Hobbs Fans 15 As Hoosiers Complete Weekend Sweep At Michigan State
April 12, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Junior Kristin King drilled a two-run double in the top of the eighth inning and senior Ashley Hobbs recorded 15 strikeouts to lead the Hoosiers to a 5-2 win in eight innings and sweep the weekend series from the Spartans. Hobbs (2-9) strikeout total is tied for the eighth-most in a single game in Indiana history.
The two-game sweep is also the first time since April 8-9, 2005, that the Hoosiers (7-28, 3-7 Big Ten) have taken a two-game series on the road in the Big Ten when they did it in Champaign against Illinois.
Michigan State (13-22, 0-9 Big Ten) had runners at second and third and one out in the bottom of the first inning but Hobbs rose to the occasion with a strikeout and a groundout to avoid any damage and keep the Spartans off the scoreboard.
She added another strikeout in the second inning as part of a 1-2-3 inning and then struck out the side in the third, with a two-out single thrown in there. MSU was finally able to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth when pinch-hitter Brett Williams laced a two-run single into left field to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead.
But Indiana responded back in the top of the fifth, doing all the damage with two outs. Kelsey Stander reached on an error and then stole second base, her tenth stolen base of the season. Pinch-hitter Brittany Devitt followed by reaching on an error as well to put runners at the corners, still with two outs. Kelli Rithison dropped a single into shallow left field to get IU on the scoreboard and cut the MSU lead to 2-1. Senior Emily Bergeson then hit a shallow fly ball to right field that dropped to bring Devitt in from second base to tie the game at 2-2.
From here, Hobbs took control of the game once again, fanning at least two batters in each of the next three innings while allowing two hits over that span.
Hobbs retired the Spartans in order in the bottom of the seventh inning to push the game into extra innings, where the Hoosiers were 1-1 on the season. This time Indiana had the middle of its order coming to the plate, starting with Bergeson, who drew a leadoff walk, the 70th of her career. One out later, Sara Olson singled through the left side and Jennifer Glueckert followed with a single to left field to load the bases for King. Entering the weekend, King was still in search of her first career hit and RBI, but she took care of the hit on Saturday and was in a prime position for her first RBI. The Fort Branch, Ind., native worked the count full before sitting back on a change-up from MSU pitcher Megan Hair and drilling a double into left center field to plate two runs and give IU a 4-2 lead. There was still just one out in the inning and Glueckert was at third base for pinch-hitter Bridget Langan, also in search of her first career run batted in. She too came through with an RBI groundout to second base to increase the Indiana lead to 5-2.
Hobbs went back to the circle for the bottom of the eighth and made quick work of the Spartans, and etched her place in IU history with her 15th strikeout, tying Amy Unterbrink's 15 strikeout performance against Illinois State on May 2, 1986, for eighth on the single-game strikeout list at Indiana.
Her final line showed two runs allowed on seven hits and just one walk to go along with the 15 strikeouts. Hair (4-8) was solid for the Spartans, giving up five runs, three earned, on five hits while walking three and striking out six.
Indiana returns to Big Ten play on Wednesday with a doubleheader at Illinois starting at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.
Check back soon