BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
The Indiana offense stepped up to the plate in the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday against Northwestern (18-24, 6-9 Big Ten), posting a 11-3 win in six innings over the Wildcats at the IU Softball Field in a game carried live on the Big Ten Network.
The win gives Indiana two wins over Northwestern in the same season for the first time since 1997. The Hoosiers connected for three home runs in the game, matching a season high (BYU on Feb. 18).
There were a number of offensive stars for the Hoosiers (23-22, 7-8 Big Ten) but equal to that was the effort in the circle by sophomore pitcher Meaghan Murphy (10-9) who went the distance to pick up her second win of the weekend. She allowed three runs on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts against a strong Northwestern offense.
Junior slugger Amanda Wagner was just 1-for-1 statistically at the plate but she drew a pair of walks and was hit-by-pitch to reach base all four plate appearances - and she came around to score four runs in the game to tie the Indiana single-game record.
Shelby Gogreve was 2-for-4 with a career-best four RBI and Brianna Meyer had three hits and three RBI in addition to Jenna Abraham's 2-for-2 effort at the plate, including a home run, with a pair of runs scored, breaking a 1-for-18 skid at the plate entering the game. Samantha Berenter also continued to impress at the plate in her senior year, clubbing her fifth home run of the year.
The Wildcats were able to manufacture a run in the top of the first inning but Murphy responded by retiring the next eight NU batters in order. And while she was doing that, the Hoosiers were busy putting plenty of runs on the board.
It started in the bottom of the first inning when Abraham walked and moved to second on a sac bunt by Kelsey Brannon. Shannon Cawley and Wagner both drew walks to load the bases for Meyer, who delivered a two-run single to right center, putting IU on top 2-1. The Hoosiers added a third run in the inning on a wild pitch by Northwestern starting pitcher Amy Letourneau to take a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the second inning, Berenter led off with bomb to left center that left little doubt as soon as it left the bat to increase the lead, 4-1.
The third inning saw Amanda Wagner draw a leadoff walk and then two outs later came around to score on Shelby Gogreve's third home run of the year, making the score 6-1.
Northwestern brought in Meghan Lamberth to start the bottom of the fourth inning but Abraham greeted her with a solo home run to left field on the second pitch of the at-bat. Wagner was hit by a pitch with two outs in the inning and Meyer followed with a double to left center that allowed Wagner to motor all the way to, putting IU in front 8-1.
When the Wildcats clawed back to within 8-3, it was Indiana's turn to respond and they did in the bottom of the sixth inning. Brannon drew a walk and Cawley doubled to left center to put a pair of runners in scoring position. A pitching change for NU looked to stem the tide for the Hoosiers but did not. Wagner lifted a soft single down the left field line to score one run as Cawley was thrown out at the plate trying to score on the play. Meyer's single through the left side put a pair of runners on base before Shelby Gogreve stepped in the batter's box with two outs. The sophomore blasted a pitch to center field all the way to the wall, easily scoring Wagner and Meyer slid head first into home with the game-winning run, 11-3.
Indiana will host Louisville on Wednesday at the IU Softball Field with the first pitch slated for 2:00 p.m. ET.
NOTES Amanda Wagner has been on base in 21 straight games ... Wagner has also been on base in 33 of her last 39 plate appearances ... Meyer has reached base safely (without the help of an error) in 13 straight games ... after losing 25 of 27 prior to the 2011 season vs. Northwestern, the Hoosiers have won three of the last five against the Wildcats ... IU is 14-1 this season when scoring six or more runs ... Indiana is also 15-2 when they score a run in the first inning and 19-6 when they score the first run of the game ... the Hoosiers reached double figures in runs scored for the third time this season and had double digits in the hit column for the 10th time this year.