April 11, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
The Indiana softball team got another outstanding pitching performance from sophomore Sara Olson on its way to a 3-1 win over the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday at Old College Field. Emily Bergeson and Brittany Stein each had RBI doubles to provide enough run support for Olson, who logged her fifth win of the season.
"Sara got on a nice roll in the middle innings today and we were able to give her enough run support to get a very important conference road victory," Indiana head coach Michelle Gardner said.
The roll Gardner was referring to was the eight consecutive batters retired by Olson, starting with a strikeout of Lauren Hanson, the Spartans (13-21, 0-8 Big Ten) top power threat with 10 home runs on the year. She then struckout two Spartans in both the third and fourth innings before Kara Weigle reached on a bunt single.
While Olson was on cruise control in the circle, the Hoosiers (6-28, 2-7 Big Ten) were getting the production they needed at the plate out of the top four batters in the lineup, who finished the day 6-for-12 with two RBI and three runs scored. They pushed across the first run of the game in the top of the third inning when Bergeson scored from first on a double into the right center field gap by Stein.
Then in the top of the fifth inning, Heather Nelson
dropped a single in to shallow left field to start the inning. Following a sacrifice bunt from Kelli Ritchison
, Bergeson laced a double of her own into the right center gap to give Indiana a 2-0 lead. The Hoosiers used a defensive miscue by the Spartans on a popup to the infield to score their second run of the inning and take a 3-0 lead.
Michigan State started its half of the fifth inning with back-to-back singles and they were still there with one out when MSU's Melanie Bensema hit a line drive to Kristin King at third who caught it for the second out of the inning and threw to first to turn the double play but her throw was a little high and allowed the runners to advance to second and third with the top of the lineup coming up. Jessica Bracamonte took advantage with an RBI single to right to score the only MSU run of the day.
King made a handful of good plays at third base in the game, just her second career start at third. She also picked up her first career hit when she launched a double to left field in the second inning that took one bounce before it hit the fence.
Olson (5-9) was still on the top of her game in the seventh inning, retiring the Spartans in order to preserve the win. She allowed one unearned run on five hits while striking out eight and not walking a batter. MSU's Lauren Kramer (4-9) allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
The two teams will be back at it on Sunday at Old College Field starting at 12 p.m., with the game broadcast LIVE on the Big Ten Network.