Softball Suffers Heartbreaking 5-4 Loss In Season Finale
May 5, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.— A hard-fought comeback in the seventh inning was spoiled by a pair of Minnesota runs in the bottom of the seventh as the Indiana softball team suffered its second consecutive walk-off loss in a 5-4 setback to the Golden Gophers this afternoon.
After trailing by a run, Indiana battled back to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh inning, but Minnesota would dig itself out of a one-run deficit to complete the series sweep over the Hoosiers.
Indiana and Minnesota both tallied eight hits apiece, with Meaghan Murphy leading the way for IU with a pair of hits and two runs driven in, while Amanda Wagner and Brianna Meyer each brought in a run with RBI-singles. Samantha Heyman tripled and singled for the Hoosiers, and Kassi Farmer and Jenna Abraham had base hits this afternoon.
Lora Olson got the start and lasted 4.0 innings in the circle. She allowed just one earned run on four hits and struck out one while walking three. Brooke Boetjer became the pitcher of record after entering the game in the fifth. She falls to 1-5 on the season after surrendering three earned runs on four hits.
Minnesota looked to take an early lead in its first at-bat, but heads up Hoosier defense would get IU out of the jam. Tyler Walker singled and stole second base to start off the frame, and a ground ball moved her to third base with just one away. Minnesota’s Kaitlyn Richardson lined one to Heyman, who then fired over the Wagner at third to double up Walker and end the inning.
Indiana got its first base runner in the third when Jenna Abraham reached on a Minnesota fielding error, and the Hoosiers would eventually register its first hit in the fourth with a leadoff triple from Heyman. With one away, Shannon Cawley laid down a squeeze bunt, but Heyman would be thrown out at home to spoil the Hoosiers’ attempts of taking its first lead of the weekend.
The Golden Gophers struck for a run in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI-single from Alex Davis. The home team nearly doubled its lead with a shot over Abraham’s head in left, but she would find Shelby Gogreve for the relay to Farmer to get Davis at home for the final out of the inning.
In the fifth, Indiana again put runners on base. Farmer blooped a one-out single to left for the Hoosiers’ second hit of the contest. She would be thrown out at second base on a Gogreve fielder’s choice. Gogreve would advance to second on that play after Minnesota’s Walker threw the ball into the home dugout. Abraham drew a two-out walk, giving Wagner a chance to do some damage with two on and two outs. The senior came through with an RBI-single to shallow right-center field to tie the ballgame at one apiece.
Boetjer took over pitching duties in the bottom of the fifth inning. After getting a fly ball out, she was touched for a two-run home run by Minnesota’s Richardson to give the Golden Gophers a 3-1 lead.
A big sixth inning helped Indiana to its second run of the day. Brianna Meyer led off the inning with a ground ball that bounced off of first base as well as the glove of Minnesota’s Paige Palkovich to put the leadoff runner aboard. Meyer would be thrown out at second for the first out of the inning on a fielder’s choice that put Cawley on first. Murphy followed with an RBI-double to left to wave Cawley around from first and bring Indiana within one.
The Hoosiers made a late offensive surge in the top of the seventh inning to take a 4-3 lead. Abraham led off the inning with an infield single but would be thrown out at second base when Wagner hit a ground ball to shortstop. Kelsey Brannon entered the game to pinch run for Wagner and advanced to second on Heyman’s single up the middle. Meyer’s game-tying single through the left side brought in Brannon from second base, but it would be Murphy’s RBI-single to left that would give the Hoosiers a late 4-3 lead.
With a one-run lead, Indiana needed just three outs to secure the win, but the Golden Gophers would come from behind and spoil the Hoosiers’ late comeback. Minnesota’s Tyler Walker singled to start off the inning and the home team would get runners on the corners with no outs after an errant through to get the lead runner at second went into the outfield. An infield single tied the game at four, and a sacrifice bunt moved the winning run to third base with one away. A hit towards the middle of the infield would drive in the winning run in Minnesota’s second straight walk-off victory.
Indiana finishes the regular season at 19-34 (3-19 Big Ten) and will head to the 2013 Big Ten Tournament in Lincoln, Neb., May 9.
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