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Oct. 7, 2002

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team won their second Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic championship title today in the second year of the event. The Buckeyes defeated Youngstown State (1-0), Kent State (3-2) and Bowling Green (4-1) at Fred Beekman Park in Columbus today. OSU beat Dayton (4-0) Kent State (5-1) and Toledo (5-1) yesterday in the pool play portion of the tournament. Pool play determined the bracket tournament for today.

In the championship game, OSU faced Bowling Green and came away with a 4-1 win. Senior pitcher Katie Chain (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) was credited with the win for the second time during the two-day tournament. Chain tallied nine strikeouts against the Falcons.

“Winning this tournament is a big deal for us because there are a lot of good teams in Ohio and this is always one of the things we want to accomplish,” head coach Linda Kalafatis said. “Most importantly, though, we are glad that we can help the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research and that the fans and players supported the tournament. We could not have run this event without the help of the grounds crews and volunteers. We want to extend our thanks to them and everyone who attended this weekend.”

Ohio State’s first run against the Falcons came in the top of the first inning. Senior Jennifer Link (Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora) was walked on the first play of the game and advanced to second and third when Karisa Evans (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) grounded out to third base and junior Kristi DeVries (Corona, Calif./Corona) grounded out to the shortstop, respectively. Senior Kristine Himes (Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) singled to the shortstop to bring Link home.

After two outs in the third inning, Himes hit a homerun that put the Buckeyes up 2-0 over Bowling Green. Evans reached first on a bunt and after DeVries flied out to left field and a Falcon error, Evans made her way to third base before stealing home.

The fourth and final run of the game for the Buckeyes came in the sixth inning. Senior Rogeanna Hottinger (Newark, Ohio/Newark) tripled to left centerfield and scored when Link grounded out to third base.

Val Tipton, a junior from Willard, Ohio, scored the Falcons’ only run of the day.

In the first game of the day, freshman pitcher Chelsea Baker (Gahanna, Ohio/DeSales) captured her second win for the Buckeyes in a tight 1-0 battle with Youngstown State. Baker tallied eight strikeouts and allowed five hits on her way to her first shutout for Ohio State.

“I was a little disappointed in our offense,” Kalafatis said. “We really didn’t have very many good swings. Chelsea (Baker) started off a little rough but settled in. Anytime a pitcher leaves a zero on the scoreboard she is doing a good job. We had some defensive stops out there to back her up, but Chelsea is very composed on the mound.”

With one out in the bottom of the third inning, Evans scored the only run for the Buckeyes. She singled up the middle and advanced to second on a Penguin error before scoring on Himes’ double to right field.

The Buckeyes faced Kent State for the second time in the tournament and escaped with a narrow 3-2 victory. DeVries pitched her second win of the tournament.

“I didn’t have a good feeling going into this game for some reason,” Kalafatis said. “I am not sure what it was. Maybe it was because we were flat the game before. Kent State seemed to want it more at the beginning of the game, but we pulled it together towards the end. I was actually glad that we were in the situation of being behind. I wanted to see what sort of character this team possesses. We had not been behind all weekend and we stepped up and came through in the end.”

The Golden Flashes got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. Marci Ridenbaugh singled to first and then reached second on a sacrifice bunt. Lea Dorto’s single up the middle put her on third and she was brought home by Megan McGaughey’s base hit to centerfield. KSU’s Julie Kemesky pinch ran for Dorto after Dorto reached second on McGaughey’s hit. Kemesky scored on Jodi Stevens’ single along the left field line.

Ohio State tied the game in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Link was walked and scored on the next play off a Himes’ double to left field. Himes followed her teammate home on the very next play off a DeVries’ single to left center.

Freshman BJ Carder (Celina, Ohio/Celina) scored the game-winning run in the sixth inning. After she tripled down the right field line, junior Beth McAbier (Carrollton, Ohio/Carrollton) hit a single to left field and brought Carder home.

The Buckeyes’ defense finished the game strong by allowing only one KSU hit, which occurred during the seventh inning.

Ohio State outscored their opponents 22-5 during the tournament, which was a two-day event benefiting the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research.

A complete list of results is available www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.