Hoosiers Drop First Game of Doubleheader to Penn State
March 30, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana and Penn State softball teams were finally able to take the field following a three hour and 12 minute rain delay. When they did play, Penn State starting pitcher Ashley Esparza was able to keep the Indiana batters off balance most of the day on her way to the complete game 7-1 win. Brittany Devitt's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth plated Kelli Ritchison for Indiana's lone run in the contest.
Indiana starting pitcher Monica Wright (4-9) went 5.0 innings and gave up seven runs, six earned, on eight hits while walking two and striking out three in taking the loss. Esparza (11-6) allowed just three hits and one run to get the win.
Indiana left fielder Kelli Ritchison started the bottom of the sixth with a single through the left side of the infield and moved to second on a walk by Emily Bergeson. Tory Yamaguchi followed with a sharp single to left and the Hoosiers had the bases loaded with no outs. Brittany Devitt then lifted a fly ball into foul territory down the left field line that was caught, allowing Ritchison to tag and score from third base. The threat would end as the next two batters were retired on strikes.
Neither team mounted much of a threat through the first two innings but in the third, Penn State (24-10, 1-2 Big Ten) capitalized on two IU miscues in the field to take a 4-0 lead. Then in the bottom of the frame, the Nittany Lions gave the Hoosiers a chance with two errors of their own but Indiana (7-22, 0-3 Big Ten) was not able to take advantage and cut into the lead.
Esparza took to the plate in the fourth inning and helped her own cause with an RBI single to plate the Nittany Lions fifth run of the game. Hollee Haines followed in the fifth inning with a two-run home run to finish the Penn State scoring.
The game was scheduled to begin at 10:36 a.m. ET but heavy rain and lightning forced the delay from the start. The delay also forced the game to be shifted to tape-delay on the Big Ten Network from the originally scheduled live broadcast. The tape-delay broadcast will be aired on Sunday evening starting at 6 p.m. ET.
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