Two-Run Sixth Inning Pushes Hoosiers Past Penn State
April 5, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – After trailing Penn State 3-2 into the sixth inning, the Indiana softball team was able to manufacture a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame and hang on to an eventual 4-3 win over the Nittany Lions in the Hoosiers’ first Big Ten conference victory at Andy Mohr Field. Indiana improves to within one game under the .500 mark on the year (18-19) and 2-5 in conference games, while Penn State falls to 7-22 (0-6 Big Ten). The Hoosiers have also extended their home win streak to eight games and improve to 34-6 in Bloomington since the beginning of the 2011 campaign.
Even though the Hoosiers stranded 10 runners in the contest, Indiana still found a way to plate four runs on five hits. Shannon Cawley led the way for IU with her eighth multiple-hit game in 2013, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Brianna Meyer and Jenna Abraham contributed with base hits, while Brooke Boetjer provided Indiana with a key no-out double in the sixth.
Meaghan Murphy was the winner in the circle this evening, throwing six complete innings and surrendering three runs on three hits. Murphy also fanned five batters to bring her season total to 101—topping her previous season best of 93 strikeouts in 2012.
Boetjer came in after the sixth and earned her first career save, shutting out Penn State in the final inning of play.
Cawley drove in the Hoosiers’ first run of the ballgame in the first inning of action with an RBI-single through the left side of the infield. Meyer scored from third on the hit, putting Indiana up 1-0.
Penn State responded with three runs in the top half of the third. PSU’s Shannon Hutchinson reached with a bunt single and moved to second after Cassidy Bell was given the free pass to first. A wild pitch moved both runners 60 feet to set up a sacrifice fly from Reina Furuya. In the Nittany Lions’ next at-bat, Macy Jones homered to right to give her squad a 3-1 lead.
The Hoosiers found themselves in a prime position to do some damage in the Indiana half of the inning after loading the bases with an Abraham single, a Wagner walk and another single from Cawley. With nobody down, Kassi Farmer reached on a fielder’s choice to second base, but Abraham was thrown out at home for the first out of the inning. Murphy also hit one to second base, but this time Penn State catcher Kasie Hatifled failed to get her foot on the plate for the force to give Indiana a run. A strikeout would strand three that inning, but the Hoosiers managed to cut its deficit to one.
After two scoreless innings, the home team took advantage of more Penn State miscues to reclaim its lead. Kelsey Brannon checked in as the pinch hitter to lead off the sixth and successfully reached base with a walk. Boetjer then roped a double off the left-center field fence, waving Brannon all of the way around from first base. The senior slid in after the throw reached home, but the ball popped out of Hatfield’s glove to even the game at three. A wild pitch moved Boetjer to third, and a dropped third strike and a walk loaded them up for Cawley. The sophomore hit one on the ground to PSU second basemen Alyssa Renwick who tagged Wagner on her way to second, but the throw over to first for the inning-ending double play was not in time, giving Indiana a 4-3 lead.
Boetjer checked into the circle in the top of the seventh inning in hopes of closing out the contest. The freshman coaxed a ground out and a fly out to bring IU within one out shy of its first Big Ten victory at their new facility. Penn State’s Hatfield almost gave to give her team a shot with a ball hit deep to left. Abraham corralled in the ball and heaved a perfectly placed throw to second base, where Cawley laid on the tag to retire Hatfield of a would-be double for the final out of the ballgame.
The Hoosiers will see the Nittany Lions again tomorrow, April 6, in game two of the three-game series. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. EST.
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