May 1, 2011
Box Score |
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Despite a constant mist throughout the game, Indiana senior left-handed pitcher Morgan Melloh was on top of her game Sunday at the IU Softball Field, tossing a one-hit shutout while striking out 14 to lead the Hoosiers (34-15, 14-2 Big Ten) to a 5-0 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes (26-21, 8-8 Big Ten). It is the 14th win overall and the 13th straight in Big Ten play to remain in first place in the conference with four games remaining.
The 14-game win streak is still the longest since 1994 while the 13-game conference win streak is the longest in school history.
Melloh (29-14) tossed her eight straight complete game victory, allowing a bloop single to center field off the bat of Stephanie Ochoa with two outs in the seventh inning as the only hit in the game for the Hawkeyes. She walked two batters and struck out 14 to give her 441 on the year and 1579 in her career. She allowed just two balls to leave in the infield in the game and had exactly two strikeouts in each of the seven innings.
The Hoosiers scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first inning when leadoff batter Breanna Saucedo struck out but reached first on a wild pitch on strike three. Ashley Warrum sacrificed Saucedo to second base. Amanda Wagner then drew a one out walk to give Morgan Melloh the chance to drive in the run with her bat. But before Melloh could even put the bat on the ball, Saucedo coaxed a throw from Iowa catcher Liz Watkins to second base. But instead of returning to second base, Saucedo broke for third base and no one from the Iowa defense was covering the second base bag and the ball rolled into center field to allow Saucedo to come all the way around to score without a play.
When the Hoosiers came up in the fourth inning, Sara Olson led off with a double down the left field line. Kelsey Brannon came on to pinch run for Olson and moved to third base on a wild pitch. Melloh then hit a ground ball to second base that was bobbled for an error and Brannon scampered home to make it a 2-0 Indiana lead.
The fifth inning saw Indiana do the most damage and it was once again Saucedo leading the charge. She pulled an inside pitch down the right field line for her first triple of the year. Two batters later, Olson lifted her eighth home run of the season to left field to make it a 4-0 IU lead. Amanda Wagner kept the inning going with a walk and Morgan Melloh singled to second base to give the hot-hitting Jenna Abraham an opportunity to add to the lead. Abraham, a freshman from Fishers, Ind., worked the count deep before lining a single to center field that allowed pinch-runner Samantha Berenter to score from second base.
Indiana will travel to Northwestern next weekend for its final road trip of the season. Saturday's game will start at 2:00 p.m. ET and then Sunday's game will begin at 4:00 p.m. ET and will be carried LIVE on the Big Ten Network.
The top hitter on the team during the win streak continues to be Jenna Abraham, who boasts a .424 average with a triple and a home run and two RBI ... Amanda Wagner is slugging .818 during the streak and has a .488 on-base percentage ... Sara Olson is hitting .500 (17-for-34) with three home runs and 14 RBI in Big Ten play ... her slugging percentage is .853 and her on-base percentage is .696 ... Melloh lowered her ERA during the win streak to 1.14 and she has 185 strikeouts in 111.0 innings pitched ... in the four games this week, Melloh allowed just seven hits total and two earned runs ... Olson now has 94 RBI in her career to tie for sixth all-time at Indiana.