Indiana Wins Sixth Straight Behind Melloh's Dominance
March 22, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - To say that Morgan Melloh was in the zone on Tuesday might be an understatement. After posting 17 strikeouts in the first game of a doubleheader against Butler, she came back to the circle and had 14 more strikeouts while Kelsey Stander's RBI single in the sixth inning provided the winning run.
Melloh (14-11) went the distance for Indiana in the circle and gave up three runs - two earned - on five hits while walking one and fanning 14. She has 233 strikeouts on the year, the sixth best total in a single season in IU history. Her career total stands at 1,371 to move into 12th place on the NCAA career strikeout list.
Indiana (18-12) is now six games over .500 for the first time since the 2006 season and have won six straight for the first time since 2007 when they won nine games in a row between March 10-17.
Once again it was the Hoosiers jumping out to an early lead, only to see Butler battle back to tie it in the middle innings before a hero stepped up in the late innings to give Indiana the win.
This time it was an infield single by Cassie Gogreve and a one-out walk by Heather Nelson that ignited the rally. Stander singled to first base and the throw to first sailed into right field to allow pinch-runner Kelsey Brannon to score from second base and move Nelson to third base. Breanna Saucedo lifted a soft fly ball down the left field line and a diving attempt was made on the ball by Lauren Mcnulty, but the ball squeezed out of her glove and two runs scored to make it 3-0.
Melloh put it on cruise control again through the first four innings before Butler took advantage of an IU error to plate three runs in the fifth inning and tie the game. Melloh buckled down again in the sixth and seventh inning by striking out the side.
In the Indiana half of the sixth inning, a one out walk by Meaghan Murphy was followed by a sacrifice bunt by Nelson to move Murphy to second base. Cassie Gogreve drew a walk to prolong the inning for Kelsey Stander. The Paradise Valley, Ariz., native singled to shallow right field and Murphy easily scored what would prove to be the winning run.
Indiana will open Big Ten Conference play on Saturday against Minnesota at 1 p.m. at the IU Softball Field. The game is scheduled to be aired LIVE on the BigTenNetwork.com (fee required).
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