April 7, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Stacy Roth (Sr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon) blasted a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to break a three-all tie and Kristi DeVries (So., Corona, Calif./Corona) and Wendy Allen (So., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley) combined for five strike outs as the Ohio State softball team completed a sweep of No. 25 Minnesota with a 5-3 victory in the second game of a Big Ten doubleheader at Buckeye Field Sunday. The Buckeye win gave them a sweep of the series with the Golden Gophers while raising their record to 34-9 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten. UM slipped to 26-13 and 3-3 in conference.
As the visitors on the score board, the Buckeyes had honors and scored first in the game. With one out, Anna Smith (Sr., Walnut, Calif./Diamond Bar) singled to short and moved to second when Allen reached on an infield single. During Roth’s first at bat, a ground out, Smith and Allen tried a double steal and advanced to third and second, respectively. While the Buckeyes were running, catcher Anne Thul tried to pick off the lead runner Smith but her throw ended up in the outfield as Smith came home to make it a 1-0 game.
UM came back quickly with Tammi Hays leading off with a single to left. Veronica Roberts put down a sacrifice bunt to move Hays to second and Shelly Nichols doubled to right center off DeVries to bring in Hays for a 1-1 ball game. UM went three and out in the next three innings while the Buckeyes took the lead.
After a 1-2-3 second and with one out in the third, Smith reached on an infield bunt single and advanced to second on Allen’s single to left. Roth came to the plate and put a single down the left line to bring in Smith and regain the lead, 2-1. OSU moved to the fourth and scored again to push the lead to 3-1. With one out, DeVries singled to left and was run for by Amy Ellis (Jr., Erie, Pa./Ball State) who moved to second when Kristine Himes (Jr., Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) singled to center. With two outs, Jennifer Link (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora) reached first on an error which allowed Ellis to come in for the third run.
The Gophers fought back in the sixth thanks to one swing of the bat. With two down and no one on base, Roberts singled to center and came around to score when Nichols rocked a DeVries pitch over the left field wall to knot the score at three. The Buckeyes looked for an answer an got it in the form of clutch hitting. Smith singled up the middle but Allen hit into a fielder’s choice that forced Smith out and Allen on first. Meghan Rowlands (Fr., Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready) came into the came to run for Allen with two outs left and ran home when Roth put her 11th homer over the left center wall for a 5-3 lead. Roth’s long ball tied her for the record for the most home runs in a single year that Himes established one day earlier against Wisconsin.
Allen came in the seventh to relieve DeVries and got the first two batters out including a strike out looking to open the final stanza. Allen hit pitcher Piper Marten and gave up a single to Angie Recknor to put runners on first and second. Allie Fisk, who came in for Marten, and Rachel Keeney, running for Recknor, advanced to third and second, respectively, on a wild pitch. Allen got out of the jam and secured her second save of the year when Stephanie Sward grounded out to end the game with the Buckeyes winning, 5-3.
Ohio State returns to the road next week for four Big Ten games. The Buckeyes face No. 19 Iowa in Iowa City at 7 p.m. EST and at 1 p.m. EST Saturday before heading to Evanston, Ill., for a doubleheader with Northwestern at 1 p.m. EST Sunday.