Furious Indiana Rally Comes Up Short In 5-4 Loss to No. 18 Illinois
April 28, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team put together five consecutive base hits in the bottom of the seventh inning to plate a pair of runs, unfortunately it was not enough as the Hoosiers went down in defeat to No. 18 Illinois, 5-4. The game was the first of a doubleheader with the Fighting Illini at the IU Softball Field.
The Hoosiers racked up a season-high 13 hits in the game, including five consecutive hits in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Just as it has all season, Indiana (11-31, 3-9 Big Ten) refused to go down without a fight in a game that they trailed 5-0 through five innings. In the sixth inning, junior Sara Olson lifted a fly ball to right field that the wind helped to carry the fence for a two-run home run, her seventh of the season, and the Illinois (34-5, 7-2 Big Ten) lead was cut to 5-2.
Then in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Indiana bats came alive in a big way and it started with a one-out infield single by senior Kelli Ritchison. Another senior, Jennifer Glueckert collected her second hit of the game with a single back up the middle and Olson followed with a single to center to plate Ritchison and cut the Illini lead to two runs. Junior Cassie Gogreve singled through the left side to load the bases for freshman Amanda Wagner. The Burbank, Ill., native singled to center field to plate another run and bring Indiana to within 5-4 and the bases were still loaded. Samantha Berenter went down on strikes for the second out, leaving it all up to pinch-hitter Maria Gillis. The freshman stepped in and laced the second pitch she saw on a line to right field. The Illinois right fielder, Molly Pinchback, came in on the ball and then had to suddenly go back and was able to stick her glove up and snag it with just inches to spare to end the game in heartbreaking fashion for the Hoosiers.
When it was all said an done, five different Indiana players had collected two hits in the game (Olson, Glueckert, Gogreve, Wagner and Berenter).
Senior pitcher Monica Wright (3-10) went the distance in the circle for the Hoosiers, allowing five runs, four earned, on nine hits and three strikeouts.
The Illini used three pitchers, with starting pitcher Monica Perry (19-4) being credited with the win by going 6.1 innings and giving up four runs on 11 hits and eight strikeouts. Jackie Guy came on and allowed base hits to the only two batters she faced before Pepper Gay was brought on to get the final two outs for her third save of the season.
Both teams left 10 runners on base in the game.
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