May 12, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
It took extra innings but the Indiana Hoosiers (29-25, 13-10 Big Ten) extended their win streak to five games with a 6-5 victory over the Michigan State Spartans at Secchia Stadium on Saturday afternoon in game one of a doubleheader. Shannon Cawley's deep sac fly to center field plated the eventual winning run in the eighth inning for the Hoosiers.
The five-game winning streak ties for the teams' longest this season (Feb. 19-25).
Lora Olson started the game in the circle for Indiana and pitched four-plus innings, allowing three runs on six hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Meaghan Murphy (15-11) pitched the final four innings in relief to get the win, allowing two runs - just one earned - on four hits, four walks and two strikeouts.
The top three batters in the IU lineup - Kelsey Brannon, Lindsay Callanan and Shannon Cawley - combined for six hits and four runs scored. Heather Nelson also came off the bench to collect a hit and scored a pair of runs in the late innings.
In the top of the first inning, Callanan reached on a bunt single and Cawley followed with a double down the right field line to put runners at second and third. Amanda Wagner's groundout scored the first run and then Cassie Gogreve's single to center field put the Hoosiers in front, 2-0.
Michigan State (11-41, 0-22 Big Ten) got one run back in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the IU lead to 2-1. But Indiana responded with a bases loaded walk by Jena Malmen to regain a two run advantage, 3-1.
The Spartans again responded in the bottom of the fifth inning with a pair of runs to tie the game, 3-3.
The sixth inning saw the game of back-and-forth continue with Indiana going back on the attack. Nelson singled to right and Brannon followed with a single to center field with one out. With two outs, Cawley's grounder to shortstop went through Alyssa McBride's legs allowing Nelson to score. Wagner followed with a single to right field to plate another run and give the Hoosiers a 5-3 lead.
Once again, Michigan State did not back down and took advantage of an Indiana error to cut the Indiana lead to 5-4 going to the seventh inning. When the Hoosiers failed to add to the lead in the top of the seventh inning, the Spartans got a two out RBI single from Melanie Bensema to tie the game and force extra innings.
In the eighth inning, Heather Nelson's popup on the infield was dropped and she advanced to second base on the error to start the inning. She moved to third on a single by Brannon and then came in to score on Cawley's sac fly to center field to give Indiana a slim 6-5 lead.
Murphy was up to the task in the bottom of the eight and kept MSU off the board to give IU the win.
The game was started 15 minutes late due to rain in the area and was also televised live on the Big Ten Network.