Indiana Takes Down No. 3 Michigan in Game Two
April 2, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - - Indiana (20-14, 2-2 Big Ten) claimed one of the biggest wins in program history on Saturday, defeating No. 3 Michigan (33-3, 3-1 Big Ten) by a score of 5-4 in eight innings. Senior Sara Olson hit two home runs off Michigan ace pitcher Jordan Taylor and IU flame-thrower Morgan Melloh (16-13) punched out 14 Wolverine batters to lead the Indiana cause.
"That was awesome. That was awesome," Indiana head coach Michelle Gardner said after the win. "I am so proud of this team for staying together and coming back not once but twice against one of the best teams in the country."
The win is the first against Michigan since 1996 - a span of 35 games - and the first win in Ann Arbor since the 1993 season. And the last time IU defeated a team ranked in the Top 25 was in 2006 against No. 25 North Carolina. The victory also gives the Hoosiers 20 wins in a season for just the third time in the last 13 seasons.
Olson was a one-person wrecking crew in the second game of the doubleheader, driving in all five Indiana runs to set a new career high. She also hit two home runs in the game, the second time in her career that she has pulled that feat off. The Orland Park, Ill., native now has 24 career home runs to move into a tie for sixth place on the career home run list at IU.
Along with Olson, Morgan Melloh continued her dominance in the circle as she registered 14 strikeouts in the game to earn the win. She allowed four runs - just one earned - on nine hits and three walks to improve to 16-13 in the circle this season.
Melloh also continued her climb up some impressive lists with her efforts on Saturday. She now sits in 10th place on the NCAA career strikeout list with 1,416 and has moved into fourth place on the Indiana single-season strikeout list with 278.
The Hoosiers wasted little time putting pressure on Michigan in game two as Breanna Saucedo drew a leadoff walk from UM starting pitcher Stephanie Speierman. Saucedo then stole second base and moved to third on a infield single by Samantha Heyman. Heyman then stole second base to put two runners in scoring position for the meat the IU lineup. Ashley Warrum was not able to advance either runner so Olson stepped in. She quickly delivered a sharp single to left field to plate both runs and the moved to second base on an error by the left fielder for Michigan. After a brief delay on the field while sleet and snow fell to the ground, the Hoosiers were not able to push across any more runs in the inning and took a 2-0 lead.
The Wolverines put two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the first inning but Melloh induced a weak ground ball to first base to avoid any damage. Michigan went down quietly in the second, third and fourth innings. But in the fifth inning, things started to get a little crazy.
Alycia Ryan singled up the middle to start the bottom of the fifth inning and was followed by a Lyndsay Doyle single to the right side of the infield to start the rally. A ground ball back to the Melloh in the circle appeared to give the Hoosiers a chance to cut down the lead runner but Shelby Gogreve could not handle the throw by Melloh and the bases were loaded with no outs. Nicole Sappinfield's ground ball was bobbled to allow the first run to score to make it a 2-1 Indiana lead. After power-hitting Dorian Shaw lined out shortstop for the first out, Amanda Chidester lined a sharp single to center field to tie the game at 2-2 and the bases were still loaded. But Melloh registered a strikeout and a groundout to get out of the inning without any further damage.
Michigan brought on Jordan Taylor in relief to start the sixth inning, ending Speierman's day with five innings pitched, two runs allowed on three hits and one walk and four strikeouts.
Indiana did not allow Michigan to hold onto the momentum for long as Ashley Warrum attempted to make up for her error in the field the previous half inning by leading off with a single down the right field line. Olson stepped in and delivered a towering home run to center field that easily cleared the 220-foot sign to allow the Hoosiers to regain a two-run edge at 4-2.
The Bottom of the sixth inning provided more suspense and this time it was the Hoosiers coming out on the positive side. Melloh started the inning with a strikeout then allowed a single and then another strikeout - with the runner advancing to second base on a wild pitch on the third strike. Bree Evans, the leadoff hitter for Michigan, stepped in next and hit a ground ball up the middle. IU shortstop Breanna Saucedo chased after it but had to slightly adjust her path to the ball due to her runner at second base attempting to advance to third. The ball trickled into the outfield and Michigan had runners at the corners.
Or so they thought.
After a lengthy discussion among all three umpires, it was determined that the UM runner interfered with Saucedo's attempt to get the ball and she was called out for the third out of the inning.
Indiana did not push across any runs in the top of the seventh so Melloh took the circle in the bottom of the seventh just three outs away from a monumental win for the Cream and Crimson. Sappingfield singled through the left side to start the frame before Melloh fanned Shaw and then induced a fielder's choice that put the Hoosiers just an out away from the win. But Ashley Lane was hit by a pitch with two strikes to prolong the inning and Amy Knapp singled to right field as IU's Lindsay Callanan tried to make a diving catch to end the game but the ball just fell out of her glove as she hit the ground and Michigan was within a run at 4-3. With the tying run at third base and two outs, Caitlin Blanchard hits a bouncing ball to Warrum at second base that she bobbled just enough to allow all the runners to be safe and the game was tied at 4-4 on the third IU error of the game. Melloh retired Ryan on strikes to end the inning and force extra innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, Warrum had a chance to redeem herself yet again but lined out softly to first base for the first out. Olson stepped in again against Taylor and fouled off a number of pitches before depositing a solo home run to left field to give IU its third lead of the game at 5-4.
From there, Melloh took control to strikeout two in the bottom of the eighth inning, culminating with a check-swing strikeout of Shaw.
Indiana will play a non-conference road game on Wednesday when they travel to Louisville for a 5:30 p.m. ET start. Next weekend the Hoosiers will once again be on the road for conference action, this time in Happy Valley to take on the resurgent Penn State Nittany Lions. All games this week will feature live audio at IUHoosiers.com.
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