April 7, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Wendy Allen (So., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley) shut down the No. 25 Minnesota offense with nine strikeouts and allowed two hits in seven innings of scoreless work to lead the Ohio State softball team to a 5-0 victory over the Golden Gophers in the first game of a doubleheader at Buckeye Field Sunday. Jennifer Link (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora) went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI while Anna Smith (Sr., Walnut, Ohio/Diamond Bar) and Stacy Roth (Sr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon) rewrote the record books again as OSU picked up five hits on the top pitching staff in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes improve to 33-9 overall and 4-3 in the Big Ten while UM slipped to 26-12 with a 3-2 mark in conference.
Smith, who entered the game with 47 runs scored this year, crossed home plate twice to give her 49 and the top spot on the single-season runs scored list. She surpassed Krinon Clark’s mark of 48 set in 1994. Roth entered the game with 42 runs batted in and tied with Jen Fredrickson for the single season lead. She broke the tie with an RBI double to right in the fifth inning.
Smith picked up her first run in the first inning. After the Golden Gophers went down in order to open the game, Smith reached on an infield single to short. Allen pushed her to second when she reached on a throwing error by the pitcher, Angie Recknor. The throw bounced around in foul territory allowing each runner another base including home for Smith. Right fielder Jordanne Nygren came up throwing near the UM dugout to try and pick off Allen at third but the ball got past the third baseman, Rachel Keeney, to give Allen home and a 2-0 lead.
The Gophers put together their closest threat in the second inning. Nygren reached on an error and pinch runner Allie Fisk advanced to second on a Recknor single. Rachel Nanchy reached on an error by Link to load the bases with one out. The Gophers tried to squeeze in a run but the Buckeyes did not bite and caught Fisk in a run down between third and home. Roth threw to Kristine Himes (Jr., Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) and back to Roth for the second out while the two other runners took second and third. Keeney then grounded out to first to end the threat. Allen secured seven strike outs over the remaining five innings with only one base runner.
After the threat, the Buckeyes posted another run with Himes leading off with a walk. After stealing second, Annie Dedic (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Fullerton JC) pushed Himes to third with a sacrifice and Link’s single to left brought Himes in for a 3-0 lead. OSU picked up its remaining runs in the sixth. Link led off with a single to left, stole second and moved to third when Smith reached on an error. The Buckeyes tried a double steal with Smith sliding into second safely but Link being caught at the plate. Allen grounded out to short and Smith reached third on a throwing error by first baseman Hailee Nanchy. Smith scored on Roth’s double and Roth followed her home when Chrissy Fowler (Sr., Utica, Ohio/Wright State) singled to bring the end of the scoring and a 5-0 lead. OSU closed the game with a ground out, a strike out looking and a caught stealing after a single to center by Stephanie Sward.
Ohio State returns to the road next week for four Big Ten games. The Buckeyes face No. 19 Iowa in Iowa City at 7 p.m. EST and at 1 p.m. EST Saturday before heading to Evanston, Ill., for a doubleheader with Northwestern at 1 p.m. EST Sunday.