Walk-Off Home Run Deals Indiana 5-4 Loss In Extra Innings
April 20, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – After rallying back to dig its way out of a four-run deficit, the Indiana softball team dropped its second straight contest in extra innings as Illinois’ Jessica Davis hit a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning to deal the Hoosiers a 5-4 loss. Indiana falls to 19-25 on the season and 3-11 in conference play, while Illinois gets its second win in Big Ten play (2-11) and moves to 12-25 on the season.
Indiana had five hits in the contest, with Brooke Boetjer and Michelle Huber earning a pair of hits each. Boetjer drove in two runs and connected on two doubles, while Huber knocked in two RBI with her first career home run to tie the game in the top of the fifth.
Brooke Boetjer got the start for Indiana, but was relieved after giving up four runs on five hits through 3.0 innings. Meaghan Murphy was the pitcher of record who tossed the final 4.0 innings and allowed one run on three hits.She falls to 12-13 on the season.
The Hoosiers committed four errors in game one of today’s doubleheader, two of those helped UI to a pair of unearned runs in the first. The first of those errors was committed when UI’s Kylie Johnson who hit a high-chopper to Lexi Reese who couldn’t quite hang on to make the play. Johnson would eventually make her way to third after stealing second and advancing on a passed ball. A double from Alex Booker gave Illinois a 1-0 lead, and she would eventually score after a two-out error by Amanda Wagner.
In the third, Brooke Boetjer was touched for back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt put a pair of runners in scoring position. With two outs, a single to center field would be enough to give Illinois a 4-0 lead, sending the Hoosiers to search of an answer in the top half of the fourth.
Kelsey Dotson looked to help Indiana do just that with a leadoff double off the top of the left field fence. After Jenna Abraham reached on a one-out walk, Samantha Heyman dug in at the plate in what seemed to be a promising opportunity for the Hoosiers. The senior roped a screaming line drive to center field, but Illinois’ Jade Smith was there for the catch and fired to second base to double up Dotson and end the inning.
Indiana’s bats heated up in the top of the fifth inning. Kelsey Brannon started the frame reaching on a throwing error and later advanced to second after Amanda Wagner was walked. After a fly out to left, Boetjer blasted a one-out double to right-center field that sent both Brannon and Wagner home to cut Illinois’ lead to two. Michelle Huber would not leave the runner stranded as she hammered a ball well past the 200-foot fence in left to tie the game at four.
Boetjer led off the top of the seventh with her second consecutive double to put a runner in scoring position for Indiana, but the next three IU batters were retired to push the contest into the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Hoosiers’ defense retired the Fighting Illini in order to put Indiana in its second straight extra-innings affair.
Indiana’s batters could not push a run across in the Hoosier half of the eighth, giving Illinois a chance to win it in the bottom of the inning. UI’s Jessica Davis drove the first pitch over the left field fence to give the Fighting Illini the walk-off victory.
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