Hoosiers Drop Big Ten Opener to Iowa, 4-0
March 30, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana couldn't find its offense in its Big Ten opener, falling to Iowa 4-0 at the IU Softball Field on Friday, March 30.
Iowa (24-13, 1-0) drew first blood in the top of the first inning, as designated player Summer Downs drilled a double to left center to score Emily Nichols, who reached on a two-out walk.
Indiana had a chance to even the score in the bottom half of the frame, as Huddleston doubled down the left field line off the glove of Hawkeye third baseman Colleen McGlaughlin to get into scoring position. With two outs and junior Tory Yamaguchi - who leads Indiana with 10 home runs on the season - at the plate, Iowa starter Brittany Weil induced a popup to escape the jam.
Huddleston would prove to be the Hoosiers' last runner to advance to second. Hamilton made a game effort in the third, when she dropped a bloop single into shallow left, but was gunned down trying to stretch it into a double.
The Hawkeyes added another run in the top of the fifth, when Erin Riemersma hit a solo home run off the flag pole beyond the wall in left field to put Iowa up 2-0. The damage could have been worse, as Yamaguchi had just thrown at Mindy Heidgerken trying to steal second for the second out of the inning.
Iowa added a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to pad its lead. Riemersma led off the frame with a double off the wall in center, and went to third on a sacrifice by Lindsey Emery. Nichols then delivered a double off the wall in left center to score Riemersma.
A groundout moved pinch-runner Heidi Daumen to third, and McGlaughlin then snuck a single down the left field line to plate Daumen. IU starter Monica Wright issued consecutive walks to load the bases, but recovered to get a come-backer to end the inning without further damage.
The Hoosiers turned to Padove to pinch hit leading off the seventh, and after going ahead 2-0 in the count, Padove nearly spoiled the Hawkeyes' shutout with her first swing. Padove, playing for the first time since breaking her nose on March 17, sent a long drive down the left field line that cleared the fence, but hooked just foul for strike one. After working the count full, Padove delivered by smacking a single into left for the Hoosiers' first baserunner since the third inning.
Weil would strand Padove, however, striking out the next two batters before getting a flyout to right to end the contest.
Wright worked out of a major jam in the sixth inning, surviving a pair of Hoosier fielding errors to keep the margin 2-0 in Iowa's favor at the time. After McGlaughlin's one-out single, the next two Iowa batters reached on IU miscues to load the bases. Huddleston then made a nice stop on a grounder to the left side and nailed McGlaughlin at home for the force out, and Wright got a groundout off the bat of Heidgerken to end the threat.
McGlaughlin paced the Hawkeyes at the plate with a 3-for-4 effort on the day.
Weil improved to 7-1, allowing just three hits in 7 solid innings of work. Wright (11-8) allowed four runs on eight hits and four walks in 7 innings.
The Hoosiers will face Iowa again on Saturday, March 31, with first pitch set for 1 p.m.
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