April 17, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio- Kristi DeVries (So., Corona, Calif./Corona) put in five innings of work and recorded 10 strike outs while earning the first no-hitter of the her Buckeye career to lead the No. 22 Ohio State softball team to a 15-0 victory over Morehead State at Buckeye Field Wednesday. Anna Smith (Sr., Walnut, Calif./Diamond Bar) led the offense with a perfect day at the plate with 3-for-3 hitting and scored a team-high three runs to help the Buckeyes move to 39-9 on the year while the Eagles fell to 9-25-1 in 2002.
“It was great knowing I had a solid defense behind me which allowed me to pitch even better,” DeVries said. “Their play gave me more confidence because I knew they were going to back me up and help me get the no-hitter.”
DeVries got off to a hot start by striking out the first four batters in a row and five of the first six to keep the Eagles at bay and give the Buckeyes an opportunity to get on the board first. In the bottom of the first, Jennifer Link (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora) reached on an error and stole second before a bunt single by Smith pushed her to third. Wendy Allen (So., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley), the Big Ten Player of the Week, lined a double off the right center wall to bring home Link and Smith for the early 2-0 lead. Allen advanced to third on an errant throw by the catcher following her double and came in to score when Stacy Roth (Sr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon) popped into a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead. Roth’s out started a string of six in a row for the Buckeyes that was halted in the top of the third inning. The third saw OSU bat around and plate seven runs to put the game out of reach. Link started with a single the left and was followed by a Smith single to third. Both runners stole a base and came in to score on an Allen single to right. Smith crossed the plate after and errant throw by the catcher. Amy Ellis (Jr., Erie, Pa./Ball State) ran for Allen at first and moved to third on a single to center by Roth. DeVries followed by reaching on an error at first and moved to second on a throwing error by the first baseman, Alison Queen while Ellis scored and Roth moved to third. Pinch runner Jenn Elwell (Sr., Dearborn Heights, Mich./Divine Child) ran for DeVries at second and came home to score when Sarah West (Sr., Galloway, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) reached on another error at first and Elwell came home for an 8-0 lead while Queen was pulled.
With West on at second, Kristine Himes (Jr., Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) ended the OSU scoring in the stanza with her 13th home run of the year after launching a Molly Cope offering over the right center wall and drilling the scoreboard. Himes’ homer total is a single-season record and the 46th long ball in 48 games for the Buckeyes this year.
The Eagles broke up DeVries’ bid for a perfect game when Michelle McCrady led off the fourth with a walk. Nikki Brock pushed her to second on a sacrifice bunt but she was stranded when the next two batters struck out. The final two innings saw MSU go down in order with three strike outs to DeVries and two fly outs and a ground out for the defense. Before DeVries could strike out the final two batters of the game, the Buckeyes added five more runs. Smith got things going with a single to the pitcher after beating out the throw to first. Ellis, who stayed in the game after running in the third, moved Smith one base with a single to center and both moved up to load the bases when pinch hitter Kari Crandell (So., Hendersonville, Tenn./Hendersonville) walked.
DeVries plated two runs with double off the top of the wall in straight away center field and moved to third when Beth McAbier (So., Carrollton, Ohio/Carrollton), also pinch hitting, singled on a blooper to center to score Crandell. After a strike out recorded the first out of the inning, Karisa Evans (Fr., Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) singled to right center to bring in DeVries and end the scoring with OSU ahead, 15-0.
OSU closes out the home portion of its Big Ten slate with games at 3 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday against Purdue and a noon Sunday doubleheader with Illinois to wrap up the weekend.