April 10, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 25 Ohio State softball team (34-9, 5-3 Big Ten) surged into the No. 4 spot in the conference with a 3-1 performance at home over the weekend including three wins in a row. The Buckeyes have a tough road trip ahead with two games at No. 20 Iowa (Friday and Saturday), the leaders of the Big Ten, in Iowa City, Iowa, and a doubleheader with Northwestern, currently tied for second in the Big Ten with Michigan, Sunday in Evanston, Ill.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Anna Smith set the new single season runs scored record over the weekend after crossing home plate for the 51st time this year. The previous mark of 48 was set by Krinon Clark in the 1994 campaign. Smith also holds the career runs scored mark at 149 after surpassing Candace Kollen’s (1995-98) mark of 129 earlier in the year.
ANYTHING YOU CAN DO…
Stacy Roth got into the record breaking action over the weekend as well by launching her 11th home run of the year and knocking in her 46th RBI of the 2002 campaign. Already the career runs batted in leader with 146, Roth brought in eight runs to move past Jen Fredrickson (1994) for the No. 1 spot in single season RBI at 46. Fredrickson held the previous best of 42.
Kristine Himes belted her 11th home run of the year in a 6-0 defeat of Wisconsin in the series finale Saturday to break her previous mark of 10 set in her freshman year of 2000.
Roth, who is entrenched in a battle for the all-time long ball record with Himes, pulled even for the season mark in the top of the seventh to break a three-all tie and win the game for the Buckeyes.
MORE LAUNCHES THAN NASA
Sarah West, Kristine Himes and Stacy Roth all went deep last week to record their seventh, 11th and 11th home runs on the year, respectively. The three blasts added to the single season record for homers in a year and brought the grand total to 39 for 2002. The previous mark was 28 in 2000. OSU leads the Big Ten in home runs with Purdue in second (27) and Indiana third (22).
FOR THE RECORD
Not only are Kristine Himes and Stacy Roth dueling for the top spot in the race for the most home runs in a single season, both are battling for the top spot on the career list. Prior to their arrivals in 2000 and 1999, respectively, Renae Weigel (1997-00) set the standard at 13 as one of three Buckeyes (Jodi Dolan with 12 from 1995-98 and Jamie Chenevey with 11 from 1996-99) to break into double digits in home runs. Throw Sarah West into the mix with Himes and Roth and Ohio State could have three home run hitters to hit more than 10 in one season. Here is the up-to-date score board for home run supremacy:
1. Kristine Himes 2000-02 27 2. Stacy Roth 1999-02 25 3. Sarah West 1999-02 18
A LOOK AT THE NATIONAL POLL
Two weeks ago, the Buckeyes, with 50 votes, broke into the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top 25 poll for the first time since the 1994 season. One week later, Ohio State garnered 15 votes and fell from the rankings. This week, the Buckeyes are back among the Top 25 as the No. 25 team in the nation after receiving 28 votes. OSU is the only new team to the rankings this week after sweeping Minnesota in a doubleheader Sunday and pushing them from the No. 25 spot.
On a regional basis, the Buckeyes have been voted into the Top 10 but not assigned an actual rank. For the first two biweekly polls (released March 28 and April 10), the Top 10 teams will be listed alphabetically and then arranged via their actual ranking for the remaining three polls. OSU joins Ball State, Central Michigan, Illinois-Chicago, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin in the regional poll.
With the help of the long ball this year, the Buckeyes have been able to easily outscore their opponents. Ohio State holds a 232-84 scoring edge this year.
The first NCAA national statistics were released on the organization’s Web site Tuesday with three Buckeye individuals ranking highly among the national leaders and the team garnering a spot in five different categories.
Anna Smith leads way with her .481 batting average being No. 6 in the nation. She also is No. 10 in triples per game with 0.14 (six in 42 games) and 14th in stolen bases per game at 0.65 (29 in 42). Stacy Roth is No. 6 in the RBI per game grouping with 1.10 a game (46 in 42) and is tied for 25th nationally with 0.26 home runs per game. Wendy Allen is the lone Buckeye pitcher to make the rankings. Her 1.07 ERA is 40th nationally.
As a team, Ohio State earned its highest ranking in national batting average. It is No. 4 on the list with a .332 average. The Buckeyes also are No. 14 in win-loss percentage at 0.791 (34-9), No. 15 in scoring with 5.4 runs per contest (232 in 42), No. 26 in ERA with 1.48 and No. 28 in fielding percentage.
Anna Smith is the all-time stolen base leader at Ohio State with 96 and is 28-for-31 this year. Jennifer Link is climbing the records ladder in the same category with an 19-for-22 performance in 2002. Her career total is up to 45 which is No. 3 on the all-time ledger. Cheryl Palaroan (1996-99) is second on the list with 56.
As a team, the Buckeyes have swiped 81 bases on 102 attempts to put themselves in range to break the single season record for thievery. The 1998 squad stole 89 bases to establish the mark.
Anna Smith is closing in on yet another Buckeye single season record. She has recorded 63 hits in her 131 at bats in 2002 and is hitting at a .481 clip. Smith is currently ahead of all-time leader Greta Slagle’s .449 average in the 1979 season with at least 18 games remaining in the regular season.
SCORE QUICK AND OFTEN
Ohio State is 27-4 this year in games it scores the first run. The Buckeyes also are 26-3 when they are involved in a three-run decision or greater.
ALLEN VS. THE BIG TEN
Wendy Allen has fared quiet well in Ohio State’s eight conference games this year. From the circle, Allen leads the Big Ten in ERA with 0.00 and is limiting opposing hitters to a .131 average at the plate. She also ranks fifth in strike outs with 20 and sixth in the conference with four batters struck out looking.
From the opposite side of the spectrum, Allen has fared well with a bat in her hand. She is tied for the conference lead with sacrifice bunts at four.
Several milestones for the Ohio State program have or will be reached this year. When the Buckeyes defeated Campbell, 12-1, at the Buzz Classic, OSU recorded the 650th win in the history of the program. The Buckeyes hold a lifetime record of 661-661-2 (.499).
KALAFATIS REACHES HIGH MARKS
In Ohio State’s 10-0, five inning defeat of Marshall in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday (April 3), Buckeye coach Linda Kalafatis earned the 450th win in her career. In her 13 year career, she has compiled a 452-323-1 (.582) record.
Kalafatis’ 150th victory in her OSU coaching career came in the Buckeyes’ 5-1 defeat of McNeese State at the Tournament of Champions in Northridge, Calif., to open the year. The 175th win in her career came in OSU’s 2-1, nine inning defeat of Michigan State in the conference opener for both squads. Kalafatis stands 181-139 (.561) as the Buckeyes’ head coach. This is not the only time she has surpassed the 175 win plateau. As a coach at her alma mater, California (Pa.), she amassed a 175-53-1 record.
Prior to leaving for Iowa and Northwestern this week, Ohio State’s total travel milage is up to 13,364.2. After a week in their own beds this past weekend, the Buckeyes will tack on another 1,139.25 miles to the odometer. OSU’s road trips have included such far away destinations as Los Angeles, twice, Houston, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Tenn., East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Mich., Iowa City, Iowa, Evanston, Ill., and Dayton, Ohio.
ALL-BIG TEN RETURNEES
The Buckeyes had six All-Big Ten selections last season, the most in program history. Katie Chain, after setting several single-season and career records, earned first team honors. Wendy Allen was tabbed as Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection along with Anna Smith and Stacy Roth. Jennifer Link and Kristi DeVries also earned Big Ten honors as members of the third team.
KALAFATIS ENTERS HER SIXTH YEAR
Linda Kalafatis is in her sixth season with the Scarlet and Gray and has complied a 181-139 (.561) record in six seasons leading the Buckeyes. In her 13 years in the collegiate coaching ranks, Kalafatis has posted a 454-253-2 (.639) mark including stints with her alma mater California (Pa.) and Akron. At California, Kalafatis led her teams to five Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference titles and a 175-53-1 (.764) record. With the Zips, her teams went 98-62-1 (.608) in three years. Kalafatis earned her degree in business administration and marketing from CU in 1988 and added a master’s degree in geography and regional planning in 1991.
KALAFATIS VS. OPPONENTS THIS WEEK
Linda Kalafatis holds a combined 8-18 all-time record against Iowa and Northwestern as a collegiate head coach. A Kalafatis-led team is 1-12 against the Hawkeyes and 7-6 against the Wildcats. Both records were established while coaching at Ohio State.
SCOUTING REPORT: NO. 20 IOWA
Big Ten Player of the Week Alicia Gerlach leads the offense with a .371 average and four home runs. Kristin Johnson also has played a role in the Hawkeyes’ 6-0 Big Ten record (23-12 overall) with a .336 average on 39 hits and 23 runs scored.
Kristi Hanks is the Iowa ace with a 12-8 record and a 1.73 ERA. She also leads the team with 112 strike outs and has limited opposing hitters to a .205 batting average.
SCOUTING REPORT: NORTHWESTERN
After a 9-8-1 start to its season, Northwestern has gone 5-1 in Big Ten action and is tie with Michigan for second in the conference. The Wildcats won their first five Big Ten games before falling to Illinois, 5-4.
Four Wildcats are batting over .300 on the year led by Carri Leto at .338. Leto and Erin Jancic lead the way with 26 hits while Jancic also holds the top stats for the team with 40 total bases and 23 runs scored. Pitcher Lauren Schwendiman leads the two-pitcher staff with a 10-2 record and a 2.59 ERA with 76 strikeouts.
LAST TIME OUT: NO. 25 MINNESOTA
Ohio State swept a doubleheader from the No. 25 Golden Gophers at Buckeye Field to improve to 34-9 on the year and 5-3 in conference. The Buckeyes won the first game, 5-0, behind a solid pitching performance from Wendy Allen, who struck out nine batters in a complete game shutout. OSU then took the second game, 5-3, on the strength of Stacy Roth’s 11th home run of the year. With the score tied at three in the top of the seventh, Roth clubbed a pitch over the left center wall to give the Buckeyes the lead and the win.
Buckeye Field, the outdoor home of the Ohio State softball team, stands as one of the more picturesque yards in the Big Ten. The all-dirt infield gives way to a well-kept outfield and warning track with fences at 190 feet in left and right field and 220 to straight away center. Equipped with field tarps, a press box, two spacious dugouts and full sound capabilities, the field comfortably seats 500 fans.
Ohio State returns to Buckeye Field for another six game home stand. The Buckeyes face Morehead State in a doubleheader at 3 p.m. Wednesday before welcoming conference opponents Purdue and Illinois to Columbus. OSU and PU meet at 3 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday before the Fighting Illini come to town for a noon doubleheader Sunday.