April 24, 2002
DAYTON, Ohio – The No. 20 Ohio State softball team, playing its first game with the highest national ranking the program has earned in its history, traveled to Dayton, Ohio, for the second this year and dispatched the host Raiders of Wright State in the first game of a doubleheader, 7-0, at the Wright State Softball Field Wednesday. The Buckeyes scored seven times on nine hits and got another strong pitching performance from Kristi DeVries (So., Corona, Calif./Corona). DeVries fanned a season-best 12 WSU batters while allowing one hit in seven scoreless innings to move to 15-1 on the year and help the Buckeyes improve to 45-9 (13-3 Big Ten). The Raiders slipped to 9-20 (3-3 Horizon) after its fourth loss in a row. Seven OSU hitters collected a hit with Anna Smith (Sr., Walnut, Calif./Diamond Bar) leading the way with a 3-for-3 day at the plate.
Batting first, the Buckeyes wasted little time getting on the board. Jennifer Link (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora) led off the game with a walk and moved to second on a Smith single through the left side. Both runners stole third and second, respectively, before Wendy Allen (So., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley) drove in Link on a ground out to second to put OSU ahead, 1-0. The Buckeyes plated four more in the second with the help of a historic moment. Chrissy Fowler (Sr., Utica, Ohio/Wright State), a former member of the Raider team, led off the second with aground rule double after one hopping the fence in left. DeVries reached on an error when the right fielder left DeVries’ fly ball hit her glove and fall to the ground. Fowler rounded third and scored while DeVries took second. Kristine Himes (Jr., Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley), OSU’s career home run hitter, smacked the 30th of her three-year tenure with the Buckeyes to bring the score to 4-0. Himes’ bomb over the left field fence made her the first OSU batter in the program’s 32 year history to break the 30 homer plateau. With one down after the Himes blast, Beth McAbier (So., Carrollton, Ohio/Carrollton) singled to right but was thrown out at second. Link followed with a single slapped to the pitcher and beat out the throw. Link moved to second on a passed ball and rounded third to come home when Smith reached on a bunt single but the catcher launched her throw into right field.
The Buckeyes tacked on their final two runs of the game in the fourth. Karisa Evans (Fr., Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) led off with a double to right center and advanced to third on an Annie Dedic (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Fullerton JC) single to right. With Buckeyes on the corners, Linda Kalafatis, OSU head coach, called for a double steal that Evans and Dedic ran perfectly to score another run and rewrite the history books, again. Evans, who recorded the first stolen base on the play, recorded the 98th stolen base on the year for OSU to tie the record established last year. Dedic made it 99 and the new benchmark for future teams. She also came around to score when McAbier and Link both grounded out to second to push in the final run.
In the bottoms of the innings, DeVries and the defense shut down the Raiders. The first three innings saw DeVries face the minimum and record five strike outs. The perfect game was broken up in the fifth when Amanda Rutherford walked. The no-hitter was eliminated the next inning when Stephanie Salas singled to right center. From there, DeVries struck out four more Raiders including the final three of the game.
The win was the 14th in a row for the Buckeyes and put them three away from tying the all-time record of 17 set in 1994. OSU also moved one step closer to securing the most wins in a single season with its 45th. The record total of 46 was set last year.
OSU returns to the friendly confines of Buckeye Field at 5 p.m. Friday when it takes on intrastate rival Ohio University in a single game. The original game time of 6 p.m. was pushed forward one hour to allow for the entire game to be played. Buckeye Field is not equipped with lights.