Hoosiers Drop Big Ten Opener to Minnesota, 2-0
March 26, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team opened the Big Ten slate in a pitcher's duel against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (19-13, 1-0 Big Ten) on Saturday as the teams combined for just four hits in the game but it was a two-run home run in the first inning by the Gopher's Alex Davis that proved to be the difference in a 2-0 loss for the Hoosiers (18-13, 0-1 Big Ten). The loss snaps a six-game win streak for Indiana.
Morgan Melloh (14-12) struck out 12 and allowed just one hit - the home run to Davis - while being saddled with the loss. Minnesota's pitcher Sara Moulton (18-8) was equally as impressive, allowing three hits and matching her season-high with 15 strikeouts to get the win.
In the top of the first inning, Melloh issued a leadoff walk to Malisa Barnes and then two batters later Alex Davis lifted a full-count pitch to center field for her fifth home run of the season. From there, Melloh only allowed one more Gopher to reach second base the remainder of the game.
The Hoosiers had the winning run at the plate with no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but were unable to get the hit needed to prolong the inning. Sara Olson reached on an infield single to leadoff the inning and Cassie Gogreve worked a walk. Meaghan Murphy grounded out back to the pitcher, but advanced both runners so the tying run was in scoring position at second base. But Moulton got the next two batters to strike out to end the game.
For Melloh, the 12 strikeouts gives her 1,383 in her career to move into 11th place on the NCAA career strikeout list. It is also the 13th time this season and 68th time in her career that she has registered 10 or more strikeouts in a game.
Indiana and Minnesota will conclude the weekend series on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the IU Softball Field. The game will be broadcast live on BigTenNetwork.com (fee required).
Prior to the game, six players and head coach Gayle Blevins were recognized on the 25th anniversary of Blevins leading the Hoosiers to a Third Place finish at the Women's College World Series. Following the game, the current team and a number of alumni gathered in the Henke Hall of Champions for a dinner and further recognition. Check out a brief Photo Gallery of the banquet.
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