Softball Tops Louisville, 8-3
April 23, 2014
Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Andy Mohr Field)
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team combined a flawless defense with effective pitching and a solid effort at the plate to secure an 8-3 win over visiting Louisville at Andy Mohr Field. The Hoosiers' success this evening snaps a 10-year losing skid to the Cardinals and is the first victory over Louisville since April 21, 2004 where Indiana came out with a 3-2, walk-off win in Bloomington. The win also moves the Hoosiers to 14-33-1 on the season, while Louisville drops to 28-18 overall.
Against a team that averaged nearly eight hits per game, junior pitcher Lora Olson (6-14) held Louisville batters to just two hits through 4.0 shutout innings this evening en route to her sixth victory of the season. Meaghan Murphy appeared in the fifth for 0.2 innings before Brooke Boetjer closed game with 2.1 hitless frames including a game-ending strikeout in the top of the seventh.
Indiana's pitching staff got plenty run support from the IU offense. The Hoosiers combined for 10 hits against four different Louisville pitchers, including a 4-for-4 effort from redshirt senior Breanna Saucedo. Her four hits tie her single-game, career-best performance against Wisconsin (April 16, 2011) and bring her career total to 212, good for fifth in the all-time program record book. Not only did she showcase a solid performance at the plate, but the shortstop also notched a career-high seven assists in the field, including five through the first six outs of the contest.
Kassi Farmer put together her 11th multi-hit game of the year on a 2-for-4 night at the plate, while Natalie Lalich also provided a pair of hits and an RBI. Brianna Meyer's 1-for-3 outing extended her streak of reaching base to 18 consecutive games, the longest stretch by any player since head coach Michelle Gardner took over the program in 2009. CaraMia Tsirigos rounded out Indiana's hit column going 1-for-3 after connecting on her fourth homerun of the year.
After the Hoosiers retired the side in order to open the game, the Cream and Crimson struck for three runs on three straight hits in the bottom half of the inning. Meyer opened the game with a single to left field and moved to second on Saucedo's bunt single to second base. Farmer sent a base knock through the left side, waving Meyer around from second base for the Hoosiers' first run in the contest. After Tsirigos walked to load the bases, Louisville made a pitching change with no outs in the first; however, Reliever Rachel Le Coq walked and hit consecutive IU batters to help the home team to a 3-0 lead
With two outs against them, the Hoosiers brought in three runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 6-0 advantage over the Cardinals. Lalich got aboard on a one-out single to the middle of the infield and advanced to second after Jenna Abraham was struck by a pitch for the second time in the game. Good vision and patience led to consecutive walks for Shelby Gogreve, Kelsey Dotson and Meyer to push the Hoosiers ahead 5-0. Saucedo capped off the inning with an RBI-single to left that helped Indiana a 6-0 advantage through three complete.
A pair of extra-base hits in the fourth pushed the Hoosiers' lead to eight. Farmer's second triple of the year opened the inning before Tsirigos blasted a two-run shot over the right-center field fence.
Murphy entered to start the fifth, but after three Louisville runs came across, Boetjer entered the game and closed the inning with her first of two strikeouts this evening. Boetjer went on to retire the next six-straight Louisville batters including a game-sealing strikeout in the seventh to help Indiana to an 8-3 win.
Indiana will remain in Bloomington in its final home series of the 2014 season, April 25-27. The Hoosiers will host Iowa for Alumni Weekend at Andy Mohr Field with Friday's game set for 5 p.m. ET. The Hoosiers will also honor its senior class for Senior Day on Sunday, April 27.
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