May 2, 1999
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State Buckeyes (19-29 overall, 5-16 in Big Ten) used a nine run second inning to pummel the Northwestern Wildcats (26-30 overall, 7-12 in Big Ten), 11-2 in five innings. The game featured Renae Weigel (Jr., Coldwater, Ohio) blasting her sixth home run of the season to set an OSU single-season record.
“She gave me a good pitch to hit so I took it,” Weigel said. “Records really don’t mean much right now because we still have a few games left to play this season. But it’s an honor to put your name in our record book and it’s something I know I will look back on and be proud of. It’s also nice to send off the senior class with something to remember.”
Weigel’s blast came in the second inning. The big inning saw 15 OSU batters come to the plate and record nine hits. Anna Smith (Fr., Walnut, Calif.), Katie Wessendorf (Jr., Waterville, Ohio) and Sarah West (Fr., Galloway, Ohio) each recorded two hits in the inning. But it was Weigel who stole the show. With Stacy Roth (Fr., Wauseon, Ohio) and Cheryl Palaroan (Sr., Reno, Nev.) on base, Weigel took a 1-0 offering from NU’s Kelly Cambell over the centerfield wall. The home run was her sixth of the season. The old record of five was held by Jodi Dolan (1997) and Marla Pickard (1994).
Seven different Buckeyes recorded at least one hit. Roth finished the game going 3-for-3 with three runs batted in. Smith capped off a monstrous week going 3-for-4 with one RBI, one stolen base and two runs scored. For the series, she batted a smoldering .600 (6-for-10). For the week, the OSU leadoff hitter carried a five game hitting streak and batted .524 (11-for-21) and scored five runs.
“My job is to get on base as much as possible so the hitters batting behind me can hit me in,” Smith said. “I’m really not looking at it like I’m doing something special. I’m just doing my job to help this team win.”
Inside the circle, Toni Hileman (Jr., Alliance, Ohio) started the game and pitched two innings of one hit, shutout ball. She was rested in the third after throwing 23 innings over the last five days. Samantha Kimura (Fr., Placentia, Calif.) entered the game and took the win with three innings of three-hit ball. Her record is now 5-2 on the year. The win gave OSU a 2-1 edge in the season series between the two schools. Yesterday, OSU won game one 8-4 and lost game two 10-3.
“We really smoked the ball today,” head coach Linda Kalafatis said. “Anna Smith is locked in right now. She is one of the top freshmen in this conference and she is proving it every time out. I’m extremely proud of Renae (Weigel). I know it was important for her to send off this senior class with in win in their final home weekend. Her home run put a big exclamation point on the game and the series for us.”
The Buckeyes will play host to Youngstown State in a doubleheader on Wednesday at 3 p.m. to close out the home season.