April 3, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kristi DeVries (So., Corona, Calif./Corona) struck out three Marshall batters and allowed one hit in five innings of work to help pace the Ohio State softball team to an 8-0 defeat of the Thundering Herd in five innings Wednesday at a cold Buckeye Field. Jennifer Link (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora) and Anna Smith (Sr., Walnut, Calif./Diamond Bar) both went 2-for-3 from the plate with two runs scored to help build an early lead and send the Buckeyes to a sweep of UM and a 31-8 (2-2 Big Ten) record on the year. The Herd slipped to 10-18 on the year.
OSU picked up where it had left off in the first game by swinging the bats and scoring runs. The Buckeyes did not start off showing a powerful swing as both Link and Smith reached on bunt singles in the infield to put runners on at first and second. Wendy Allen (So., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley) flew out to center field to advance Link to third before the duo put on a double steal in which Smith ended up at second and Link stole home for a 1-0 lead. With two out and Smith on second, Sarah West (Sr., Galloway, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) launched her seventh home run of the year to put OSU ahead 3-0 and end the scoring in the inning.
After sitting UM down in order in the second, the Buckeye offense tacked on another four runs. With one out, Kristine Himes (Jr., Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) doubled to right center and scored when JJ Johnson (Fr., La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) singled down the right line. Johnson took second on a wild pitch and moved to third when Link reached on a bunt single. Smith then grounded to the pitcher and reached first on a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Allen, Stacy Roth (Sr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wasueon) and West, the next three batters in the Buckeye line up all walked in a run to bring the lead to 7-0 before the Herd recorded the final two outs of the inning.
Neither team produced much offense in the third and fourth innings. The Herd sent three batters to the plate in the final three innings and had no runs to show for their efforts. Smith reached in the fourth on a bunt single, her second of the game, but was stranded. Needing one run to end the game on the ‘mercy rule,’ the Buckeyes went back to work in the bottom of the fifth. Meghan Rowlands (Fr., Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready), who entered the game in left field in the top of the fourth, hit a soft grounder to second and beat the throw to first for a single. She then stole second and ended the game by scoring on a DeVries double to left center.
DeVries went the distance, striking out three, walking two and allowing one hit in five innings to improve to 10-1 on the year. Seven different Buckeyes recorded hit for OSU while Smith’s two runs gave her 45 for the year, the second-most in a single season in program history. The record is 48 set by Krinon Clark in 1994. Roth had two RBI on the day to raise her total to 40 on the year and just two behind the single-season record of 42 set by Jen Fredrickson in 1994.
The Buckeyes return to action at 3 p.m. Friday at home when the Wisconsin Badgers invade Buckeye Field for a Big Ten Conference game.