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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team returned to practice this week as the team continues to prepare for the 2011 tournament season, beginning with the Florida International Tournament Feb. 11-13 in Miami, Fla. The team also has its winter softball clinics this Saturday and Sunday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center indoor turf field.

The Buckeyes, which finished with a 39-14 overall record after making its fourth NCAA regional appearance in the last five seasons in 2010, have been hard at work this offseason in the weight room as well as improving their conditioning and overall softball skills.

“It’s exciting for everyone to be back again,” head coach Linda Kalafatis said. “Although we worked a little bit in the fall, we are excited for the entire team to start practice. It’s going to be fun to watch the identity of this team grow. They have developed great chemistry off the field and we hope that translates to success on the field this spring.”

On Saturday, the camp will be for ages eight and up, working on drills and fundamentals of pitching, catching, offensive and proper fielding techniques and position footwork. During the second day of the clinic, the session will target advance movement for pitching, catching as well as advanced hitting and plate coverage and advanced fielding techniques and position play for ages 12 and up.

“We have kids from coming in from all over the place this weekend,” Kalafatis said. “Obviously a good amount of Ohio kids are participating as well as players from Arizona, California and Washington. We are excited to be able to teach our sport and to touch these kids’ lives through softball. Our players take a lot of pride to be role models and share their love for game. It’s also a great recruiting element for us. We are hoping to get good looks from these kids and hope they develop to come play at Ohio State or somewhere else at the collegiate level.”