Hoosiers Claim Wild 16-13 Win In Game Two At Kentucky
April 1, 2008
LEXINGTON, Ky. - If the Indiana softball team knew that they would score 16 runs and have to go to extra innings to get a win against Kentucky on Tuesday, April 1, most people would have thought it was a bad April Fools joke. But that's exactly what it took for the Hoosiers to claim a 16-13 victory over the Wildcats in eight innings at the UK Softball Complex.
The Hoosiers (9-23, 0-4 Big Ten) set season highs in runs (16), hits (15), home runs (4) and walks drawn (9) in the game and they needed each and every one of them to pull out the win.
Jennifer Moore started the game in the circle for Indiana and gave up eight runs on eight hits, but only three of the eight runs were earned in 3.2 innings. After she began to struggle in the bottom of the fourth inning and Monica Wright (6-9) came on in relief. The junior allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits in 4.1 innings to pick up her second win of the day, but it did not come in easy in this game of highs and lows for the Hoosiers.
Junior shortstop Emily Bergeson began her incredible day at the plate by going yard in the first inning to give IU a quick 1-0 lead. She would finish the second game by reaching base in all six plate appearances, twice via base hits and drawing four walks. With the four base on balls, she became the third Hoosier to accomplish that, with the most recent coming in 1995 when Michelle Venturella walked four times against Iowa.
The Wildcats got a two-run double from Ashley Dimkich to take a 2-1 lead after two innings. They would tack on a third run in the bottom of the third inning with a leadoff triple followed by a double two batters later. It was at this point that things got a little bit more entertaining, especially for Hoosier fans.
Jennilee Huddleston led off with a double to left field and was followed by a single by Sarah Padove to put runners at the corners. Julie DiNallo stepped in and laid down a perfect bunt for a hit that allowed Huddleston to score to make it 3-2. Next up was Brittany Stein, who found a hole on the left side of the infield to load the bases with no outs. The hits just kept on coming for Indiana in the inning when Jennifer Glueckert and pinch-hitter Kari Bettenbrock each delivered RBI singles to give IU a 4-3 lead. But the inning was far from over. Bergeson drove in another run with a single and Tory Yamaguchi plated two with a single down the left field line, increasing the IU cushion to 7-3 with just one out in the inning. Padove stepped in next for the second time in the inning and for the second time in the inning came away with a hit, this time driving in the eighth run of the game for Indiana, and seventh of the inning.
However, the Wildcats were not ready to concede the two-game sweep that easy, responding with six runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to regain a 9-8 lead. The big blows in the inning were a three-run home run to tie the game off the bat of Molly Johnson which was then followed by a solo home run by Samantha DeMartine.
The top of the fifth inning was nearly as good to Indiana as the top of the fourth and it started with a bang when Brittany Stein unloaded her first career home run to start the inning and tie the game at 9-9. Two Kentucky errors later, the Hoosiers had scored a run and had two runners on base for Yamaguchi when she deposited the Jennifer Young offering beyond the left field wall to give Indiana a 13-9 edge.
The home run was the 37th of her career leaving her just one shy of the Indiana career record of 38 set by Monica Armendarez. Her five RBI game gives her 96 in her spectacular Hoosier career which is good for sixth on the career list at Indiana.
Following the five-run outburst by the Hoosier bats in the fifth, Kentucky had no response and went down in order in their half of the inning. But things were not as quite in the UK half of the sixth when a walk and a triple scored the first run and were followed by a two run-scoring singles to cut the Indiana lead to just one, 13-12 going to the seventh.
Indiana did not threaten in the top of the inning so IU was just three outs away from a win in this slugfest. But Kentucky had other ideas in the bottom of the seventh and got a little help from the Hoosiers. After there were two outs in the inning, the Wildcats drew a walk and got an infield single to put the go-ahead run on base. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position for the hottest UK hitter, Molly Johnson. Johnson had three doubles in the first game and was just a triple away from the cycle in the second game when she stepped to the plate and delivered a line drive single to right. The ball was hit so hard that the runner on second base had no chance to try to score on the play and the score was tied 13-13 at the end of the inning.
In the eighth, the teams were using the international tiebreaker so IU's Brittany Stein was placed on second base to start the inning. Jennifer Glueckert sacrificed her over to third but it didn't matter, as Stephanie Pellerito was inserted as a pinch-hitter for Julia Hamilton and delivered a two-run homer to deep center field to give Indiana a 15-13 lead. The Hoosiers added an insurance run later in the inning when Padove drew a bases loaded walk.
Wright took full advantage of her second opportunity to get the win, sitting down the Wildcats in order in the eighth to end one of the wildest games in recent IU softball history.
Indiana will jump back into Big Ten play this weekend with a roadtrip to Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Hoosiers and Golden Gophers will tangle on Friday at 6 p.m. Central time.
Check back soon