Wagner, Melloh Lead Indiana To 3-2 Win in Extra Innings
Feb. 25, 2011
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Indiana's Amanda Wagner drove in the game-winning run with a fielder's choice in the bottom of the eighth inning against San Diego State to give Indiana the 3-2 win at the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. Senior pitcher Morgan Melloh recorded 13 strikeouts in the game to pick up her fifth win of the season.
"Morgan was something special in the circle today," Indiana head coach Michelle Gardner said. "Our offense took on a pair of tremendously talented pitchers today and did whatever they could to get the bats going. I could not be happier for Amanda Wagner to be able to come through in the eighth inning and get us the split today."
After San Diego State (5-4) used a couple of Melloh walks in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game and force extra innings, it was Melloh that showed her true grit and did not allow the Aztecs to score in the top of the first extra inning. A runner was placed at second base via International Tiebreaker Rule to start the eighth inning but Melloh struckout the first batter and followed that up with a popup on the infield and then her 13 strikeout stranded the runner at second base.
Melloh (5-6) logged the win by tossing her second complete game of the day and allowing two runs on four hits while issuing five walks and striking out 13. For the season, Melloh now has 92 strikeouts and has upped her career total to 1,230 to put her in 22nd place on the NCAA Career strikeout list. The season total (92) is also 40 more than the next closest total for any pitcher in the Big Ten.
Samantha Beasley started in the circle for SDSU and nearly matched Melloh in strikeouts with 12 over her five innings of work. Bailey Micetich (3-3) came on in relief to start the sixth inning and was saddled with the loss in the eighth inning. She allowed one unearned run on two hits in 2.1 innings.
Indiana (6-6) took to the plate in the bottom of the frame with Lindsay Callanan placed on second base. Cassie Gogreve executed the sacrifice bunt perfectly to move Callanan to third base with one out. Sara Olson was intentionally walked by SDSU in an attempt to set up the force play on the infield and put the game in the hands of Amanda Wagner. The sophomore from Burbank, Ill., wasted little time in delivering the needed hit to plate the winning run, grounding a ball up the middle that was kept on the infield but the diving shortstop had no play at the plate and Callanan scooted home for the win.
"I was just trying to make good contact and make them make a play," Wagner said of the winning hit. "Callanan is pretty quick at third base so I knew that if I just made contact and put it in the gap that she would be able to make it home and she did."
The Aztecs had taken the lead in the top of the second inning on a solo home run by Justeen Maeva to left field, her first of the season. But Indiana responded in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead thanks to three hits, two of which came with two outs. Breanna Saucedo started things with a one-out single and then stole second base. Following a strikeout for the second out of the frame, Cassie Gogreve dropped a single down the left field line to plate Saucedo and Gogreve took second base on the throw. A wild pitch moved Gogreve to third base and came around to score on a single up the middle by Sara Olson.
Saucedo finished the game with two hits and a run scored, her seventh multi-hit game of the year and she has at least one hit in 11 of 12 games so far this season. Olson's RBI was her team-leading ninth of the season and 69th of her career. The last time Indiana won an extra inning game was a 5-2 win at Michigan State on April 12, 2009.
The Hoosiers continue play in Palm Springs on Friday with a 4:00 p.m. ET matchup against No. 14 California. Indiana played the Bears in the first tournament of the year and lost by a score of 3-0 and managed just two hits against Cal pitcher Jolene Henderson.
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