April 26, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio – History was made Friday evening at Buckeye Field as the No. 20 Ohio State softball team scored an 11-0, five inning victory over the visiting Bobcats of Ohio to move to 47-9 on the year and establish the new school record for wins in a season, snapping the mark of 46 set last year. Anna Smith (Sr., Walnut, Calif./Diamond Bar) continued her stellar year at the plate with a 2-for-2 day at the plate with two runs scored as Wendy Allen (So., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley) and Kristi DeVries (So., Corona, Calif./Corona) combined to allow two hits and no runs in the win. OU slipped to 20-21 overall after suffering its seventh loss in a row while the Buckeyes won their 16th game in a row to move within one victory of tying the all-time OSU mark of 17 set in 1994.
“It was great to see our kids come out and play with a lot of enthusiasm even though we are locked in a tight conference race and this game held no bearing on it,” Linda Kalafatis, OSU head coach, said. “I was happy that we were able to keep everybody fresh by bringing a lot of the roster and everyone in the game today contributed and gained some experience. I think you could argue that this is the best team in Ohio State history so it is only appropriate that they are the group that sets the wins mark. We have worked hard and achieved a lot but every day is a new test and on this particular day, I think we passed the test.”
In all, 18 of the 20 members of the Buckeye roster saw time in the game with 16 different players logging an at bat. Smith and Meghan Rowlands (Fr., Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready) led the way with two hits apiece while seven others recorded one. Smith and Jennifer Link (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora) also pulled off a double steal to give Smith 36 on the year, one shy of tying her 2000 record of 37 in a season.
“It is great to be a part of Ohio State history,” Smith said. “We are making a name for ourselves and that means a lot. We are not really focused on breaking records but more on achieving the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. It is nice to be able to rewrite history along to way to reaching our goals but we still have more work ahead of us.”
The Buckeyes’ march towards their record win started early in the contest. Allen opened the game with Jennifer Tisevich looking at strike three to set the pace for the game. OU went down in order over the first three innings. After a three up and three down top half of the first, Link singled to right and moved to second on Smith’s single down the left line. Both runners stole the next base and came in to score on an Allen single down the right line for a 2-0 lead. After a scoreless second where Rowlands picked up a single, OSU went back to work and blew the game open with nine runs in the third.
The deciding third started with new pitcher Kerri Harley walking Link and taking second on Smith’s single to second. Allen grounded into a fielder’s choice with all runners safely advancing to load the bases for career RBI leader Stacy Roth (Sr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon). Roth got the job done by coaxing a walk to push in Link and open the flood gates. Chrissy Fowler (Sr., Utica, Ohio/Wright State) followed with a single to right and an error on the right fielder that scored Smith and Allen with Roth at third and Fowler on second. Rowlands then singled off the pitcher’s glove to bring in Roth and Breana Pozzi (So., Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande) doubled to left center to bring home Fowler and Rowlands for an 8-0 lead. After one out was recorded, pinch hitter Sarah West (Sr., Galloway, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) brought in Pozzi with a double to left center. That would knock Harley out of the contest and brought starter Howe back.
JJ Johnson (Fr., La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) greeted Howe with a shot to right that hit the right fielder’s glove for a two base error that scored West. Rogeanna Hottinger (Jr., Newark, Ohio/Newark) pinch hit for Smith and singled through the left side to move Johnson to third. Johnson came in to score the final run on Allen’s sacrifice fly to center.
OU had its best chance to score in the fourth with two singles in a row but a fielder’s choice, a ground out and a failed attempt to score on a passed ball kept the Bobcats off the score board.
Next up, the Buckeyes hit the road for a pair of games at Indiana starting at 1 p.m. EST Sunday in Bloomington, Ind. OSU’s final home game of the year is slated for 5 p.m. May 2 against Akron at Buckeye Field.