April 28, 2002
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – For the 17th game in a row, the No. 20 Ohio State softball team left the field victorious, this time with an 8-0 decision in five innings over the host Indiana Hoosiers at the IU Softball Field Sunday. Anna Smith (Sr., Walnut, Calif./Diamond Bar) and Annie Dedic (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora) each picked up two hits to help the Buckeyes to a 48-9 record with a 14-3 mark in the Big Ten and tie the school record for wins in a row at 17 set in the 1994 season. Wendy Allen (So., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley) and Kristi DeVries (So., Corona, Calif./Corona) combined to throw a one-hit shutout to keep Indiana winless in the conference at 0-16 with an overall record of 13-30-1.
“We executed very well in the game today,” Linda Kalafatis, OSU head coach, said. “We moved runners when we were supposed to, executed a double steal and a suicide squeeze and I thought we did a nice job staying on their pitcher to produce a big inning. Wendy only giving up one hit was great and she threw another great game.”
After a Smith single in the first and a perfect defensive showing for the Buckeyes in the bottom of the inning, including two strike outs for Allen, the OSU offense went to work. With one out recorded, Sarah West (Sr., Galloway, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) singled up the middle to get OSU started. Breana Pozzi (So., Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande) followed with a fielder’s choice that forced West out but still gave the Buckeyes a base runner. After a Kristine Himes (Jr., Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) walk and Jenn Elwell (Sr., Dearborn Heights, Mich./Divine Child) coming in to run for Pozzi, Dedic ran a shot up the middle to bring in Elwell for the 1-0 lead. IU tried to answer and had four base runners on five batters, but the OSU defense stood strong and ended the inning with two stranded. Smith led off the third with a bunt single and moved to second on Allen’s sacrifice bunt. Stacy Roth (Sr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon) brought in Smith on a single up the middle for a 2-0 game. OSU added another run in the fourth. With one out, Himes walked again and Amy Ellis (So., Erie, Pa./Ball State) came in to run. Dedic moved Ellis with a sacrifice slap to second and Jennifer Link (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora) brought her home with a triple to the gap in right center. The Hoosiers could not respond over the span of the two innings with only one base runner on the only hit of the game and three strike outs for Allen.
The fifth was the breakout inning for the Buckeyes as they hung five runs on the board in search of a run rules game. Allen led off with a single to center and runner Meghan Rowlands (Fr., Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready) taking second on a Roth walk. After a double steal, West reached on an error that brought in both runners for a 5-0 lead. Rogeanna Hottinger (Jr., Newark, Ohio/Newark) ran for West and moved to third on Pozzi’s single to right. Himes followed with a suicide squeeze bunt to score Hottinger and reach first. Dedic then brought in the final two runs of the game with a single up the middle.
Allen went four innings with five strike outs and one hit while DeVries entered the fifth to record a strike out and force two ground outs to end the game with OSU on top, 8-0.
The Buckeyes will play their final home contest of the regular season in a 5 p.m. Thursday game with Akron at Buckeye Field before closing out their 2002 slate with a pair of games at Penn State. OSU battles the Nittany Lions at 1 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.