Ritchison's Two Hits Not Enough Against UIC at IU Classic
March 21, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team suffered its second loss at the IU Classic on Friday in a 3-0 loss to the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames at the IU Softball Field. The Flames scored single runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings while Kelli Ritchison collected her first career hit in the fifth inning on a bunt and followed it up with a single into left in the seventh to pace the Hoosiers bats.
The Hoosiers looked to junior pitcher Monica Wright (3-7) to continue her recent string of success, and while it wasn't as good as her shutout win against Drake the day before, Wright was able to pitch out of some jams to allow only two earned runs on seven hits in a losing effort. With the complete game effort, Wright has now gone the distance in each of her last four starts.
Carly Demarco (3-3) also went the distance in the circle for UIC (9-18) by giving up six hits and two walks while fanning three to get the win for the Flames.
The Hoosiers (6-19) were only able to advance two runners to second base over the first six innings, but that would all change in the seventh as they began to rally. Brittany Stein opened the final half inning with a hard single back up the middle but was erased on pinch-hitter Jennilee Huddleston's fielder's choice. Ritchison's second hit of the day moved Huddleston into scoring position. Julia Hamilton drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Sara Olson was brought in to pinch-hit for Jennifer Glueckert and hit a rocket at the UIC third baseman, who bobbled it. But because it was hit so hard, she had enough time to gather it and throw to first for the final out of the game.
The Hoosiers stranded eight runners on base in the game and were just 2-for-11 with runners on base in the game. Another note about the Hoosiers, while Huddleston did pinch-hit late in the game, her string of 135 consecutive games started came to an end when she was not in the starting lineup against the Flames.
Indiana will play the first game of the IU Classic on Saturday against UIC at noon and they will also play the 4 p.m. game against Louisville at the IU Softball Field.
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