The Ohio State University women's softball team wrapped up its fall schedule last month with a 6-2 record.
St. Clairsville High product Jesse Machovina saw quality action during the fall at a bevy of positions in the field and started the adjustment process to hitting major college pitching. The overall adjustment process to the collegiate level is something that Machovina has simply taken in stride.
"The adjustment has gone well," Machovina said. "The other girls really help a lot. They've all been there in that position of being a freshman, so they realize it can be stressful and hard at times. They're really good at helping out and if you're doing something wrong, they don't hesitate to step up and tell you how to correct it."
The fall season left Machovina feeling confident about her chances of seeing playing time when the regular season begins shortly after the first of the year.
"I think I will get some playing time," Machovina said. "Since I've been playing more than one position on defense, I feel like that gives me more options to play as long as my hitting is on."
Machovina saw time at second, third and catcher. Blessed with quality speed, she also came off the bench as a pinch runner a few times.
In the final three games of the fall, Machovina got a lot of playing time and started to hit the ball much better. She was on base frequently and scored a couple of runs.
"My hitting really didn't come around until the last couple of games during the fall," Machovina said.
Machovina was simply a hitting machine during her prep days for the Lady Red Devils and during the travel ball season, but the movement of pitches at the Division I level was like nothing she'd come anywhere near seeing before.
"It was tough because the pitchers here are on a whole different level, but it's starting to come around," Machovina said. "It just takes a lot of reps against live pitching."
The process is going to be an ongoing on for Machovina.
"Just hitting off a tee and front toss isn't like seeing the movement of the ball," Machovina said. "I was a little frustrated early on, but I knew it wasn't going to be easy before I got here, so I knew I just had to stick with it and concentrate on getting better with each at-bat and aspect of the game."
Though the fall season is over, the work continues for the OSU softball team.
"We don't really get time off until December," Machovina said. "Right now, we're working two hours a week with the coaches and we have our strength and conditioning every day except the weekends."
Machovina has adjusted well to the new Lady Buckeyes' coaching staff, which was overhauled shortly after the 2012 season. Kelly Kovach Schoenly is the new head coach and wasn't involved in Machovina's recruitment.
"The new coaches are great," Machovina said. "They're all about making us the best that we can be."
After playing a lot in the first two games of the season, River High product and curren University of Akron wide receiver Dylan Potts has been sidelined since.
During the course of training camp this summer, Potts injured the peroneal tendons in his ankle and they didn't improve and got to the point where it was totally hampering his ability to cut and change direction.
"The injury kept getting worse," Potts said. "I really had no choice but have the surgery because I was basically playing at 60 percent."
After meeting with the medical and coaching staffs, Potts made a decision to undergo the surgery and take a medical redshirt, meaning he'll have two full seasons of eligibility left with the Zips.
"I had the surgery after the second game of the season and since it happened so early in the season, I was able to get the medical redshirt," Potts said. "The doctors had to re-construct the bone, so it stays in place. It'll be almost 100 percent by January, though."
Potts was casted for six weeks and has not upped his rehab and plans on staying on Akron over much of Christmas break to continue the process to make sure he's ready to go when conditioning begins in January and into spring practice.
The former Pilots' all-Ohioan had made a solid impression on first-year coach Terry Bowden and the staff thus far.
"Everything was going really well before the injury," Potts said. "I was in the rotation and getting a lot of playing time."
Though he's on the shelf, Potts is around the team every day except for road trips because of the NCAA rules on number of players who can travel in the team's official party.
"I still workout daily and do everything the same," Potts said.
While it doesn't show in the Zips' 1-9 record, Potts can see how much progress the team is making under Bowden.
"Everyone's bought into Coach Bowden's way of doing thing and we're getting really close to being a really good MAC team," Potts said.