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Oct. 7, 2005

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SETTING THE SCENE
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team ends its fall exhibition season Sunday by hosting Louisville in a double-header at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes enter the twin bill with a 4-3 fall record after participating in both the Kent State Fall Tournament and the Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic.

Ohio State faces a challenge against the Cardinals, who set a program record for wins in the 2005 season with a 43-20 record. OSU and Louisville have never met in regular-season action.

OHIO STATE AT A GLANCE
Head coach Linda Kalafatis enters her tenth season in 2005-06 with 11 letterwinners and four newcomers on the squad. Her 2005 squad posted a 32-17 overall record with a fourth-place 9-7 mark in the Big Ten.

The Buckeyes’ offensive lineup was one of the most potent in the nation last year (see later note) and OSU is showing signs of picking up in 2006 where it left off. Four seniors departed off that 2005 squad, however, and the addition of two freshmen pitchers, who have gotten the bulk of the work this fall, will be asked to make an immediate contribution next spring.

LAST WEEK: OSU COMPETES IN CLASSIC
Ohio State began the Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic with a 9-0 win over Miami on the opening day of the charity tournament at Fred Beekman Park. Freshman Kim Reeder pitched a no-hitter through five-innings as the Buckeyes exceeding the eight-run rule and beating the RedHawks 9-0 before falling to Akron, 3-0, in their outing. On Sunday, the Buckeyes faced Toledo and Ohio, defeating both teams. OSU junior Christina Douglas and freshman Courtney Pruner blasted home runs during a seven-run sixth inning to lead the Buckeyes to a 10-6 come-from-behind win over Toledo. Ohio University kept the Buckeyes’ offense in check for the first three innings, but OSU scored three times in the fourth inning and saw Douglas blast a two-run home run in the sixth inning to cap off a 6-1 win Sunday in the finale of the 2005 Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic.

OCCC WINS FOR CANCER RESEARCH
In what is annually one of the Top 5 fundraisers for breast cancer research in Columbus, Ohio State hosted the Fifth Annual Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic at Fred Beekman Park on the OSU campus Oct. 1-2. A total of 18 teams from around the state took part in the two-day event.

All proceeds from the tournament, which will be announced at a later date, benefited the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Last year the event raised a tournament record $13,551 and is expected to go well beyond that total last weekend thanks in part to the Ohio Troopers Coalition, a new event sponsor, which pledged $7,500.

FAMILIAR FACES RETURN
Back for the start of practice last week were four seniors, four juniors and three sophomores. Seniors included OF/P Chelsea Baker, INF Billie Jo Carder, C Stacy Hibma and UT Nicole Lancaster. Juniors included 1B/C Christina Douglas, UT Jamee Juarez, INF Nycole Koyano and OF Megan Schwab, while sophomores included OF Liz Caputo, UT Stephanie Hill and UT Brittany Vanderink.

A WELCOME TO FOUR NEW BUCKEYES
Four newcomers made their Buckeye Field debut for practice last week, including P/1B Courtney Pruner (Akron, Ohio/Ellet), P Kim Reeder (Salinas, Calif./Notre Dame H.S.), C Megan Shie (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake) and UT Cortney Cannon (Hilliard, Ohio/Darby).

A LOOK AT LOUISVILLE
IN 2005 Louisville won its first Conference-USA regular season title and earned a second consecutive at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Cardinals return 12 letterwinners from last year’s team including the 2005 C-USA Co-Player of the Year Courtney Moore and fellow All-C-USA selections Audrey Rendon, Lacy Wood and Catherine Bishop.

KENT STATE FALL TOURNAMENT
Ohio State averaged over six runs per game in its three contests Sunday, but the Buckeyes went 1-2 in their first game action of their fall schedule at the Kent State Fall Tournament. Ohio State topped Toledo, 10-3, in the opener before suffering losses to Pittsburgh, 5-4, and Kent State, 6-5.

2005 OSU OFFENSE AMONG THE BEST
In the final national statistical report from the NCAA, Ohio State was ranked among the national leaders in six categories, including batting average (No. 3, .321), scoring (No. 8, 5.80 runs/gm.), doubles (No. 4, 1.69/gm.), triples (No. 8, .37/gm.), stolen bases (No. 13, 1.69/gm.) and slugging percentage (No. 12, .494).

OSU MOVES UP IN THE BIG TEN
Ohio State moved up five spots in the Big Ten standings in the last two weeks of the regular season last year to take sole possession of the fourth spot in the league standings. The Buckeyes made their fourth trip to the Big Ten tournament, all within the last five seasons under the direction of head coach Linda Kalafatis.

OSU NOTCHES 30-WIN SEASON NO. 9
With a 6-0 win over Pittsburgh May 4 last season, Ohio State improved to 30-15 for the ninth 30-win season in school history. Five of those 30-win seasons have come under the direction of Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State’s ninth-year head coach. The Buckeyes finished the 2005 season 32-17.

THREE BUCKEYES NAMED ALL-REGION
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced its 2005 All-Region softball teams May 18 and three Buckeyes were among those named to the All-Great Lakes Region team. Megan Schwab earned first-team honors, while Jamee Juarez and Liz Caputo earned a spot on the second-team.

Schwab batted .362 last season (47-for-130) with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 33 RBI, 30 runs scored and a .623 slugging percentage. In the Big Ten, her average ranked tenth and her slugging percentage ranked No. 8, and she batted .453 with runners in scoring position.

Juarez was the mainstay of the Ohio State pitching staff but also saw action at third base, right field and designated player. While batting .361 (44-for-122) with 28 RBI, she set a school single-season wins record with 25 victories and went 9-5 in the circle in Big Ten games.

In Caputo’s last 17 games of last season she batted .467 (21-for-45) to raise her season average to .367 (36-for-98), which ranked second on the OSU squad and is the second-best average by a freshman in OSU history. She batted a team-best .516 in Big Ten games and concluded her first season as a Buckeye with three doubles, a triple, four home runs and 19 RBI.

NINE BUCKEYES EARN BIG TEN, OSU ACADEMIC AWARDS
Nine Ohio State players were named Academic All-Big Ten and OSU Scholar-Athletes when the 2005 season concluded, including Chelsea Baker, Ashley Cutcliff, Christina Douglas, Karisa Evans, Natalie Hales, Jennifer Johnson, Nicole Lancaster, Meghan Rowlands and Andrea Tribuzi.

OHIO STATE QUICK HITS
In a look at Ohio State’s final season statistics, the Buckeyes’ .321 batting average was No. 2 in the Big Ten and was among the national leaders (No. 3). The Buckeyes had over twice as many doubles (83-37) and three times as many triples (18-6). Ohio State was 19-for-48 (.396) when the bases were loaded with three grand slams. OSU increased its batting average to .376 with runners in scoring position and to .500 with a runner on third base and less than two outs. Buckeye pitchers racked up 265 strikeouts, while OSU hitters struck out only 187 times (fewest in Big Ten).

When leading after five innings, Ohio State was 7-0 in Big Ten games and 21-0 in all games. The Buckeyes were 31-6 when scoring at least three runs and 20-2 when holding their opponents to two or fewer runs. OSU was 12-2 when scoring in the first inning and 26-6 when scoring first in the game. Ohio State was 30-3 when outhitting or having the same number of hits as its opponent.

BUCKEYES 12-2 IN LAST 14 REGULAR SEASON GAMES
Heading into the 2005 Big Ten tournament, Ohio State was 12-2 in its last 14 games, which included a 5-1 record in Big Ten games. The Buckeyes swept Wright State Apr. 19 and Bowling Green Apr. 27 before getting back into Big Ten play against Indiana and Purdue Apr. 29-May 1. OSU swept the Hoosiers and split with the Boilermakers. Ohio State then took two games from Akron, went 1-1 at Pittsburgh and swept Penn State.

During that 14-game stretch, four Buckeyes hit over .400, including Liz Caputo (.480), Karisa Evans (.455), Stacy Hibma (.438) and Nycole Koyano (.419). Jamee Juarez won nine of those games (9-1, 1.12 ERA) and Chelsea Baker won three (3-1, 2.88 ERA). Ohio State out-homered its opponents 12-4 and out-doubled them 31-4.

BUCKEYES IN THE BIG TEN
In the Big Ten regular season statistics, Ohio State ranked No. 2 in batting (.323) and No. 2 in scoring (5.90 runs/game). OSU was No. 8 in pitching (2.85 ERA) and fielding (.956), but those rankings improved in Big Ten games to No. 5 in pitching (2.95 ERA) and No. 3 in fielding (.968) in league contests. Despite having played the fewest games of all league teams, OSU ranked first in doubles (82) and triples (18) and was No. 2 in stolen bases (83). The Buckeyes also struck out the fewest times (184).

Ohio State had three of the conference’s Top 10 on base percentage leaders, as Karisa Evans ranked fifth (.482), Nycole Koyano ranked sixth (.476) and Jamee Juarez ranked ninth (.450). Megan Schwab owned the No. 10 batting average (.370) and No. 7 slugging percentage (.638). Koyano was tied for the Big Ten lead in triples (7), was No. 4 in walks (29) and was No. 9 in runs (41). Evans was No. 2 in sacrifice bunts (13) and Brittany Vanderink was No. 10 in stolen bases (14). Among Big Ten pitchers, Juarez ranked No. 3 in wins (25), No. 7 in strikeouts (187) and No. 4 in innings pitched (207.0).

KALAFATIS COMPLETES YEAR NINE AT OHIO STATE
Ohio State head coach Linda Kalafatis completed her ninth season at the helm of the Buckeyes’ softball program in 2005. She is already OSU’s all-time wins leader with 295 victories in Columbus (295-209-0, .582), and her overall record stands at 568-324-2 (.639) in 17 years as a collegiate head coach. Kalafatis has guided Ohio State to the NCAA tournament twice and was named the 2002 Big Ten Coach of the Year. She was assisted by former Buckeyes Belinda Quisenberry and Chrissy Fowler this season.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information on the Ohio State softball program, contact Tim Stried in the athletics communications office at 614-292-0134 or at stried.3@osu.edu.

### Go Bucks! ###