May 5, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio- Needing a win to clinch third place in the Big Ten, the Ohio State softball team (45-16 overall, 13-6 in the Big Ten) wasted no time making sure it will finish the highest in the Big Ten of any OSU team since the 1994 edition of the Buckeyes finished third in the conference.
All but one batter in the lineup notched a hit in the first inning as the Buckeyes used eight hits to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning en route to a 7-0 over Penn State win in game one of a two-day series at Buckeye Field.
OSU totaled 16 hits off PSU pitcher Kelly McCann, who falls to 22-6 with the loss.
Jenn Link (So., Yorba Linda, Calf./Sonora) and Stacy Roth (Jr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon) each went 3-for-4. Roth had a double and three runs batted in.
Link led off the inning with a single to shortstop. Wendy Allen (Fr., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley) followed with an infield single. Roth then doubled to the wall in left-center field to score Link and move Allen to third base. Chrissy Fowler (Jr., Utica, Ohio/Utica) singled to right field to score Allen. After a double-steal moved Roth to third base and Fowler to second base, Kristine Himes (So., Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) brought in two runs with a single up the middle.
“We got some balls to squirm through the infield, “Linda Kalafatis, OSU head coach, said. “With Jenn (Link) leading off the game with a hit and Wendy (Allen) slapping to the hole at shortstop, it was huge. When you get your first two batters on and you have the big sticks coming up, you have the potential for a big inning and we capitalized.
“It was great to see Kristine (Himes) come through and bring in two runs.”
Katie Chain (So., North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) allowed two hits in the first inning, but then gave up just three more to claim her 11th shutout of the season, breaking the OSU season record for shutouts. Her record now stands at 23-5, one off the school record for most wins in a season.
“She threw a great game,” Kalafatis said. “The changeup was working well again. That’s an element Katie has brought to her game this year. With her speed, it has been an extremely effective pitch for her. You can’t measure what it does to a batter’s head.”
OSU added a run in the fourth inning and two runs in the sixth.
Link scored in the fourth when Roth singled to center field. Link had singled to shortstop with one out and moved to second on a bunt by Holly English (Sr., Akron, Ohio/Springfield).
In the seventh inning Anna Smith (Jr., Walnut, Calif./Diamond Bar) – pinch-running for Rogeanna Hottinger (So., Newark, Ohio/Newark) who singled to center field – scored from third on a double steal, beating a throw from McCann. Link took second on the play after having singled for the third time of the afternoon. Roth singled to right center field to score Link.
OSU and Penn State play Sunday at 2 p.m. in the regular-season finale.