April 19, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio- Eight different Buckeyes collected hits with Anna Smith (Sr., Walnut, Calif./Diamond Bar), Wendy Allen (So., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley), Chrissy Fowler (Sr., Utica, Ohio/Wright State) and Rogeanna Hottinger (Jr., Newark, Ohio/Newark) picking two each as the No. 22 Ohio State softball team came out swinging to hang a 7-1 decision on the visiting Purdue Boilermakers at Buckeye Field Friday. OSU pounded out 12 hits, including five in the bottom of the first inning to take an early 4-0 lead and improve to 41-9 on the year and 10-3 in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers suffered their third loss in a row to slip to 31-19 overall and 2-7 in the Big Ten standings.
PU came up to the plate first with lead off hitter Katie Crabtree knocking a double to the wall in right center. Angi Roemble pushed Crabtree to third on a sacrifice to get the Boilermakers going but Allen forced two ground outs to JJ Johnson (Fr., La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) at shortstop to end the threat. In the bottom of the first, the Buckeyes moved the ball around the field and plated four runs on five hits while chasing starter Nicole Crouse from the game. Link got things going with a double to left center and moved to third when Smith put down a perfect bunt in front of the plate and reached base by beating out the throw. Link and Smith played out the double steal to score the first run and have Smith on second. Allen delivered with a double down the left line to bring in Smith and make the score 2-0 in favor of the home team. After a ground out by Stacy Roth (Sr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon), Fowler connected on the third double of the inning for OSU to plate Allen and moved to third on a sacrifice fly by Sarah West (Sr., Galloway, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson). With two out, Kristine Himes delivered a single up the middle to bring in Fowler and end the scoring with the Buckeyes ahead, 4-0. After PU could not get anything going in the second, OSU went back to work and tacked on another two runs. With two outs, Smith singled up the middle and came in to score from first when Allen connected on her second double of the game. Allen came into score after Roth singled to right for her 49th RBI of the year.
The Boilermakers put the pressure on in the top of the third with back-to-back singles by Angela Knight and Crabtree. Roemble tried to put down a sacrifice bunt but Himes scooped it up and threw to Johnson at third for the force out. After a pop out to Link at second and with two runners on, Heidi Foster lifted a shot towards the right-center gap that looked to be trouble for Smith and Hottinger. Both Buckeyes went for the ball and tumbled over each other as Hottinger came up with the catch and the third out of the inning. Hottinger singled in the bottom of the stanza and stole second but was stranded.
In the fourth both teams had one base runner but could not manufacture a run. In the fifth, however, both teams tacked a single run on the score board. After Katie Chain (Jr., North Canton, Ohio/Hoover), on in relief of Allen, got an out on a fly out to center, Crabtree singled to left for her game-high third hit of the day. She moved to second on a single by Roemble and came in to score on a RBI single to center by Hillsey. After that, Chain coaxed four groundouts and struck out three to end the game. Before the books were closed on the Buckeyes’ 41st win of the year, OSU put a run up in the fifth.
West led off with a single to short but pinch runner Jenn Elwell (Sr., Dearborn Heights, Mich./Divine Child) was forced out on a Himes fielder’s choice. Himes moved to second on a ground out by Annie Dedic (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Fullerton JC) and came around to score on Hottinger’s second hit of the contest, a single to center.
The Buckeyes and Boilermakers return to action for the closing game of their two-game series at noon at Buckeye Field. The softball team will honor its five seniors, Jenn Elwell, Chrissy Fowler, Stacy Roth, Anna Smith and Sarah West, at the conclusion of the OSU-PU game. The Buckeyes close out the weekend with a doubleheader at noon Sunday with the Illinois Fighting Illini.