May 26, 1999

Columbus, Ohio – Shortstop Renae Weigel (Jr., Coldwater, Ohio) has been selected by her teammates as the Most Valuable Player on the 1999 Ohio State softball team. The co-captain received the award at tonight’s annual Softball Awards Banquet, held at the Fawcett Center.

“This award symbolized her importance to this ballclub,” head coach Linda Kalafatis said. “She is a leader in every sense of the word.”

Weigel set a single-season school record with six home runs this season. She was also named Offensive Player of the Year.

“There are many people on this team deserving of this award,” Weigel said. “I don’t feel I had a better year than anyone else. I just went out and did my job. When your teammates and coaches vote for something like this, it makes it a great honor.”

Other major award winners included Toni Hileman (Jr., Alliance, Ohio), selected by her teammates as the Pitcher of the Year and Carrie Vanderpool (Sr., Corona, Calif.) selected by her teammates as the Defensive Player of the Year.

Third team all-Big Ten selection Anna Smith (Fr., Walnut, Calif.) and Stacy Roth (Fr., Wauseon, Ohio) were named co-Rookies of the Year.

Co-captain Natalie Kratzer (Sr., Ashland, Ohio) and Roth were named co-Most Improved Players. Kratzer was also the recipient of the Buckeye Spirit Award.

The Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award was presented to Jaime Chenevey (Sr., Wooster, Ohio), and the Most Improved Scholar-Athlete was Cheryl Palaroan (Sr., Reno, Nev.). The Coaches Award, voted by the OSU coaching staff, was also given to Chenevey, who is currently playing the Women’s Professional Softball League with the Akron Racers.

The Buckeyes finished the season with a 20-32 overall record. “We may have lost more games then we wanted, but were never defeated,” Kalafatis said. “With our injury situation, it would have been easy to just not care and stop trying. But this team refused to quit. When you look at the record you think we took a step backward the way this team persevered through all the adversity, I can honestly say we took a step forward.”