Indiana Evens Big Ten Record with 4-2 Win Over Minnesota
March 27, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana senior utility player Sara Olson was 2-for-3 with a RBI double and Morgan Melloh posted 12 strikeouts for the second consecutive game to allow Indiana (19-13, 1-1 Big Ten) to claim the 4-2 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers (19-14, 1-1 Big Ten) at the IU Softball Field.
"It was great to see the team respond in a very positive way after a very tough game yesterday," Indiana head coach Michelle Gardner said. "We had great leadership from Sara Olson and Morgan Melloh and everyone in the lineup found a way to make the team better today."
Melloh (15-12) allowed seven hits and two runs - one earned - while walking three to go with her 12 strikeouts. She now has 257 strikeouts this season, the fifth-most in a single season in Indiana softball history. It was also the 14th time in 25 starts this season that she has accumulated 10 or more strikeouts.
Minnesota's Sara Moulton (18-9) took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits in two innings with one walk and just one strikeout after recording 15 strikeouts on Saturday. Alissa Koch came on in relief to pitch the final four innings, surrendering one run on three hits and two strikeouts.
The Gophers put two runs up on the board in the first inning for the second straight day, this time with a little help from the Indiana defense. Back-to-back singles had the Gophers in business right from the start, but Melloh responded with two consecutive strikeouts to dampen the Minnesota momentum. However, Jessie Hathaway singled to shallow right field to plate one run and the second run came in when Heather Nelson's throw into second base skipped away on the infield.
The key to the game was that Indiana was able to put a rally together in the bottom of the first inning to even the score at two and regain the momentum. Breanna Saucedo singled to center field but was retired when Lindsay Callanan reached on a fielder's choice. A sacrifice bunt by Ashley Warrum moved Callanan into scoring position for Olson. The Orland Park, Ill., native drove a ball to the warning track in left field for a RBI double. Melloh followed with a single back up the middle that brought Olson around to score and tie the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the second inning, Samantha Heyman reached on an infield single and then stole second base with one out. Jenna Abraham's infield single put runner's at the corners with still just one out. Abraham stole second base just before Saucedo grounded out to third base to leave two runners in scoring position for Callanan. But before Callanan got a chance to swing the bat, a wild pitch by Moulton got away from the catcher just far enough for Heyman to slide in safely with the go-ahead run.
Then in the third inning, Olson singled back up the middle to start the inning and then pinch-runner Kelsey Brannon moved to second base on sacrifice bunt by Melloh. A groundout by Cassie Gogreve moved Brannon to third base to allow freshman Meaghan Murphy's single to center field to push across the fourth run of the game and close out the scoring in the game.
Indiana will wrapup its homestand on Wednesday when the Indiana State Sycamores pay a visit to the IU Softball Field. The game is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. and fans can listen to live audio at IUHoosiers.com and follow twitter.com/IUSoftball for in-game updates.
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