Murphy Tosses Career-High 13 Strikeouts In Split With MSU
April 9, 2014
Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Andy Mohr Field)
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Behind a career-high, 13-strikeout performance from Meaghan Murphy, the Indiana softball team bounced back to win game two of the Hoosiers’ midweek doubleheader with Michigan State, 7-3, after suffering a 5-3 setback in the opening tilt at Andy Mohr Field this evening. The split moves the Hoosiers to 11-27-1 on the season and 3-8 in Big Ten play, while Michigan State now sits at 9-25 overall and 2-9 in conference contests.
Murphy’s 13 strikeouts in game two surpassed her previous career-best of 10 against Georgia State on February 17, 2013. Her 13 K’s are not only a team-high this season, but are also the most by an IU pitcher since Morgan Melloh fanned 13 Northwestern batters on May 7, 2011.
Murphy, now 4-10 on the year, had plenty of offense behind her with six different Hoosier batters registering hits against the Spartans in the nightcap. Indiana outhit Michigan State 8-6, with Breanna Saucedo notching a two-hit, two-RBI effort at the dish. Jenna Abraham also drove in a pair of runs with her third homerun of the season in the first inning. Kassi Farmer extended her hit-streak to six games in her ninth multi-hit game of the year. Michelle Huber doubled, Kelsey Dotson homered and Erin Lehman singled to close out the Hoosiers’ offense.
Indiana wasted no time to put runs on the board, scoring two runs in the opening frame on a two-run shot from Abraham. After Brianna Meyer reached on a walk, Abraham turned on one and sent it sailing down the left field line where it struck the foul pole and landed beyond the left field fence to give the Hoosiers a 2-0 advantage.
The Hoosiers extended its lead with more offense in the second. Dotson was struck by an inside pitch to lead off the inning. Lehman followed with an infield bunt single when the sacrifice attempt was pushed by a pair of charging MSU infielders. A sacrifice bunt by Kaya Mathewson moved the pair into scoring position with one away. After an IU strikeout, Saucedo improved the Hoosiers’ lead to four on a two-run single to right, setting up an RBI-double for Huber.
Murphy continued to deal in the circle and registered five strikeouts through 3.0 hitless innings. She would surrender her first hit in the fourth, but she would preserve a shutout through five complete.
In the bottom of the fifth, Dotson hit a no-doubter well-beyond the 190-fence in left field to give Indiana a 7-0 lead over the Spartans.
A two-run homerun and an RBI-single by Michigan State cut the Hoosiers’ lead to four in the sixth inning. Murphy closed out the final frame with a pair of strikeouts to cap off a career-high 13 strikeout performance in 6.0 innings.
Indiana dropped the opening game of the day 5-3. Brooke Boetjer tossed the first 4.1 innings in the circle, allowing two earned runs and posted three innings of scoreless work. Lora Olson (4-12) entered the game tied at two in the fifth. She closed out the final 2.2 innings, giving up four hits for one earned run and one strikeout.
Meyer paced IU’s offense with a 2-for-4 effort including an RBI-single in the third. Farmer also earned multiple-hits against the Spartans, going 2-for-3 on a pair of base hits.
The Spartans jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first on back-to-back doubles followed by an RBI-single.
Indiana waited until the third to strike. Lehman was hit by a pitch and eventually driven in on an RBI-single to right by Meyer, bringing IU within one.
The Hoosiers knotted the game at two thanks to an RBI-single from Huber, but the Spartans broke the tie score with a run in the top of the sixth and extended its lead with a pair of runs in the seventh.
Trailing 5-2, Indiana was down to its final three outs and needed three runs to stay alive. Lehman gave the Hoosiers a base runner on a one-out single to right. She advanced to second when Mathewson was hit by a pitch but eventually was thrown out on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Meyer. Saucedo singled to load the bases, setting the stage for a bases loaded walk from Abraham which trimmed the Spartans’ lead to two. A strikeout would ultimately end the game and deal Indiana the 5-3 loss.
The Hoosiers will continue Big Ten play at home this weekend when they host Penn State for a three-game series at Andy Mohr Field, April 11-13. First pitch for Friday’s game is set for 5 p.m. ET.
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