Pellerito's Grand Slam Lifts Hoosiers to 6-2 Win Over Ball State
March 4, 2007
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Sophomore Stephanie Pellerito's grand slam capped a five-run sixth inning as Indiana rallied for a 6-2 win over Ball State on Sunday, March 4, at the Kay Brechtelsbauer Southern Classic on the campus of Southern Illinois University.
Down 2-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, the Hoosiers (3-4) got a leadoff triple from Julia Hamilton to get things started. Two outs later, junior Tory Yamaguchi stepped up to the plate, but Ball State elected to intentionally walk Yamaguchi, who had homered in the previous inning to break up Cardinal starter Amanda Pick's no-hitter. The strategy backfired for BSU (4-9), as Indiana's next batter, Sarah Padove, dropped a single into shallow right to score Hamilton and tie the game.
IU head coach Stacey Phillips brought in freshman Kelli Ritchison to pinch-run for Yamaguchi, and the move immediately paid off, as Ritchison beat the throw to third on a fielder's choice on the next play, loading the bases for the Hoosiers and keeping the inning alive.
Pellerito then stepped in and drilled the first pitch she saw over the fence in left to cap the huge comeback. The home run was her first of the season.
Indiana picked up its first run in the bottom of the fifth, when Yamaguchi led off the inning with her third home run of the season, a long blast to left. The Hoosiers had a chance for more, but stranded Pellerito at third and Stephanie Turner at second after a two-out double from Turner.
Ball State got its only two runs in the top of the first inning, as Allie Pennock reached on a walk, then stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch. After a Kelli Jeziorski strikeout and a Taylor Yancey walk, Monica Wright came on to pitch for the Hoosiers. Wright struck out Abby Gross, but Elizabeth Milian then singled to right to score Yancey.
Wright (2-3) picked up the win after allowing just five hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings of relief, striking out seven. Indiana starter Jennifer Moore was credited with two runs on two walks and a strikeout in 1/3 of an inning.
Pick (2-4) allowed six earned runs on six hits in 6 innings pitched.
Indiana had six hits on the day, with Hamilton, Yamaguchi, Padove, Pellerito, Turner and Janetta Deaven collecting one each.
Milian went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the Cardinals.
"I think we came out with a really upbeat attitude form our first at bat to our last at bat, even though it took us four innings to get to the pitcher," Phillips said. "It's easy to get down after inning after inning like that, but to stay up like that showed a lot of toughness. I think Tory showed her leadership abilities out there. It's easy to say that since she hit a home run, but it could have been a single or a home run and it would have taken care of lighting the fire. It became contagious, and the more we realize that the dominos are going to fall once you get that first one, I think we'll be able to jump on a lot of different teams, hopefully much earlier than in the fifth inning."
The Hoosiers' game against Southern Illinois, scheduled to take place after the Ball State game, was cancelled because of cold weather in the area.
Indiana returns to action on Thursday, March 8, when it will face Georgia Tech at 11 a.m. in the first game of the adidas Invitational in Clearwater, Fla.
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