Feb. 9, 2003
MIAMI, Fla.– Jennifer Link (Sr., Yorba Linda, Calif.) went 2-for-3 and scored twice and pitchers Katie Chain (Sr., North Canton, Ohio) and Kristi DeVries (Jr., Corona, Calif.) combined to allow just five hits over seven innings as the No. 16 Ohio State softball team avenged a previous loss to No. 22 Alabama, 7-2 Sunday to win the consolation game of the Golden Panther Invitational in Miami, Fla. The win improves Ohio State to 2-3 while Alabama slips to 6-4.
Chain threw three shut out innings before being replaced by DeVries at the beginning of the fourth. Chain allowed three hits and struck out two while DeVries allowed two hits and two unearned runs to go with five strikeouts over the final four innings.
Four Buckeyes had multiple hit games as Link, DeVries, Karisa Evans (So., Franklin, Ohio) and Stacy Hibma (Fr., Buena Park, Calif.) combined for eight hits and three RBI’s to lead the Buckeye offensive attack.
The Buckeyes wasted no time getting down to business, scoring right away in the top of the first. Link led off the inning with a single through the left side followed next by Evans who singled to the shortstop. DeVries then sacrificed the runners to second and third. Kristine Himes next laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Link from third and give Ohio State a 1-0 lead after one inning.
The scoring continued in the third inning when Meghan Rowlands (So., Hilliard, Ohio) led off with a double down the left field line. Two batters later, Evans tripled to right field scoring Rowlands from third. Kristi DeVries then grounded out to the second baseman to score Evans from third and extend the Ohio State lead to 3-0.
Ohio State then added another run in the fourth when Rogeanna Hottinger (Sr., Newark, Ohio) doubled down the right field line advancing Amy Ellis (Sr., Erie, Pa.) to third who was pinch running for Stacy Hibma. On the same play, Ellis advanced home on an error by Alabama shortstop Jennifer Reach, giving the Buckeyes a 4-0 lead.
Link and DeVries again caused problems for the Tide in the top of the fifth inning as they both singled to put runners at first and second. Link and Nicole Lancaster (Fr., Magnolia, Ohio), pinch running for DeVries, then pulled off a double steal to put two runners in scoring position. A passed ball then allowed Link to score and advance Lancaster to third. Lancaster next scored on a wild pitch by Alabama pitcher Jennifer Wright and give OSU a 6-0 lead.
The final OSU run came the very next inning when Rowlands grounded out to second base, scoring Hibma from third who had led off the inning with a single to left field.
The Alabama offense came alive in the sixth inning, recording two runs on the hands of four OSU fielding errors in the inning.
The Buckeyes next will travel to the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga. Feb. 21-23. The Buckeyes are scheduled to play No. 11 DePaul, No. 13 Arizona State and Liberty. The rest of Ohio State’s opponents will e determined by seeding and bracket play.