May 7, 2011
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Freshman second baseman Ashley Warrum laced a RBI triple with two outs in the third inning that proved to be the difference as Indiana claimed a 1-0 victory over Northwestern (22-18, 4-11) at Drysdale Field in Evanston, Ill. With the win, Indiana increases its win streak to 15 straight games, the longest active streak in the country.
Indiana (35-15, 15-2 Big Ten) has also won 14 straight Big Ten games to extend its school record.
The one run proved to be enough support for Morgan Melloh (30-14) in the circle, as she whiffed 13 Northwestern batters on the afternoon and allowed just two hits. It is her 12th shutout of the season and second straight shutout. She senior left-handed pitcher now has 454 strikeouts on the year to match her single-season career high that she set her freshman season at Fresno State.
In surpassing 450 strikeouts this season, she becomes just the fifth pitcher in NCAA history to have three or more seasons with 450 strikeouts - joining Monica Abbott, Cat Osterman, Angela Tincher and Daneille Lawrie.
Although there was just one run scored in the game, the Hoosiers had a number of opportunities in the game but stranded 11 runners on base including the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning with a chance to break the game wide open.
Northwestern's best chance to score came in the bottom of the third inning when they had the bases loaded for their cleanup hitter, Marisa Bast. Melloh worked the count full to the power-hitting second baseman before a called third strike on the inside corner ended the threat.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Wildcats had another opportunity to tie the game when Kelly Quinn laced a double off the wall in left field. As the ball trickled away from the wall, IU's Jenna Abraham sent the relay throw into shortstop Breanna Saucedo in shallow left field. Saucedo then threw towards third base but the throw was well wide of the base and appeared to be headed behind home plate. But Cassie Gogreve was there waiting to cut it off and quickly threw to third base where first baseman Sara Olson was covering to apply the tag to Quinn for the second out of the inning. Melloh struck out the next batter to end the game.
Melloh was able to keep the dangerous top of the Northwestern lineup in check throughout the game, as the 1-4 hitters in the order combined to go 0-for-10 with five strikeouts. Adrienne Monka was the only Northwestern starter that Melloh did not strike out in the game.
The top of the Indiana lineup did its job on Saturday, as the top three batters were a combined 3-for-6 and also coaxed four walks out of Northwestern starting pitcher Jessica Smith (7-10).
Indiana will return to action at Drysdale Field on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET with the game being broadcast LIVE on the Big Ten Network.