Hoosiers Lose, 7-6, in Rain-Shortened Game against Northwestern
April 25, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The rain came down in buckets during the top of the seventh inning on Saturday and it did not let up all day Sunday, forcing Indiana and Northwestern to call the game and give the Wildcats a 7-6 victory in six innings. Seniors Kelli Ritchison and Jennifer Glueckert both drove in a pair of runs to aid the Hoosiers cause.
The RBI for Ritchison are the first for her since she had four in the second game of the season against Jacksonville State.
Northwestern (21-11, 7-5 Big Ten) scored six runs in the top of the first inning thanks in large part on back-to-back home runs by Adrienne Monka and Nicole Pauly. Indiana (11-30, 3-8 Big Ten) freshman pitcher Jessica Dobson (2-5) started the game but the NU batters forced IU head coach Michelle Gardner to bring senior Monica Wright on in relief before Dobson could retire a batter in the first.
Wright came on and was outstanding in relief, giving up three runs on six hits in relief, but she allowed just three hits and one run after the first inning.
The Hoosiers were able to touch up NU starting pitcher Lauren Delaney for three runs in the third inning before she was removed in favor of Jessica Smith. In that third inning, Ritchison drove in a run on a sacrifice to third base and was followed by a sharp single up the middle by Glueckert to make the score 6-3 after three innings.
Indiana continued to put the pressure on Smith in the fourth and fifth innings but were unable to push across another run. The Wildcats got a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth inning, which proved to be the game-winning run.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Indiana continued to show their confidence at the plate and it was started by a double by sophomore Samantha Berenter that hit the wall in the air in center field. A bunt single by freshman Samantha Heyman put runners at the corners until freshman Breanna Saucedo singled into center field to cut the Northwestern lead to 7-4. Later in the inning, Ritchison hit a slow roller back to the circle that Smith mishandled, allowing two runs to score and trim the lead to one at 7-6. Ritchison moved to second on a groundout to third base and then on to third on an illegal pitch, leaving the tying run just 60 feet away with junior slugger Sara Olson at the plate. Olson fouled off some tough pitches against Smith before hitting a rocket back up the middle that went into Smith's glove and out but she was able to gather the ball and throw to first for the final out.
Smith (8-5) earned the win for Northwestern, tossing the final 3.1 innings and giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits and one strikeout. Delaney's line showed 2.2 innings of work, two hits, three runs allowed but just one was earned, and three strikeouts.
The teams did begin play in the top of the seventh inning and NU's Michelle Batts hit a solo home run to right field, but because the game was called and the seventh inning was not finished, the home run was wiped out of the record books.
Indiana will play its final mid-week doubleheader on Wednesday when No. 18 Illinois pays a visit to the IU Softball Field with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
Check back soon