Iowa Tops Indiana on Alumni Day, 9-0
March 31, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Hoosier bats remained dormant on Saturday, March 31, as Iowa held Indiana to just three hits for the second straight day in taking a 9-0 win in six innings at the IU Softball Field to complete the series sweep. Indiana also celebrated Alumni Day on the afternoon, honoring the alumni in attendance.
Indiana (17-15, 0-2 Big Ten) picked up its first hit with one out in the top of the first inning. Sophomore Sarah Padove, who singled in the seventh inning against Iowa on Friday in a pinch-hit performance, drilled the second pitch she saw Saturday to left field for a base hit. The Hoosiers were unable to move pinch-runner Kelli Ritchison, however, as Iowa starter Brittany Weil got a popup and a strikeout to end the inning.
The Hawkeyes (25-13, 2-0 Big Ten) put a run on the board before Indiana could record an out, as Erin Riemersma, Taylor Leichsenring and Emily Nichols opened the bottom of the first with three straight hits. Riemersma singled to left to open the frame, and went to second on Leichsenring's perfectly placed bunt. Nichols then stepped in and roped a double to right field to score Riemersma with the game's first run.
After IU starter Christy Wahl (2-1) got a grounder to third for the first out, junior catcher Tory Yamaguchi picked off Leichsenring at third for out number two. Wahl then induced a flyout to center to end the inning without further harm.
The Hoosiers put their only runner in scoring position in the top of the second, when junior Anna Olson drilled a double to center field with two outs. Pinch-runner Kristin King would be stranded, however, as Weil got a popup for the third out.
Senior Heather Hohs laced a single up the middle to start the third inning, but Indiana was unable to make something come of it, as Iowa erased the runner at second on consecutive sacrifice bunt attempts by IU's next two batters.
Weil got a popup to end the inning, and retired the next nine IU batters in order to seal the win.
The Hawkeyes' offense, meanwhile, was far from done. With Iowa up 1-0 and two out in the bottom of the third, Colleen McGlaughlin lifted a foul ball to the right side of the infield that was dropped for the first of three Hoosier errors on the day. McGlaughlin took advantage of the second life to earn a walk, and the next batter, Summer Downs, sent a line drive home run over the fence in left center that bounced off the scoreboard to plate three unearned runs.
Iowa tacked on three more runs in the fifth to run the score to 7-0, with Rachel West and pinch-hitter Quinn Morelock delivering RBI singles. The Hawkeyes put the mercy rule into effect in the sixth inning, with Lindsey Emery singling up the middle to lead off the inning, and Nichols drilling a home run to straightaway center for the walk-off win.
While Indiana's defense in the game was not up to its usual standards, senior Kim Richards atoned for an earlier error with a tremendous catch in the fifth. With Iowa up 7-0 at the time and runners on second and third, Riemersma sent a drive to the gap in left center that seemed destined to drop and end the game via the mercy rule. But Richards charged hard from her center field position and made a tremendous grab, slamming into the fence at full speed and hanging on for the third out of the inning to prolong the game.
The Hoosiers have managed just seven combined hits in a three-game losing streak that has followed a solid two weeks of play that saw Indiana go 14-3.
In addition to sweeping the Hoosiers in the two-game set, having taken Friday's contest by a 4-0 score, the Hawkeyes did something that no one had done in three weeks, keeping IU junior Jennilee Huddleston off base. With an 0-for-3 day, Huddleston failed to reach for the first time since March 9, when Illinois-Chicago held her hitless.
Wahl took the loss for the Hoosiers, allowing four runs, one earned, on seven hits and a walk in 3 innings. Weil took the win for the second day in a row, as she surrendered just three hits in 6 innings.
Padove, Olson and Hohs accounted for Indiana's three hits, while Riemersma, Nichols, Downs and West had two hits apiece to pace the Hawkeyes' 13-hit attack.
Indiana returns to action on Sunday, April 1, when it will host Big Ten foe Illinois in a doubleheader starting at noon.
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