April 10, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Indiana sophomore Amanda Wagner delivered a pinch-hit RBI single up the middle in the top of the seventh inning to provide the only offense in the Hoosiers' 1-0 win at Penn State on Sunday at Beard Field. Indiana improves to 22-15 overall and 4-2 in conference play, the best conference start for IU since 1997.
Morgan Melloh (18-14) was commanding in the circle against the Nittany Lions (18-16, 4-4 Big Ten) for the second straight day. She followed up her one-hitter yesterday with a two-hit shutout on Sunday for her seventh shutout of the season. The senior also registered seven strikeouts in the contest to improve her season total to 303 and become just the second Indiana pitcher to surpass 300 strikeouts in a single season. Amy Unterbrink is the other pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts in a season, doing so with 370 in 1986 to set the current single-season record.
The Hoosiers achieve the weekend sweep on the road, the third straight season that head coach Michelle Gardner has lead Indiana to weekend sweep of a conference opponent on the road. It is also the first time that IU has swept Penn State in Happy Valley since 1998.
Melloh also has 1,441 strikeouts in her career to move into a tie for ninth place on the NCAA career strikeout list with Anjelica Selden from UCLA.
The only offense in the contest came from the Hoosiers in the seventh inning after Sara Olson was hit by a Jackie Hill pitch to put the leadoff runner on base. Melloh followed by grounding into a fielder's choice to leave a runner at first with one out. Cassie Gogreve dropped a single into center field and Jenna Abraham lined a hit to center field to load the bases. Wagner was brought in to pinch-hit for Heather Nelson and worked Hill into a hitter's count before pounding a single up the middle to plate Melloh for, what would prove to be, the game's lone run.
It is the second time this season that Wagner has delivered a game-winning hit, doing so with a fielder's choice in the eighth inning against San Diego State.
Jackie Hill (12-8) took the loss for PSU, battling Melloh pitch for pitch until the seventh inning. She finished allowing five hits and one run while striking out four.
Melloh has not allowed an earned run in the last 22.2 innings and gave up just two runs overall in that span, dating back to the second game against Michigan on April 2.
Penn State did have a chance to put a run on the board in the fourth inning when Kailyn Johnson singled to start the frame. A sacrifice bunt moved her second base and a tapper back to the cirlcle left her at third with two outs. But Melloh retired Kasie Hatfield on a swinging third strike to end the threat.
The Hoosiers have a busy week coming up, starting with a conference doubleheader against Ohio State on Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Then on Thursday, the Hoosiers host Indiana State at 3 p.m. and close the week with Wisconsin coming to town on Saturday and Sunday. All games will feature free live audio on IUHoosiers.com.