April 14, 2002
EVANSTON, Ill. – Wendy Allen (So., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley) continued to shine brightly for the Buckeyes Sunday as she led the team from the circle with a nine strike out performance in No. 25 Ohio State’s 3-1 victory at Drysdale Field in Evanston, Ill. Allen and Stacy Roth (Sr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon) led the hitting for the Buckeyes with 2-for-3 days at the plate as OSU swept the second year in a row and won two games in Evanston for the first time since May 1994 when the two squads split a four game set. OSU ran its record to 38-9 overall and 9-3 in the Big Ten while dropping the Wildcats to 17-12-1 overall and 6-4 in conference.
“I have not seen many hitters do the things Wendy has been able to do for us lately and she really picked a great time to get hot,” Linda Kalafatis, OSU head coach, said. “She hit those long balls hard but also hit a lot of her other hits hard as well. She was on fire at the plate as well as from the circle. She allowed just one earned run in Big Ten play so far and is doing a phenomenal job for us this year.
“What I was impressed with today was that we went deep to the opposite field three times today and that is what we need to do,” Kalafatis said. “I think we showed how good of a hitting team we are. I also was glad to see that we were able to come back and score towards the end of the game to get the win and the sweep.”
OSU opened what would prove to be its seventh win in a row by sitting NU down in order in the top of the first and posting a run of its own in the bottom of the inning. Jennifer Link (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora) was hit by a pitch from starter Brie Brown to open the game and Anna Smith (Sr., Walnut, Calif./Diamond Bar) moved Link over on a sacrifice bunt. Link came in to score the first run of the contest when Allen drove a single to center field. Over the next four innings, the Buckeyes managed three base runners as Smith singled in the third, Roth doubled in the fourth and JJ Johnson (Fr., La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) reached on a walk in the fifth.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats saw two of their batters walk in the second and single in third garner nothing as Allen struck out five in the two innings. The fourth, however, was when NU attacked. With one out, Erin Mobley crushed an Allen offering over the fence in left center to knot the game at one. Allen settled in and retired the next five batters before getting into a bases loaded jam in the sixth. After a single and a hit batter, OSU recorded the second out of the inning on a pop up and looked to end the inning quickly. Gretchen Barnes kept the stanza going by reaching on an error and loading the bases. The Buckeyes kept the Wildcats at bay as Sarah West (Sr., Galloway, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) snagged a sharply hit ball down the right line and stepped on first to retire the side.
Allen opened the bottom half of the inning with a double off the center field fence and was run for by Meghan Rowlands (Fr., Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready). Rowlands moved to third on a single to right by Roth and trotted home on an RBI single to left by West. Fowler put down a sacrifice bunt for the first out with runners at second and third. Pinch hitter Kristi DeVries (So., Corona, Calif./Corona) came in and hit a sacrifice fly to center that brought home Roth for a 3-1 lead. After allowing a lead off double, Allen got the first out on a pop fly and then ended the game on two strike outs.
The Buckeyes return to action at 3 p.m. Wednesday with a doubleheader against Morehead State at Buckeye Field. OSU also 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.