-Big Ten honors after a season that saw her hit .318 with 39 runs scored, 32 RBI and a .385 on-base percentage.

The sophomore from Westerville also saw a notable increase in her power numbers: Kortokrax had a Big Ten-leading 15 doubles to go along with seven home runs and a .534 slugging percentage, which was an increase of 210 points from last season. She was also remarkably consistent: Kortokrax finished tied for the team lead with 10 multi-RBI games and also had 15 multi-hit games.

Rodriguez, a senior from Orange, Calif., started 46 of the 50 games she played in primarily at first base. Her 52 hits and .335 average were both third-best on the team. Rodriguez also drove in 27 runs and scored 33 times from her spot as the team’s leadoff hitter. One of the team’s best clutch hitters, she finished the season with a .403 average with runners in scoring position. On defense, she had a .978 fielding percentage.

This is the second All-Region honor of Rodriguez’s career; in 2021, she was a second team selection after leading the team with a .358 batting average against a Big Ten-only schedule. She concluded her Ohio State career as a veteran of 138 games with 108 hits, 64 runs scored, 42 RBI and a .310 batting average.

Source: Ohio State Buckeyes



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