May 4, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team (44-16 overall, 12-6 in the Big Ten) plays host to Penn State Saturday and Sunday in the final series of the regular season. OSU already has qualified for its firs-ever appearance in the Big Ten tournament and is attempting to solidify its third place standing. Illinois has concluded conference play with a record of 12-8, meaning OSU must win one game to clinch third. The Nittany Lions come to Columbus with a record of 9-9 in the Big Ten and sit in fifth place in the conference, one game ahead of Wisconsin. The top six teams in the conference qualify for the tournament.

With a 4-2 win over Minnesota April 28 in Minneapolis, Minn., the Buckeyes notched their 41st win of the season, the 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 44-16 after sweeping a doubleheader from Wright State yesterday.

With sweeps of both Indiana and Purdue April 15-17 and Michigan State last April 20, the Buckeyes set a school record with four conference sweeps in a season. The Buckeyes also swept Northwestern. In 1994, OSU took four games from both Michigan State and Minnesota. OSU has lost only one Big Ten series all season, dropping both games of a doubleheader to Iowa March 30 to open Big Ten play.

Penn State comes to Columbus in fifth place in the Big Ten and is attempting to secure a berth in the conference tournament. Coached by Robin Petrini, now in her third season at the helm, the Nittany Lions are 30-22 overall. PSU is batting .281 as a team. The team-earned run average is 1.95. Sophomore outfielder Megan Humphrey leads the Nittany Lions with at .357 batting average (50-for-140), 30 runs batted in, three home runs and 12 doubles. In the pitching circle for the Nittany Lions, senior Kelly McCann is 20-11 with a 1.69 earned run average. Marisa Hanson is 10-11 with a 2.31 ERA.

OSU leads the all-time series with Penn State, 26-19.

OSU dropped both ends of a doubleheader with Penn State to end the season last year, losing 2-1 May 6 and 4-0 May 7.

Sunday will mark the final time outfielder Holly English, the lone senior on the OSU roster, will play at Buckeye Field. English has missed most of her senior season due to stomach surgery, but returned to the starting lineup Tuesday in game two of a doubleheader with Wright State. The next day, English hit an RBI single to right field in her hometown of Akron, Ohio, to help the Buckeyes to a 4-1 win. See page eight for a complete biography on English.

By taking credit for both of OSU’s wins in the pitching circle last weekend, Katie Chain became just the second Buckeye to reach the 20-win mark in a season. Her record now stands at 22-5, two behind the record for wins in a season, set by Genice Turley in 1994.

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

Stacy Roth accounted for two runs batted in last weekend to give her 30 for the season, marking the third consecutive season she has hit the 30-RBI mark. (31 in `99, 36 in 2000). Her second RBI of the weekend gave her 97 for her career, passing Nicole Paloney for the all-time OSU career record.

The victory over Miami (Ohio) April 3 marked the 400th career win for OSU head coach Linda Kalafatis. She has a career record of 418-243-2.

Katie Chain is undefeated in Big Ten play with a record of 9-0. She has posted a win over every conference opponent except Penn State, who she will face this weekend, and Iowa. Chain has a 0.72 ERA in conference play, having allowed just six earned runs in 58.1 innings. She has allowed 41 hits and has a team-high 37 strikouts 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 last Saturday, OSU pitchers Kristi DeVries and Katie Chain both passed the OSU single-season strikeout record. Like the M&M boys of the 1961, the K&K ladies are well ahead of the competition. The previous record was 154, set by Genice Turley in 1994. With a ten-strikeout performance against Akron, Chain is now in the lead with 177. DeVries has 165.

With Katie Chain’s two shutout wins over in her last four outings, the Buckeyes have held the opponent scoreless 21 times this season, setting an OSU record for shutouts in a season. Kristi Chain has tallied ten 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 have tallied 433 strikouts this season, 164 more than the previous school record. Kristi DeVries has 165 in 147 innings, Katie Chain has 177 in 178.1 innings, Wendy Allen has 79 in 79 innings and Jenn Elwell has two in 10.2 innings.

Anna Smith suffered a broken left hand when she slid in to first base on a single to shallow left field to score Jenn Elwell in game two with Michigan. She had a cast put on Tuesday and is expected to have it removed in three weeks. She will be used as pinch runner in the meantime.

Jenn Elwell picked up her first win of the season in game two against Youngstown State to improve her career record to 6-2. In six innings, she allowed seven hits, one run and struck out two.

For the third-consecutive weekend, OSU pitchers were extremely stingy to opposing offenses. 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 23-25. 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. Chain checked in with a 0.54 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. The streak was snapped with a 3-1 extra-inning loss at the hands of North Carolina. 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 and splitting with Bowling Green, Wisconsin and Minnesota before sweeping Wright State Tuesday and winning 4-1 at Akron Wednesday.

Stacy Roth, Kristine Himes and Sarah West are tied with a team-high five home runs this season. Himes is the OSU all-time career leader with 15 home runs. After her heroics against Michigan, Roth is now second with 14 long balls. West is tied 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 immediately. She went .462 (6-for-13) with a double and a run batted in in a four game stretch at Indiana and Purdue as is ninth in the conference with a .346 batting average (55-for-159).

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 appearance in relief 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 and no 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 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 147 of the 426 batters she has faced this season, ranking her fifth in the Big Ten.

Junior Anna Smith, OSU’s all-time leader in stolen bases, has 21 stolen bases in 24 attempts for the season, ranking her third in the Big Ten. Smith has 67 steals for her career, nine more than previous record holder Cheryl Poleran.

Junior Anna Smith enters last weekend hitting safely in the eight games. She tallied a hit in both wins over Michigan State to extend her streak to double figures before failing to tally a hit in the 2-1 loss to Michigan Saturday. Smith had collected a hit in every game dating back to game one of a doubleheader with Eastern Michigan (4/4). Smith batted .393 during the streak (11-for-28) with a double. She translated her hitting into runs, scoring nine times during the streak.

Sophomore third baseman Kristine Himes became the most prolific home run hitter in OSU history against Southern Charleston. 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.

OSU entered this week second in the conference in batting average (.287), runs scored (236), hits (414), doubles (62), total bases (553).

OSU leads the Big Ten with a 0.71 earned run average, more than two-tenths of a point ahead of Iowa (0.92). Opposing offenses are hitting just .173 against the Buckeyes, also lowest in the conference. OSU led the conference with 398 strikeouts heading into this week. TOP TEN TRIO IN THE CIRCLE Three OSU pitchers cracked the Top-10 in the conference in earned run average. Wendy Allen is first in the conference with a 0.68 earned run average. Chain is third with a 0.72 ERA and DeVries is seventh with at 1.00. The opposition is batting just .145 against Allen, lowest in the conference. Opposing hitters are batting a mere .160 against DeVries, fourth lowest in the Big Ten.

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 tenth 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.

OSU will make its first ever appearnance in the Big Ten Tournament at a site yet to be determined May 10-12.