April 16, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 25 Ohio State softball team (38-9, 9-3 Big Ten/3rd) made its move towards the top of the conference standings with a sweep of No. 20 Iowa and Northwestern on the road last week and return home to Buckeye Field for six games in five days. The Buckeyes face Morehead State (9-24-1) in 3 p.m. Wednesday doubleheader before welcoming Big Ten foes Purdue (31-16, 2-6/10th) and Illinois (25-16, 5-5/T6th) to Columbus. The Buckeyes and Boilermakers meet at 3 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday with the OSU-UI doubleheader at noon Sunday.

Seniors Jenn Elwell, Chrissy Fowler, Stacy Roth, Anna Smith and Sarah West will play their final home weekend series at Buckeye Field this weekend when Ohio State battles Purdue and Illinois in conference action. The five seniors will be honored in a ceremony following the conclusion of the OSU-PU game at noon Saturday.

Wendy Allen was named the Big Ten Conference Player of the Week for the week ending April 14, the conference announced Monday. Allen went 9-for-12 from the plate (.750 average) with three home runs to help pace the Buckeyes to a sweep of No. 20 Iowa and Northwestern on the road. Allen clubbed to home runs in the first game with the Hawkeyes and struck out six in the circle to lead the Buckeyes to a 2-0 win. In her second game pitching for OSU, she allowed one run on four hits and struck out nine to defeat NU, 3-1.

The Buckeyes are showing no signs of slowing down in the home run department after going deep six times in four games. Wendy Allen connected on a team-high three on the weekend with Kristi DeVries adding the first of her career. Kristine Himes added to her single season and career totals with her 12th on the year and Sarah West added a grand slam, the first of her career.

Jennifer Link, a junior, recorded her first career home run in the first of two games with Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., March 31. Anna Smith, a senior, also tallied the first of her career in the same game. Kristi DeVries, a sophomore, joined the club over the weekend in dramatic fashion. With the game tied at two in the bottom of the ninth against Iowa, DeVries smoked a shot over the left field wall to plate Stacy Roth and give OSU the win, and series sweep, 4-2.

Kristine Himes regained control of the season-long home run derby with her blast in the top of the second inning of the first Northwestern game to cut the Ohio State deficit in half at 2-1. Himes set the season standard in 2000 as a freshman as she belted a record 10. Heading into the weekend, Himes and Stacy Roth had notched 11 each to tie for the new mark.

Himes and Roth have a little company in the single-season race with Wendy Allen and Sarah West knipping at their heels. Allen, after going deep once last year, has tallied nine this year and West is one behind her with eight.

Here is the up-to-date score board for career home run supremacy:

1. Kristine Himes 2000-02 28 2. Stacy Roth 1999-02 25 3. Sarah West 1999-02 20

Here is the up-to-date score board for season home run supremacy:

1. Kristine Himes 2002 12 2. Stacy Roth 2002 11 3. Wendy Allen 2002 9 4. Sarah West 2002 8 5. Four tied with 6

One reason for the success of the Buckeyes this year is attributed to how quickly they come out of the gates. In the first inning, Ohio State has outscored its opponents 52-13 and 49-3 in the second inning for a 101-16 margin. For the year, the BuckeyesĽsup>TM opponents have only scored 91 total runs compared to OSUĽsup>TMs 253. The Buckeyes also have produced more runs in the first two innings than its foes have for the year, 101-91.

The first NCAA national statistics were released on the organizationĽsup>TMs Web site April 8 with three Buckeye individuals ranking highly among the national leaders and the team garnering a spot in five different categories.

Anna Smith leads way with her .481 batting average being No. 6 in the nation. She also is No. 10 in triples per game with 0.14 (six in 42 games) and 14th in stolen bases per game at 0.65 (29 in 42). Stacy Roth is No. 6 in the RBI per game grouping with 1.10 a game (46 in 42) and is tied for 25th nationally with 0.26 home runs per game. Wendy Allen is the lone Buckeye pitcher to make the rankings. Her 1.07 ERA is 40th nationally.

As a team, Ohio State earned its highest ranking in national batting average. It is No. 4 on the list with a .332 average. The Buckeyes also are No. 14 in win-loss percentage at 0.791 (34-9), No. 15 in scoring with 5.4 runs per contest (232 in 42), No. 26 in ERA with 1.48 and No. 28 in fielding percentage.

Anna Smith is the all-time stolen base leader at Ohio State with 98 and is 30-for-33 this year. Jennifer Link is climbing the records ladder in the same category with a 20-for-23 performance in 2002. Her career total is up to 46 which is No. 3 on the all-time ledger. Cheryl Palaroan (1996-99) is second on the list with 56.

As a team, the Buckeyes have swiped 85 bases on 106 attempts to put themselves in range to break the single season record for thievery. The 1998 squad stole 89 bases to establish the mark.

Anna Smith is closing in on yet another Buckeye single season record. She has recorded 68 hits in her 142 at bats in 2002 and is hitting at a .479 clip. Smith is currently ahead of all-time leader Greta SlagleĽsup>TMs .449 average in the 1979 season with at least 14 games remaining in the regular season.

Ohio State is 29-4 this year in games it scores the first run. The Buckeyes also are 26-3 when they are involved in a three-run decision or greater.

Wendy Allen has fared quiet well in Ohio StateĽsup>TMs eight conference games this year. From the circle, Allen leads the Big Ten in ERA with 0.23 and is limiting opposing hitters to conference best .156 average at the plate. She also ranks fifth in strike outs with 35.

From the opposite side of the spectrum, Allen has fared well with a bat in her hand. She leads the conference with six sacrifices and is tied for the lead with three home runs. Her .743 is second to Stacy Roth (.758) and her .429 average is the fifth-highest in the Big Ten.

Several milestones for the Ohio State program have or will be reached this year. When the Buckeyes defeated Campbell, 12-1, at the Buzz Classic, OSU recorded the 650th win in the history of the program. The Buckeyes hold a lifetime record of 668-663-4 (.500) and have broken the .500 mark for the first time since 1984 when the program was 210-188-2 (.525).

In Ohio StateĽsup>TMs 10-0, five inning defeat of Marshall in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday (April 3), Buckeye coach Linda Kalafatis earned the 450th win in her career. In her 13 year career, she has compiled a 456-323-1 (.582) record.

KalafatisĽsup>TM 150th victory in her OSU coaching career came in the BuckeyesĽsup>TM 5-1 defeat of McNeese State at the Tournament of Champions in Northridge, Calif., to open the year. The 175th win in her career came in OSUĽsup>TMs 2-1, nine inning defeat of Michigan State in the conference opener for both squads. Kalafatis stands 181-139 (.561) as the BuckeyesĽsup>TM head coach. This is not the only time she has surpassed the 175 win plateau. As a coach at her alma mater, California (Pa.), she amassed a 175-53-1 record.

After a trip to Iowa and Northwestern over the weekend, Ohio StateĽsup>TMs total travel milage is up to 14,503.5. After a week in their own beds this weekend, the Buckeyes hit the road again to add more milage. OSUĽsup>TMs road trips have included such far away destinations as Los Angeles, twice, Houston, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Tenn., East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Mich., Iowa City, Iowa, Evanston, Ill., and Dayton, Ohio.

The Buckeyes had six All-Big Ten selections last season, the most in program history. Katie Chain, after setting several single-season and career records, earned first team honors. Wendy Allen was tabbed as Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection along with Anna Smith and Stacy Roth. Jennifer Link and Kristi DeVries also earned Big Ten honors as members of the third team.

Linda Kalafatis is in her sixth season with the Scarlet and Gray and has complied a 185-139 (.561) record in six seasons leading the Buckeyes. In her 13 years in the collegiate coaching ranks, Kalafatis has posted a 458-253-2 (.639) mark including stints with her alma mater California (Pa.) and Akron. At California, Kalafatis led her teams to five Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference titles and a 175-53-1 (.764) record. With the Zips, her teams went 98-62-1 (.608) in three years. Kalafatis earned her degree in business administration and marketing from CU in 1988 and added a masterĽsup>TMs degree in geography and regional planning in 1991.

The Eagles are 9-24-1 overall and 5-8-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference after dropping three in a row and seven of their last nine games. Tori Orr leads the team in batting with a .330 average on 33-of-100 hitting. Molly Cope leads the pitchers with a 3.27 ERA and a 6-15 record with a team high 62 strike outs.

Andrea Hillsey leads the team in hitting with a .365 average to help the Boilermakers to a 31-16 overall record and 2-6 mark in the Big Ten. Katie Crabtree has bashed 11 home runs and Heidi Foster leads the team with 42 RBI.

From the circle, Nicole Crouse sports a team-best 1.58 ERA while Leighann Burke leads the team in strike outs with 100.

Lindsey Hamma is second in the conference in hitting, behind Anna Smith, with a .455 average and has paced the Illini to a 25-16 record with a 5-5 mark in the Big Ten. Hamma has 10 doubles while the team has only gone deep 10 times this year.

From the circle, Abbey Lovejoy is a perfect 8-0 and holds a 1.87 ERA. Sherri Taylor is the staff workhorse with a 13-12 record and a 2.23 ERA. Her 102 strike outs are tops on the staff.

Buckeye Field, the outdoor home of the Ohio State softball team, stands as one of the more picturesque yards in the Big Ten. The all-dirt infield gives way to a well-kept outfield and warning track with fences at 190 feet in left and right field and 220 to straight away center. Equipped with field tarps, a press box, two spacious dugouts and full sound capabilities, the field comfortably seats 500 fans.

Ohio State travels to Wright State for two games at 3 p.m. Tuesday before returning home for a 6 p.m. Friday contest with Ohio. The Buckeyes finish the weekend with a Sunday doubleheader at noon at Indiana.