April 6, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kristi DeVries (So., Corona, Calif./Corona) struck out eight Wisconsin Badgers and allowed just four hits to help the Ohio State softball team return to the win column with a 6-0 defeat of UW at Buckeye Field Saturday. Though the weather was frigid, the Buckeye bats heated up to the tune of 11 hits including two run home run by Kristine Himes (Jr., Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) and a triple by Anna Smith (Sr., Walnut, Calif./Diamond Bar) to avenge a 2-0 loss to the Badgers Friday. The Buckeyes improved to 32-9 on the year and 3-3 in the Big Ten while the Badgers slipped to 21-11 overall and 4-2 in conference action.
After holding the lead for the entire game, Himes launched her two run shot over the left center wall to not only give OSU a 4-0 lead, but break a record she set as a freshman. It was the 11th homer Himes hit this year to set the new mark for home runs hit by an individual in a single season. She set the previous mark of 10 during the 2000 season.
“I have not really been hitting the ball lately and really just went up there wanting to make contact with the ball and get a hit,” Himes said. “I thought it was going to hit off the wall but it ended up clearing. It was a nice time to get a hit and it came off a good pitcher.”
The Buckeyes, after being shut out by UW Friday and for only the second time this year, came out and recorded two hits in the top of the first as the visitors. With one out, Smith singled on a hard shot to the short stop and advanced to second when Wendy Allen (So., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley) put down a sacrifice bunt. Stacy Roth (Sr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon) followed with a single to right center that drove in Smith for a 1-0 lead. With the lead, the offense subsided and went three and out in the second, third and fifth innings with four strikeouts to Andrea Kirchberg, the Badgers’ starting pitcher for the second game in a row.
The first two innings went the same for UW. With one out, the second batter singled followed by a fielder’s choice and the final out of the inning. DeVries made sure not to allow a runner in the third by striking out all three batters before moving to the fourth. In that innings, DeVries opened with her fourth ‘K’ in a row before giving up a double and a single to the next two battters. She got out of the inning with a strike out of Nicki Starry and coaxing Sheena Padovan into a fly out to left. In the final three innings, UW had two base runners on walks and struck out twice.
As the Badger offense struggled to produce, the Buckeyes came to life. In the sixth, Jennifer Link (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora) opened with a single. After grounding to the first baseman, Link managed to avoid the tag and beat the throw to first for a single. Smith sacrificed Link to second and Allen’s ground out advanced Link to third. Roth collected her second RBI of the game with a bloop single behind the pitcher to plate Link for a 2-0 lead.
With one out in the seventh, DeVries walked and was run for by Amy Ellis (Jr., Erie, Pa./Ball State). Himes’ home run brought Ellis home for a 4-0 lead. After the next batter, Annie Dedic (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Fullerton JC), grounded out, Link walked and came in to score on Smith’s triple to right center. Allen drove in Smith with a single to left that dropped in between the left fielder and shortstop to conclude the scoring and give OSU a 6-0 win.
Next up for OSU is a doubleheader with No. 25 Minnesota starting at noon Sunday at Buckeye Field.