May 2, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team (43-16 overall, 12-6 in the Big Ten) hits the road for the final time in the regular season today when it heads to Akron, Ohio, to face the Akron Zips in a single game at 7 p.m. in Firestone Stadium. The game is a homecoming of sorts for head coach Linda Kalafatis and her staff. Kalafatis, along with assistant coaches Drema Neal and Belinda Cernava, coached at Akron from 1994-1996 before taking over the Ohio State program in 1997.

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 43-16 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.

OSU has faced 13 in-state opponents since the program was started in 1972. In that time, the Buckeyes hold a 178-66-4 advantage over opponents from Ohio.

During her five years at the helm of OSU softball, head coach Linda Kalafatis’ Buckeyes have faced nine in-state opponents. She has compiled a 39-6 record against opponents from Ohio. The Buckeyes are 9-1 against Ohio schools this season, taking two games each from Cleveland State and Toledo, winning one game at Miami (Ohio), sweeping Youngstown State last week and splitting with Bowling Green before sweeping Wright State yesterday. SCOUTING AKRON
Akron heads into its matchup with OSU with an overall record of 21-14 and 13-11 in the Mid-American Conference. As a team, the Zips are batting .251. Collectively, Akron carries a 2.26 earned run average. Tiffany McCoy has a team-high .330 batting average (37-for-112) with 21 runs batted in. Julie Villard is hitting .302 (38-for-126). Rianee Hess has a team-high 22 RBI on six home runs. Kerstin Sewell leads the Zips with eight home runs. In the pitching circle for Akron, Lisa Kennan is 12-13 witha 1.97 ERA. Tina McCauley is 9-11 with a 2.66 ERA. Akron is coached by Deanna Parks, now in her fifth season at the helm.

The Buckeyes hold a 8-5 advantage over Akron in the all-time series between the two schools.

The Buckeyes defeated Akron, 11-1, March 6, 1999 at the Kentucky Invitational, giving Kalafatis a victory in the sole meeting with her former program.

During her time at the helm of the Akron program, Kalafatis led the Zips to a 98-63-1 mark in three seasons. Taking over in 1994, Kalafatis led the Zips on a steady climb up the MAC rankings. Akron finished eighth in conference in 1994, improved to fifth place the next year and was third in the conference in 1996.

The trip to Akron marks a homecoming of sorts for three Buckeyes. Senior Holly English is an Akron native and is expected to start in her hometown. She returned to the starting linup yesterday after missing five weeks due to surgery and recovery. Sophomore Liz Kacsanek is from nearby Uniontown, Ohio, and is expected to start at shortstop. Sophomore Katie Chain is from North Canton, Ohio, which is approximately 20 minutes south of Akron.

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 21-5, three behind the record for wins in a season, set by Genice Turley in 1994.

Earlier this season, Kristi DeVries set the record for strikouts 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 417-243-2.

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 nine-strikeout performance yesterday vs. Wright State, Chain is now in the lead with 167, two ahead of DeVries’ 165.

With Katie Chain’s two shutout wins over in her last three 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 413 strikouts this season, 154 more than the previous school record. Kristi DeVries has 165 in 147 innings, Katie Chain has 167 in 171.1 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 last weekend. OSU then swept Michigan State before dropping game one to Michigan and coming back with a win over the Wolverines last Sunday and a sweep of Youngstown State Tuesday and split with Bowling Green, Wisconsin and Minnesota before sweeping Wright State yesterday

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. Sh 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.

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 159 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 OSU’s 12-game win 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 plays host to Penn State in the final Big Ten matchup of the season Saturday and Sunday. First pitch Saturday is 2 p.m. Sunday, the game will start a 1 p.m.