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Feb. 23, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ga.-The No. 21 Ohio State softball team dropped a tough decision Sunday to No. 14 Arizona State, 1-0, despite a one-hitter performance by senior pitcher Katie Chain (Sr., North Canton, Ohio). The Buckeyes were unable to capitalize on their limited scoring opportunities while the Sun Devils scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the fourth to earn the win. The loss drops Ohio State to 4-4 on the year while the Sun Devils improve to 14-3.

The game turned into a pitchers dual as Chain and Arizona State’s Desiree Serrano (9-2) went head to head. Serrano (9-2) pitched a complete game two-hitter with five strikeouts and a walk. Chain (1-2), Ohio State’s career strikeout leader, struck out six to give her 22 K’s in two games over the weekend. She now has 32 total strikeouts over 27.0 innings on the season.

The Sun Devils scored the lone run in the bottom of the fourth when ASU’s Phelan Wright singled home Kristin Farber from second. The single was the first and only hit given up by Chain. Faber walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Valerie Sevilla. Two batters later, Wright singled to center field to score Farber for the game’s only run.

The Buckeyes missed a golden scoring opportunity in the top of the second. Ohio State had the bases loaded with no outs but were unable to cross the plate. Consecutive singles by Kristi DeVries (Jr., Corona, Calif.) and Jennifer Johnson (So., La Mirada, Calif.) put runners at first and second before Annie Dedic (Sr., Yorba Linda, Calif.) loaded the bases with a fielder’s choice. Two batters later, pinch runner Nicole Lancaster (Fr., Magnolia, Ohio) was called out at home off a Rogeanna Hottinger (Sr., Newark, Ohio) fielder’s choice to ASU first baseman Ashley Werschky and leaving the bases loaded again with two outs. Serrano then forced Meghan Rowlands (So., Hilliard, Ohio) to ground out to end the inning and the Buckeye scoring threat. The Buckeyes had another chance in the sixth to score when Jennifer Link (Sr., Yorba Linda, Calif.) walked to lead off the inning. However, consecutive tries by Karisa Evans (So., Franklin, Ohio) and Kristine Himes (Sr., Bolivar, Ohio) to sacrifice Link to second failed and Link was called out at first for leaving early on a pitch to end the inning.

Due to rain delays, bracket play has been cancelled. The Buckeyes elected to pick up an extra game and will face Villanova at 3 p.m. for their final game of the weekend.