April 3, 2000

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State Buckeyes battle the Toledo Rockets today in non-conference action at 3 p.m. Ohio State Softball will have a packed week of action as they take on Morehead State tomorrow at 3 p.m. in a doubleheader. Ohio State will open Big Ten action on Friday against Purdue in a doubleheader (2 p.m) and Indiana on Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (4 p.m.)

The Rockets have a 8-12 record under first year head coach Michelle Fagnant after most recently notching two wins and a loss in a series with Eastern Michigan. Freshman Jenny Schaaf leads the Rockets with a batting average of .339, 2 home runs and 10 RBI. Inside the circle, Toledo’s Colette McMasters holds a 1.50 ERA and a 4-5 record after 65.1 innings pitched.

Ohio State has a 9-1 overall mark against the Rockets, with the last meeting ending with a 11-10 and 8-0 sweep for the Buckeyes (March 23, 1996). Head Coach Linda Kalafatis has a 7-7 all-time mark against the Rockets.

The Morehead State Eagles are currently on a six-game losing streak after falling to Middle Tennessee State in three games (3-0, 5-4, 3-2) last weekend. Junior Nola Queen leads the Eagles with a batting average of .337, two home runs, one triple and 19 RBI this season.

Ohio State has a 10-1 record against the Lady Eagles notching a 7-2 and 10-0 win on April 15, 1997. Coach Kalafatis has a 2-0 record against Morehead State.

* Anna Smith – Smith has 20 stolen bases on the season, tying her for fourth place on OSU’s single season record list.

* Stacy Roth – She is currently on an 10-game hitting streak and boasts a team-leading .571 slugging percentage and .345 batting average.

* Rogeanna Hottinger – Since the opening of non-conference action, Hottinger has led the team with a batting average of a .357 BA, five runs, 2 doubles, one grand slam and a slugging percentage of .714.

* Renae Weigel – Senior Captain Weigel holds a team-high .375 batting average with runners in scoring position.

* The Infield – Ohio State’s infield have not given up an error in the last three games, tying its longest streak this season. The last time, Ohio State recorded an error was on March 22 against Long Beach State.

The Buckeyes lost in the home opener to Miami (Ohio), 6-5, in extra innings. However, the Buckeyes came back in the second game of the doubleheader to nip the RedHawks, 2-1, and improve to 15-12 for the season.

Offensively, Rogeanna Hottinger led the Buckeyes going 2-for-4, one double, one grand slam and a career-high five RBI. “Honestly, we were very disappointed in giving up 15 hits in the first game,” head coach Kalafatis said. “But we came back in the second game and really gutted it out. It was probably our best defensive game all year. I know we are capable of playing better and have not shown it at home. We will be striving to do so in the next two non-conference games.”

In her first year, Rogeanna Hottinger’s batting has been on fire this season as she blasted her first career grand slam in game one of the Miami (Ohio) series last week. However, it has been even hotter since opening non-conference action against DePaul. With five games into the non-conference schedule, she has led the Buckeyes with a .357 BA, five runs, 2 doubles, one grand slam and a slugging percentage of .714. Overall, she is now ranked fifth on the team with a .284 batting average and second with a slugging percentage of .486.

After going 2-for-7 in the Miami (Ohio) series, Stacy Roth has extended her hitting streak to a team-high 10 games. She also leads the team with a .345 batting average and .571 slugging percentage.

After posting a loss in the first game against Miami (Ohio), Toni Hileman retaliated in the second game by only giving up only one earned run and striking out three in seven innings of work for the win. She now holds a 3-3 record and a 1.28 earned run average.

Freshman Katie Chain leads the team with 73 strikeouts and only needs 11 more to tie teammate Kristi Martin for the OSU freshman record of 83 strikeouts. In her freshman year, it took 17 games for Martin to pass assistant coach Belinda Cernava’s 1990 record of 61 K’s and a total of 22 appearances to set the record. This year, it has only taken Chain 14 appearances to reach 61 and could possibly match Martin’s record in the next three games as she is averaging five strikeouts per game.

Senior Renae Weigel holds a team-high .375 batting average with runners in scoring position. She is third on the team with a .297 overall BA, 12 runs and 12 RBI.

In the 1999 season, Ohio State posted 15 home runs for the entire year. This season, the Buckeyes have already tallied 13 home runs. Ohio State only needs five more to tie the record of 18 home runs set in 1994.

Not only has she led the team with an on base percentage of .416, Anna Smith has terrorized opponents, notching 20 stolen bases this season. She has now broken into the Top 5, tying for fourth place with Cheryl Palaroan (1999) and Tara Alexander (1995). She only needs five more to pass Kathy Boettcher (1990) for first place on Ohio State’s season records for thefts.

As a team, Ohio State ranks fifth in the conference with a total 40 bases stolen this year. However, Smith has done most of the leg work notching half of them. Heading into last weekend, she is tied for the lead in the conference.

Before last weekend’s Big Ten action, Ohio State was ranked fourth with a batting average of .266 and fifth in pitching with a 1.84 earned runs average in the Big Ten Conference. Individually within the conference, Stacy Roth was seventh in batting (.355), fifth in runs batted in (19) and fifth with four home runs.

Senior Renae Weigel was named by her teammates as captain of the 2000 softball team. As the only Buckeye who has been at Ohio State all four seasons, Weigel will resume her role as Ohio State’s top hitter and leader of the squad. Last season, the Coldwater, Ohio native had another breakout season, posting a single-season home run mark with six and finishing third overall in both batting average (.301) and conference BA (.324).

Jaime Cheveney returns to the Buckeyes this season as an assistant coach. She was a four-time letterwinner and was selected as a second-team all-Big Ten selection as the Buckeyes’ catcher. Cheveney still holds the No. 2 spot on the Ohio State career home run ladder with nine. Last summer, She competed on the Akron Racers of the Women’s Professional Softbal League with former Buckeye Jodi Dolan. Cheveney is a graduate student of Ohio State in education.

The Buckeyes will take on Morehead State tomorrow, before opening up Big Ten play against Purdue on April 7 in a doubleheader. Ohio State will also take on Indiana in a two-game series, April 8-9 at Buckeye Field.

Coach Kalafatis signed one of the best recruiting classes in the nation to be added next season. Wendy Allen (Moreno Valley, Calif.), Kristi DeVries (Corona Calif.) and Beth McAbier (Carrollton, Ohio) all signed letters of intents to attend Ohio State in 2001. Allen, a left-hand pitcher, was one-of-16 players in the nation to be named a National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association All-American. DeVries is a high school All-American pitcher who notched a 24-6 record last season with 321 strikeouts and 23 walks. McAbier, a shortstop, was a two-time all-conference pick and three-sport student-athlete at Carrollton High School.

In the March 23, USATODAY/NFCA Polls, Big Ten Conference had two teams ranked in the Top 15. Michigan and Iowa are ranked No. 13 and No. 15, respectively.