May 6, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio- Having clinched third place in the Big Ten with a 7-0 win over Penn State Saturday, the Ohio State softball team (46-16 overall, 14-6 in the Big Ten) showed no signs of a let down heading into the Big Ten tournament Thursday by defeating Penn State 3-1 to sweep the series with the Nittany Lions.
Kristi DeVries (Fr., Corona, Calif./Corona) allowed just three hits and struck out six in the complete-game win. She is now 16-7 for the season.
“Kristi DeVries came in and threw a great game,” Kalafatis said. “What I liked is she was able to finish it. They started to rally a little bit and then she came back and got a fly out and two big strikeouts. She really held her ground, which I thought was crucial for her and our team heading into the tournament.”
OSU tallied eight hits off PSU starter Marisa Hanson, who falls to 10-12 with the loss.
DeVries was aided by some spectacular defensive plays by Rogeanna Hottinger (So., Newark, Ohio/Newark).
“Rogeanna had a wonderful day,” Kalafatis said. “She took two hits away from them. She made a diving catch on a ball that would have fell and then ran one down in the gap. It would have been an extra-base hit and a run.”
Hottinger also had a big day offensively, going 2-for-2, stealing two bases and scoring two of OSU’s three runs.
In the top of the first inning, Hottinger singled up the middle with one out. After she swiped second base, she scored on a triple to right center by Jenn Link (So., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora). Link went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in.
OSU added another run in the fourth inning. Stacy Roth (Jr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon) started the inning with a single to left field. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by DeVries and came home when Kristine Himes (So., Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) doubled down the left field line. The Buckeyes went up 3-0 in the fifth inning in similar fashion to their first score. Hottinger again singled up the middle and then stole second base. Link singled up the middle to score Hottinger.
“Rogeanna has really stepped up lately, right when we need her,” Kalafatis said. “She’s given us a lift she wasn’t able to give us early in the season. Jenn Link has been steady all season. She had a great series.”
PSU narrowed the Buckeye lead to 3-1 in the fifth inning on a hit and an error. DeVries buckled down and Hottinger saved a possible score in the sixth inning. With third baseman Jennifer Tripken on second, Hottinger made a diving catch of a fly ball by Allison Medellin. Instead of scoring, Tripken could only move to third on the play. DeVries struck out the next batter to get out of the inning unscathed.
“This was a good weekend for us,” Kalafatis said. “It’s a great way to head into the tournament.”
Michigan, who won two games from Michigan State over the weekend to claim the Big Ten regular season crown, will host the Big Ten Tournament.