May 9, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team (46-16 overall, 14-6 in the Big Ten) heads to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Big Ten Tournament, coming off a regular season that saw it win more games than any OSU team in program history and place third in the Big Ten. OSU is making it first-ever appearance in the Big Ten Tournament, hosted by Michigan, who won the conference. OSU, seeded No. 3, will face No. 6 Wisconsin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

With a 4-2 win over Minnesota April 28 in Minneapolis, Minn., the Buckeyes notched their 41st win of the season, most in the history of the program. The 1994 team held the previous record with a 40-20 record. The Buckeyes’ record now stands at 46-16 after sweeping a doubleheader from Penn State last weekend.

In addition to setting the program record for wins in a season, OSU set five team records this season: hits (460), stolen bases (96), earned run average (0.78) and strikouts (433). Three individual career records were broken. Stacy Roth became the career leader with 100 runs batted in. Anna Smith set the record for stolen bases in a career (68) and Kristine Himes is now the leader in home runs with 15. Katie Chain set two season records in the pitching circle: strikeouts (181) and shutouts (11). Kristi DeVries set the freshman record for strikeouts (171) and shutouts (6).

OSU took two games from Penn State in the final weekend of the regular season to give the Buckeyes five sweeps of Big Ten opponents. The Buckeyes also swept Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue and Michigan State to set a school-record with five conference sweeps in a season. OSU lost only one Big Ten series all season, dropping both games of a doubleheader to Iowa March 30 to open Big Ten play.

In the 10 games against the opponents who comprise the tournament field, the Buckeyes went 5-5. OSU batted a collective .241 in the five two-game series. Jenn Link led OSU with a .423 batting average (11-for-26). Kristine Himes tallied a team-high eight runs batted in. Himes (10-for-30) and Allen (9-for-27) each hit .333. In the pitching circle, Katie Chain went 4-0 with a 0.46 ERA. Wendy Allen was 0-2 with a 0.79 ERA and Kristi DeVries was 1-3 with a 2.43 ERA.

23 FOR NO. 33
Katie Chain won three games in the final week of the regular season to improve her record to 23-5, just one behind the OSU record for wins in a season, set by Genice Turley in 1994. Chain and Turley are the only Buckeyes to ever reach the 20-win mark.

Earlier this season, Kristi DeVries set the record for strikeouts in a season by a freshman. With the 3-2 win over Wright State, DeVries picked up her 15th win, breaking the OSU record. Jodi Dolan held the previous record, winning 14 games in 1997. DeVries finished the regular season with a 17-6 mark.

Stacy Roth finished the regular season tied with Kristine Himes with a team-high 33 runs batted in, marking the third consecutive season she has hit the 30-RBI mark, (31 in `99, 36 in `00). Roth now has 100 RBI for her career, breaking the previous record for career-RBI by three.

The victory over Miami (Ohio) April 3 marked the 400th career win for OSU head coach Linda Kalafatis. She has a career record of 420-243-2.

Junior Anna Smith, OSU’s all-time leader in stolen bases, has 22 stolen bases in 26 attempts for the season, ranking her third in the Big Ten. Smith has 68 steals for her career, ten more than previous record holder Cheryl Poleran.

Sophomore third baseman Kristine Himes became the most prolific home run hitter in OSU history in a win over Charleston Southern. She smacked an offering from Buccaneer pitcher Erin Lambert over the wall in the third inning to give her 14 for her career. She passed Renae Wiegel (1997-2000), who was the previous record holder with 13. Himes is tied for the team lead with five home runs on the season, giving her 15 for her career.

Katie Chain finished conference play a perfect 10-0. She posted a win over every conference opponent except Iowa. Chain carried a 0.64 ERA in conference play, allowing just six earned runs in 58.1 innings. She has allowed a mere 46 hits and has a team-high 41 strikeouts in conference play.

While the release of the HBO movie 61*, which chronicles the story of the chase of Babe Ruth’s home run record between New York Yankee teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle premiered this spring, OSU pitchers Kristi DeVries and Katie Chain both chased the OSU single-season strikeout record Whereas only one of the M&M broke Ruth’s record in 1961, both K&K ladies passed the OSU record. The previous record was 154, set by Genice Turley in 1994. Chain now holds the record with 181 strikeouts. DeVries finished with 171.

The Buckeyes held the opponent scoreless 22 times this season, setting an OSU record for shutouts in a season. Katie Chain has tallied 11 scoreless performances, tying her with Genice Turley for the single-season record. Kristi DeVries has tossed eight shutouts and Allen has three. The previous record was 17, held by the 1990 Big Ten Champion edition of the Buckeyes.

OSU pitchers’ tallied 433 strikeouts this season, 166 more than the previous school record. Kristi DeVries had 171 in 147 innings, Katie Chain had 181in 178.1 innings, Wendy Allen recorded 79 in 79 innings. SMITH HAS CAST REMOVED Anna Smith suffered a broken left hand when she slid into first base on an infield hit to score Jenn Elwell in game two with Michigan April 22. Used solely as a pinch runner since the injury, she had the cast removed this week and may be used in other situations.

The sweep of Penn State in the final weekend of the regular season marked the fourth consecutive Big Ten series where OSU pitchers overpowered the opposition . Katie Chain tossed a shutout in game one against the Nittany Lions, striking out four while allowing five hits. Kristi DeVries struck out six and allowed just three hits in 3-1 win in game two of the series.The one run scored by PSU all weekend was unearned. One week earlier, OSU had a collective earned run average of 0.50 in the Wisconsin and Minnesota series. Katie Chain picked up two wins with a 0.50 ERA in two complete games. Kristi DeVries lost twice, but allowed just one earned run in 10.2 innings (0.66). Wendy Allen allowed no runs in 3.1 innings of work.

After a stellar performance in the pitching circle at Indiana and Purdue, Katie Chain, Kristi DeVries and Wendy Allen had strong performances in Big Ten series at home against Michigan State and Michigan. Collectively, the trio held the opposition to a .179 batting average, allowing 21 hits and giving up four earned runs. DeVries had a 0.00 earned run average, giving up four hits and striking out five in 7.1 innings of work. Allen checked in with a 0.60 ERA, giving up eight hits and striking out 12 in 11.2 innings. Chain had a 1.63 ERA, allowing nine hits and striking out eight in 13 innings.

With three 2-0 wins and a 2-1 win, OSU was nothing short of dominating during four games in the Hoosier State April 13-15. Collectively, pitchers Kristi DeVries, Katie Chain and Wendy Allen allowed just 13 hits, one earned run, three walks and 24 strikeouts. The opposition batted just .133 and the trio had an earned run average of 0.25. Chain picked up two wins over the weekend, giving up nine hits and striking out seven in 13.2 innings of work. She gave up the lone run of the weekend. Kristi DeVries pitched 6.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six. Wendy Allen pitched 8.2 innings and picked up two saves to go along with a complete-game win over Indiana, in which she struck out 11 and gave up two hits. Allen and DeVries each posted a 0.00 ERA.

After dropping game one of a home-opening doubleheader against Oakland March 8, OSU’s record dropped to 9-8. OSU took game two of the doubleheader to start a 12-game win streak that saw the Buckeyes go 5-0 at the Buckeye Invitational, sweep a doubleheader with Robert Morris and go 4-0 at the Buzz Classic to earn a No. 1 seed in the tourney section of the tourney. The streak was snapped with a 3-1 extra-inning loss at the hands of North Carolina in the round one of the Buzz Classic. OSU rebounded with a doubleheader sweep over Toledo. After dropping both games of a doubleheader with Iowa to open the Big Ten season, OSU bounced back with two wins over Northwestern, an 8-0 win over Miami (Ohio) April 3 and a doubleheader sweep of Eastern Michigan April 4. After dropping Illinois, 5-0, in game one of a doubleheader April 6, OSU fell to the Illini, 4-3, in game two before sweeping both Indiana and Purdue April 13-15. OSU then swept Michigan State before dropping game one to Michigan and coming back with a win over the Wolverines April 22 and then sweeping Youngstown State April 23. OSU then split with Bowling Green, Wisconsin and Minnesota before sweeping Wright State 3/31 and winning 4-1 at Akron last Wednesday OSU ended the regular season on a positive note, taking two from Penn State last weekend.

Stacy Roth, Kristine Himes and Sarah West finished the regular season tied with a team-high five home runs this season. Himes is the OSU all-time career leader with 15 home runs. Roth is now second with 14 long balls. West is tied for third with Jodi Dolan (95-98) with 12 homers.

After colliding with outfielder Chrissy Fowler in shallow right field in the third inning against Northwestern (Game 2), second baseman Jenn Link was not penciled in the starting lineup the following five games. The 8-0 win over Miami (Ohio) April 3 marked the first time in her career she did not start, snapping a streak of 90 consecutive games. Link stepped in at second base in the first game of her freshman year, starting all 54 games last season. She started the first 36 games this season. Link returned to the starting lineup April 13 at Indiana, making her presence felt. OSU has gone 17-4 down the stretch since Link’s return. Link hit .366 (26-for-71), with six runs batted in, two triples and two doubles.

Katie Chain nearly was unhittable for the week ending April 9 and was recognized as co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week. In two starts and one relief appearance totaling 14.2 innings of work, Chain allowed three hits, walked none and did not gave up any runs. April 3, Chain tossed a perfect game at Miami (Ohio). In five innings of work, the sophomore pitcher allowed no hits or walks, striking out nine of the 15 batters she faced. The RedHawks could not manage to put a single ball in play in the outfield. The game was called because of the eight-run mercy rule. Chain showed no signs of letting up if the game would have gone the full seven innings, striking out the side to end the game in the bottom of the fifth. The following day, in an 8-0 win over Eastern Michigan, Chain came in to relieve Wendy Allen and allowed one hit and struck out two in 2.2 innings of work. In a 5-0 win over Illinois, Chain allowed two hits while striking out five.

The Big Ten Conference announced Ohio State first baseman Sarah West as the softball player of the week for the week ending March 26. After missing six games because of strained ligaments in her left shoulder as a result of a home plate collision in a win over Cleveland State (3/16), West made her presence in the lineup felt upon her return. She hit three home runs in five games at the Buzz Classic in Atlanta. In her first game back, a 2-0 win over Campbell, West provided half the OSU offense when she broke a scoreless tie with her fifth-inning shot. West also cleared the fence in an 8-0 win over Charleston Southern and again the next day when she tied the score at one in the third inning of an eventual 2-1 OSU win over North Carolina. Batting .545 (6-for-11), West tallied four runs batted in and helped OSU to a 4-1 record and a No. 1 seed as the 25-team field was narrowed to 12. For her efforts in Atlanta, West was an all-invitational selection. West is tied with third baseman Kristine Himes and Sarah West with a team-high five home runs on the season.

One day after her teammate, Katie Chain, tossed a perfect game in Oxford, Ohio, freshman Kristi DeVries tossed a no-hitter in an 8-0 win over Eastern Michigan. DeVries struck out eleven of the 20 batters she faced, allowing just one ball to reach the outfield. The only base runners for Eastern Michigan reached by being hit by a pitch and a base on balls.

After opening the Eastern Michigan game by hitting the leadoff batter with her first pitch of the afternoon, DeVries struck out the next seven batters she faced. DeVries’ sixth strikeout was her 126th this season, setting an OSU freshman record for most strikeouts in a season. DeVries has struck out 171 of the 542 batters she has faced this season, ranking her fifth in the Big Ten.

OSU finished the regular season firstin the conference in runs scored (256), hits (460), doubles (62) and total bases (610). The Buckeyes ranked second in batting average (.305) and doubles (66). OSU was tied with Illinois with 12 triples.

OSU leads the Big Ten with a 0.70 earned run average, more than two-tenths of a point ahead of Iowa (0.91). Opposing offenses are hitting just .171 against the Buckeyes, also lowest in the conference. OSU led the conference with 433 strikeouts.

Three OSU pitchers cracked the Top-10 in the conference in earned run average. Katie Chain and Wendy Allen are tied for second in the conference with 0.68 ERA. Kristi DeVries ranks seventh in the conference with an ERA of 1.00.

Kristi DeVries entered this week with 165 strikeouts. She has had a solid rookie campaign at the collegiate level and was particularly dominating during OSU’s 12-game win streak and in a no-hit effort against Eastern Michigan. DeVries was nearly unhittable during the streak. While amassing five wins and tossing four shutouts, DeVries pitched three one-hitters and struck out an alarming 61 batters, more than half of the 114 she faced. Against Buffalo (March 16), she gave up just one hit and struck out 18, including 12 in a row at one point. Against Robert Morris March 20, she nearly threw a perfect game, giving up her only hit of the afternoon with one out in the seventh inning. She registered 13 strikeouts in the effort. In OSU’s first game at the Buzz Classic, she struck out 15 against Campbell while giving up one hit. She struck out five and allowed five hits in the win over North Carolina. DeVries tossed her first-career no-hitter in a 10-0 win over Eastern Michigan and a two-hitter against Purdue. She gave up just four hits in a 6-1 win over Michigan State.

Katie Chain’s one-hit performance in the 10-0 shutout of Toledo (3/28) in game two of the doubleheader marked the fifth time this season an OSU pitcher has tossed a one-hitter. Kristi DeVries has tossed three one-hitters and Chain has thrown two. DeVries one-hit Buffalo in a 6-0 win, Robert Morris in game one of a doubleheader and in OSU’s first game at the Buzz Classic, a 2-0 win over Campbell.

The 8-2 win over Wisconsin, OSU has tallied eight or more runs 11 times this season. The Buckeyes have won every contest in which they hit the eight-run barrier. The Buckeyes scored eight or more runs three times at the Buckeye Invitational, defeating Cleveland State, 12-1, IUPUI, 8-1, and Buffalo, 10-1.The Buckeyes opened the season with an 8-1 win over Northern Illinois at the Jameson Inn – Tiger Invitational. OSU reached the eight-run mark twice at the Campbell Cartier Classic in San Diego, defeating Utah State, 8-0, and Sacramento State, 8-4.

Wins of 11-0 and 9-1 over Youngstown State marked the ninth and 10th times the Buckeyes have earned a win in less than seven innings because of the eight-run mercy rule. Four of those mercy rulings came during the Buckeyes’ 12-game win streak. OSU blanked Utah State, 8-0, at the Campbell-Cartier Classic in San Diego. OSU defeated Cleveland State, 12-1, and Buffalo, 10-1 at the Buckeye Invitational. OSU defeated Southern Charleston, 8-0, Toledo, 10-0, and Miami (Ohio) 8-0. OSU also run ruled Eastern Michigan.

Pitcher Kristi DeVries was nearly perfect in game one of the doubleheader with Robert Morris. DeVries carried a perfect game into the seventh inning. With one out in the inning, Robert Morris rightfielder Natalie Aloi became the first Colonial to reach base, hitting a single to left field. DeVries then retired the final two batters on a foul out and strikeout, respectively. DeVries struck out 13 of the 22 batters she faced and did not give up a walk.