April 24, 2002
DAYTON, Ohio – After receiving its highest national ranking in the history of the program earlier in the day, the No. 20 Ohio State softball team won two games on the road at Wright State by winning the second game of the sweep, 10-1 in six innings at the Wright State Softball Field in Dayton, Ohio, Wednesday. The Buckeyes won their 15th game in a row and, in the process, tied the single-season record for wins with their 46th on the year while moving to 46-9 (13-3 Big Ten). The Raiders slipped to 9-21 (3-3 Horizon) after Katie Chain (Jr., North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) gave up two hits and struck out six in the her team-leading 17th victory of the year (17-5). The offense scored in each of the six innings played and pounded out 14 hits.
The OSU scoring started with one run in the first scored by Jennifer Link (Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif./Sonora). Link led off the game with a bunt single in front of the plate and moved to second on an Anna Smith (Sr., Walnut, Calif./Diamond Bar) bloop single over the head of the third baseman. With runners on first and second, Wendy Allen (So., Moreno Valley, Calif./Moreno Valley) lifted the ball to left field, Link tagged up and came into score from second while Smith moved up to second. The Raiders responded in the bottom of the inning with a run of their own. Maria Barhorst reached on a throwing error by Chain and moved to second. Erin Hanlon sacrificed Barhorst to third before Amber Kolle’s sacrifice bunt allowed Barhorst to score. WSU would have only two base runners the remainder of the game, one on a single by Amy Price in the fourth and Hanlon reaching on an error in the sixth.
In the second inning, the Buckeyes got the run back and added two more for a 4-1 lead. With one out, Kristine Himes (Jr., Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) lined a single to left center and advanced to second on a Beth McAbier (So., Carrollton, Ohio/Carrollton) single through the left side. After a wild pitch advanced both runners, Karisa Evans (Fr., Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) singled to left to plate Himes. Link then doubled to left to bring in both McAbier and Evans for the final runs.
OSU picked up one run in each of the next two innings. In the third, Stacy Roth (Sr., Wauseon, Ohio/Wasueon) grounded to short but beat out the throw for a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Breana Pozzi (So., Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande) popped out to center allowing Roth to take third and a double to left center by Himes brought in Roth. The Buckeyes made it 6-1 when Link scored again. Evans singled to left to open the fourth but was forced out on Link’s fielder’s choice. Link then moved to second on a Smith bunt single before both runners stole the next base. Allen hit a sacrifice fly to right that brought in Link.
The fifth saw two more runs. After Chrissy Fowler (Sr., Utica, Ohio/Wright State) walked, Pozzi singled to left to put runners at second and first. With one out, McAbier walked to load the bases. Another wild pitch allowed every one to take another base before Evans grounded out to second to score Pozzi. The final two runs came easier in the final stanza of play. With one out, pinch hitter Meghan Rowlands (Fr., Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready) singled up the middle and was brought home four pitches later when Roth crushed her 13th home run of the year over the straightaway center field fence. Roth’s homer was the 50th on the year for the Buckeyes.
OSU returns to the friendly confines of Buckeye Field at 5 p.m. Friday when it takes on intrastate rival Ohio University in a single game. The original start time of 6 p.m. was pushed forward one hour to allow for the entire game to be played. Buckeye Field is not equipped with lights.