Softball Falls In Six At No. 25 Northwestern
April 18, 2014
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Sharon J. Drysdale Field)
EVANSTON, Ill. – The Indiana softball team dropped an 8-0, six-inning decision to No. 25 Northwestern this evening. The setback drops the Hoosiers to 13-31-1 on the year and 4-11 in Big Ten action. The Wildcats move to 25-11 and 7-6 in B1G contests.
The Hoosiers faced Northwestern’s Kristen Wood (14-5), who matched a career-high 12 strikeouts in the contest and held Indiana to two hits. Natalie Lalich and Breanna Saucedo were the two IU batters to reach on a singles against the Wildcats. Saucedo’s base hit in the sixth extended her hit-streak to a team-high 11 games. Her 11 consecutive games with a hit is the longest stretch since Jennielee Huddleston’s 11-game streak during the 2007 season, where she went 18-for-40 (.450) from March 14-25, 2007.
Lora Olson pitched 5.1 innings in the loss, falling to 5-14 on the season. She scattered 13 hits and allowed six earned runs with three strikeouts.
The Wildcats were first to strike in the contest. With one away in the bottom of the second inning, NU’s Anna Edwards drove a solo homerun to left to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
The Hoosiers looked to strike in the fourth. Jenna Abraham laid down a bunt in an attempt to catch the Northwestern corners off guard. The ball rolled into the glove of first baseman Julia Kuhn, but her throw to first was off target to put Abraham on base. Natalie Lalich dug in at the plate and showed bunt in an attempt to move Abraham 60 feet. Her sacrifice attempt became the Hoosiers’ first hit of the game after the ball snuck between to charging infielders. Indiana looked to knot the game in a promising scenario with runners on first and second and no outs, but a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball stranded the pair to close the top of the fourth.
Northwestern added to its lead with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the inning. A leadoff ground ball was knocked down by Olson who gathered herself and made the throw to first; however the toss was dropped for the first IU error of the ballgame. A single and a ground ball out gave the Wildcats runners on second and third, setting up an RBI for Paige Tonz who drove in a run on a hard hit ball to Kassi Farmer as second. Farmer did manage to get the out at first to put two away, but an RBI-double to right pushed the Wildcats’ lead to three.
A three-run frame in the bottom of the fifth increased the Hoosiers’ deficit to six. Northwestern connected on four hits that inning including an RBI-single and a two-run homerun to build a 6-0 lead.
In the sixth, Indiana threatened with a bases loaded opportunity and no outs. Breanna Saucedo led off the inning with a single through the left side. Back-to-back walks of Abraham and Lalich loaded the bases for Kelsey Dotson with no outs. Northwestern pitcher Kristen Wood hindered the Hoosiers’ attempts to chip away with a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball out to preserve the home team’s 6-0 lead.
Northwestern added another two in the sixth to clinch an 8-0 win in six innings.
The Hoosiers will look to bounce back in game two of the series tomorrow, April 19. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. ET.
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