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July 20, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ali Viola, one of the top softball players in NCAA history, has been added to the Ohio State softball coaching staff, Buckeye head coach Linda Kalafatis announced Wednesday. Viola comes to Ohio State with seven years of collegiate coaching experience following her playing career at Nebraska where she was a three-time All-American shortstop.

Viola will work primarily with infielders and hitting and will coach first base during games. She will complete the coaching staff made up of a pair of nine-year Buckeye veterans in Kalafatis, who is Ohio State’s all-time wins leader with 295 victories (568 total career wins) and assistant coach Belinda Quisenberry.

“I am thrilled to have Ali join the Buckeye family,” Kalafatis said. “Her excellence as a player, her experience as a coach and her character as a human being will add so much to our program. I’m anxious for the team to get to know and work with Ali and for us as a coaching staff to work together on and off the field.”

Viola’s coaching career began at Louisville, where she spent the 1999 season helping the Cardinals establish themselves as a new Division I program. Viola then spent three seasons at Wisconsin, during which the Badgers were selected for the NCAA tournament all three years, before moving onto Cal Poly State for the last three seasons.

“To join an athletics department of Ohio State’s status is a great opportunity,” Viola said. “Since being in the Big Ten, I have followed Linda’s program and have been so impressed with what she has accomplished at Ohio State. I am thrilled to join her staff and help contribute to the success of the program.”

A native of Novato, Calif., Viola was the 1995 Big 12 Freshman of the Year at Nebraska and went on to be named Big 12 Player of the Year twice. She earned All-America honors three times and still is Nebraska’s all-time leader in home runs, hits, doubles, walks, slugging percentage and batting average. Viola’s career totals for home runs (53), RBI (213) and slugging percentage (.760) rank among the Top 16 in NCAA history. Viola was an Olympic Festival participant in 1995 and was a USA National Top 60 representative from 1995-98. In 2000 she helped lead the Tampa Bay Firestix to the Women’s Professional League championship.

“Ali has solidified our coaching staff,” Kalafatis said. “With her and Belinda, our student-athletes will be coached by individuals that have championship playing experience and are great role models. The coaches and players believe there are great things on the horizon for Ohio State softball.”

### GO BUCKS! ###