Indiana Victorious Over Drake In Home Opener
March 20, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team earned a well-pitched 1-0 win over the Drake Bulldogs at the IU Softball Field on Thursday in its home opener, with a little help from the Bulldog defense. Julie DiNallo scored an unearned run on a Bulldog (10-13) throwing error in the bottom of the sixth and Indiana (6-17) starting pitcher Monica Wright surrendered just two hits and a walk to get the complete game shutout and her third win of the season.
Wright (3-6) was on top of her game yet again for the Hoosiers, allowing just two runners to get into scoring position in the game. She has now allowed just one earned run in her last 17.0 innings of work dating back to the 2-1 extra innings win over UMass when she went the distance to get the win.
DiNallo, making her sixth start of the season at second base, lined a single back up the middle for her first hit of the season to get the Indiana rally started with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Senior centerfielder Julia Hamilton followed her by attempting a bunt down the third base line. Drake third baseman Carrie Hatfield, who had just been inserted into the lineup at prior to the start of the bottom of the inning, fielded it threw to first. Hamilton beat the throw to first, but it was too far to the inside of the base and rolled all the way into the right field corner. DiNallo was running the entire time and scored easily from first on the play and Hamilton ended up at third, giving the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead. The next two batters were retired in order to strand Hamilton at third, but the damage had been done.
Wright returned to the circle looking for her first complete game shutout of the season, and fourth of her Indiana career. The first Bulldog batter fouled out to third baseman Jennilee Huddleston for the first out of the inning. The next batter hit a deep fly ball into left field to sophomore Kelli Ritchison that was knocked down somewhat by the wind blowing in from left. Ritchison got tangled up on the play but was able to recover in time to make the catch with the help of her non-glove hand for the second out of the inning. The final out came on a soft line drive to shortstop Stephanie Pellerito, giving the Hoosiers their fifth one-run victory of the season.
Prior to DiNallo's hit in the sixth, the Hoosiers were only able to put three runners on base while Drake only had six baserunners in the game, and two of them were caught stealing by catcher Tory Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi has now thrown out ten runners trying to steal, equaling her total from last year. The two runners thrown out today gives Yamaguchi 40 for her career.
The Hoosiers continue their homestand with the IU Classic on Friday and Saturday. Indiana will battle Louisville at 2 p.m. followed immediately by Illinois-Chicago on Friday.
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