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Softball hosts Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic

The first home games of the 2009-10 softball season will take place this weekend October 3 and 4 at Fred Beekman Park as Ohio State hosts the Ninth Annual Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic.
Ohio State looks forward to success this season after last season’s NCAA Super Regional appearance, the first in OSU history.
“I think there’s no doubt that our goal is to go to Oklahoma City,” coach Linda Kalafatis said, talking about the team’s goal to reach the site of the Women’s College World Series.
OSU returns all of their starters from last season’s NCAA Super Regional team except All-American pitcher Kim Reeder.
Reeder had a 26-6 record with a 1.55 ERA in 39 appearances last season as the Buckeyes ace and is expected to be replaced by Lindsay Bodeker in the spring. Bodeker had an impressive 2008-09 campaign with a record of 16-5 in 29 appearances and an ERA of 2.00, but underwent knee surgery in the off-season and will not play at the Charity Classic.
Senior Megan Miller and freshman Melanie Nichols will split pitching duties this weekend while the team awaits Bodeker’s return. Miller reiterated the team goal of going to the Women’s College World Series and said “I want to help lead us there any way I can.”
Miller hopes to see an expanded role this year after only seven starts and 12 appearances in 2008-09, even though she had a 5-0 record with an ERA of 1.91.
“Hopefully I can play as well as Kim [Reeder] did,” said Miller.
The offense will be led by senior, two-time All-American catcher Sam Marder, who led the Buckeyes with 19 home runs last year and already knocked one out of the park against Marshall in the first game of the season.
OSU is 1-1 only having played a double-header on September 27 this season. OSU won the first game against Marshall 5-4 before losing to Kentucky 3-6 a couple hours later in game two. Kalafatis said that four potential starters were out of action this weekend and that “we will continue to be a better team.”
OSU was 3-0 in the Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic last year while not allowing a single run by an opponent and the Buckeyes expect nothing less this year.
“One of our goals is to go 4-0 in the tournament this weekend,” Kalafatis said. “The girls came up with good points of focus for the weekend.”
The Classic is a 20-team tournament to benefit the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research and raise awareness for breast cancer research. Stefanie is the wife of former OSU football and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Chris Spielman. When asked of the importance of the Charity Classic, Miller stated that “teams coming this weekend know we’re playing for more than softball … we’re still coming out to win.”
Kalafatis is a founding member of the tournament that is completely run by volunteers including the umpires and concession stand workers.
“Breast Cancer affects one in eight women … when I got together with coaches from around the state, we decided breast cancer was something that could bring the teams together,” Kalafatis said.
The Buckeyes will face off against the University of Dayton at 12 p.m. and Ohio University at 2 p.m. on Saturday, then Kent State University at 12 p.m. and BGSU at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
 

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