Indiana Set To Open 2009 Season At Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament

    Go Hoosiers! Senior pitcher Monica Wright
    Go Hoosiers!
    Senior pitcher Monica Wright
    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 4, 2009

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team will start the 2009 season this weekend when they travel to the campus of UCLA for the Stacy Winsberg Memorial tournament in Los Angeles, Calif. It will also mark the first game as Indiana head coach for Michelle Gardner and her staff.

    Stacy Winsberg Tournament Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader


    The Hoosiers will open the 2009 season on the campus of UCLA against the San Diego State Aztecs, the second consecutive season IU has played SDSU on their opening day of the season.  Last year, the Aztecs defeated the Hoosiers 9-0 at the Campbell Cartier Memorial Tournament hosted by SDSU.

    Friday, Feb. 6

    Indiana vs. San Diego State, 12pm ET

    Indiana vs. Cal State Fullerton, 9pm ET

    Saturday, Feb. 7

    Indiana vs. Pacific, 5pm ET

    Indiana at UCLA, 10pm ET

    Audio for the Indiana vs. UCLA game can be accessed by clicking the following link: Indiana vs. UCLA Audio
    Sunday, Feb. 8

    Indiana vs. Cal Poly, 2:30pm ET

    Here is a look at Indiana's all-time record against the teams they will play this weekend at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament:

    San Diego State                1-4
    Cal State Fullerton             0-2
    University of the Pacific       First Meeting
    UCLA                              1-0
    Cal Poly                           0-1

    Indiana will be under new guidance in 2009 as head coach Michelle Gardner enters her first season in Bloomington after spending the previous six at the University of Nevada.  She posted an overall record of 187-176 with the Wolfpack and led them to a pair of appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including last season when she led the Wolfpack to a pair of wins over Purdue at the UCLA regional.  For their efforts last year at Nevada, Gardner and her staff received the NFCA West Region Coaching Staff of the Year award, given annually to the best coaching staff in each region.  What makes that even more remarkable is that she did that after starting the program from scratch in 2003 after the university decided to re-institute softball after a 14-year hiatus.

    To complete her coaching staff, Gardner brought in a pair of coaches with Big Ten ties as well as being named two-time All-Americans during their playing days.

    Amanda Rivera joins the Hoosiers after spending the 2008 season with the North Carolina State Wolfpack, who advanced all the way to the ACC Tournament title game before falling to Virginia Tech.  Rivera graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2004 where she received All-America accolades as a freshman and senior while setting numerous batting records for the Flames.  From there she would go on to be a volunteer assistant coach at Northwestern University and helped the Wildcats to an appearance in the 2006 College World Series.

    Christy Hebert, a 1997 graduate of the University of Iowa, was a two-time All-American at shortstop for the Hawkeyes under hall of fame head coach Gayle Blevins.  Hebert quickly advanced up the coaching ladder and was named head coach at Norther Iowa in 1999 and would hold that position for five seasons.

    And the volunteer assistant coach this season is a familiar face to the IU softball progam, Tory Yamaguchi.  She is the all-time leader in home runs at Indiana and sits in the top five in career RBI's as well.  She earned second team All-Big Ten after a stellar freshman year and continued to be a leader for the Hoosiers despite some setbacks while wearing the Cream and Crimson.

    First year Indiana head coach Michelle Gardner will be coaching her first game at the helm of Cream and Crimson softball program when the Hoosiers take the field against San Diego State Aztecs.  Of the seven previous head coaches of the IU softball program, three of them have come out on top in their first games, including two of the last three.  In her first-ever game as a head coach at the University of Nevada, Gardner fell to UC Santa Barbara by a score of 4-5 before rattling off three consecutive wins.

    Here's a look at how all seven previous head coaches fared in their first games:
    Jenny Johnson - L, 11-13 vs. Northern Illinois
    Louetta Bloecher - L, 9-10 vs. ICC
    Ann Lawver - W, 18-11 vs. Rutgers
    Gayle Blevins - L, 2-3 vs. Sam Houston
    Diane Stephenson - W, 3-1 vs. Sam Houston
    Sara Hayes - W, 4-2 vs. San Jose State
    Stacey Phillips - L, 0-1 vs. CSU Northridge

    Coming in to a new place as the head coach in her first year, Michelle Gardner did schedule teams with the mindset that the Hoosiers would get a bunch of easy wins handed to them in the pre-conference portion.  When the preseason polls were announced last week, the competitiveness of the teams on the 2009 schedule for Indiana was confirmed, as six teams are ranked in the NFCA/USA Today Top 25 while five can be found in the Softball Top 25.  In both polls, Indiana will play five of the top 11 teams as they are ranked in the preseason poll starting with #4 UCLA on Saturday night on the Bruins home field.

    In addition to those ranked in the top 25, there are an additional eight teams that are also receiving votes in both of the polls.

    And digging a little deeper, there are 15 teams on the 2009 slate that made an appearance in the 2008 NCAA Tournament led by UCLA, who advanced all the way to the 2008 Women's College World Series.


    The Indiana softball family has welcomed the addition of a pair of transfers from other division universities this season in pitcher Ashley Hobbs and outfielder Kelsey Stander.

    Hobbs is a dependable pitcher from the University of Evansville while Stander is an lighting-quick outfielder that played in 54 games for the University of Tennessee last season.

        The Indiana softball team will gather its fair share of frequent flyer miles at the start of the 2009 season.  The Hoosiers will be traveling each weekend in the month of February and five of the first six weekends to start the season.
        From the season opener on Feb. 6 in California to the final pre-conference tournament in Clearwater, Fla., that wraps up on March 15, the Hoosiers will travel nearly 14,000 miles round trip.  Included in that are trips to Los Angeles, Calif., Fullerton, Calif., Houston, Texas, Tallahassee, Fla. and Clearwater, Fla.

    The top returning offensive player for the Hoosiers in 2009 is senior shortstop Emily Bergeson.  She led the team in home runs (8), RBI (27) and slugging percentage (.558).  Her on-base percentage of .455 also led the team and was the sixth-best among the entire conference.

    The highlight of the season for Bergeson would have to be when she put her name among the elite players in IU softball history by clubbing three home runs in one game against Illinois.

    The effort on defense has never been a problem for the Hoosiers over the past three seasons.  In fact, in each of those seasons, the Indiana defense has posted a fielding percentage for the season that ranked in the top four all-time.  It began in 2006, as the Hoosiers made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 10 seasons by relying on pitching and defense.  That season, the team committed a then-school record low of 51 errors on the year (.968 fielding percentage).  They followed it up in 2007 by lowering the school record to 43 errors on the year and setting a new school record with a .973 fielding percentage.  Then last year, they continued to build on that defensive reputation by committing just 59 errors, the third-fewest in IU history and posting a fielding percentage of .961, the fourth-best in school history.

    Head coach Michelle Gardner, the 1988 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, will begin her first season with a very experienced pitching staff to work with.  The Hoosiers return nearly 87 percent of the innings pitched from 2008 as well as 88 percent of the games started.

    Monica Wright is the leading returner in the circle after tossing 182.1 innings and starting 26 games last year as a junior.  Also returning to the circle for the Hoosiers are Sara Olson (89.1 IP and 14 starts) and Alyssa Maiese (21.2 IP and 5 starts).

    Joining the pitching staff as a senior this year is Ashley Hobbs, who transferred in from the University of Evansville.  In her first three seasons with the Aces, Hobbs tossed a total of 408.1 innings and started 52 games while posting a 27-24 record with an ERA of 2.61.


    Sara Olson, currently a sophomore infielder/pitcher for the Hoosiers, appeared as one of the "Faces in the Crowd" in the June 9th edition of Sports Illustrated.  Olson was selected to appear in the magazine after her amazing weekend at the plate and in the circle for the Hoosiers April 26-28.

    In the first game of the weekend against Illinois, Olson hit a walk-off grand slam, her first career home run, giving the Hoosiers a 6-3 win.  The next day, Olson delivered a two-run single in the seventh inning as the Hoosiers rallied from a five-run deficit to force extra innings.

    In the doubleheader on Sunday against Iowa, Olson once again played a key role in the sweep of the Hawkeyes.  In game one, she was a one-person wrecking crew, crushing a three-run home run to provide the offense and tossing a complete game in the circle to get the win in the 3-2 game.

    Game two saw Olson brought in to start the seventh inning with the Hoosiers holding onto a 3-2 lead.  The freshman promptly retired the Hawkeyes in order to earn her first career save and keep the Hoosiers in contention for the Big Ten Tournament.

    Former pitching standout and native of Venezuela, Mariangee Bogado led her home country at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China over the summer.

    The Venezuelan team that she was leading was the first-ever women's team of any kind to compete in the Olympics representing Venezuela and she certainly left her mark.

    After opening the Games with a loss to the United States, Bogado earned a one-hit shutout victory over the Netherlands for the first win in softball in Olympic history for Venezuela.  She allowed just one walk while striking out three to get the win.  She backed that up with another shutout victory the following day, a 2-0 triumph over Canada by allowing just five hits.

    Bogado was largely responsible for getting Venezuela to the Games in the first place, as she tossed a no-hitter against Puerto Rico in the America's Qualifier final to earn the eighth and final spot in the Olympics.

    Her career ran from 2004-06 in the Cream and Crimson and she was able to climb towards the top of numerous pitching records.  She went out with a bang, striking out 299 batters, the second-most in a single season in IU history.  In her career, she fanned 569 which is good for fourth on the all-time list.

    In it's first organized competition under new head coach Michelle Gardner, the Hoosiers did not disappoint, going undefeated during the fall slate at 4-0-1.

    They opened the schedule with a rout of the University of Southern Indiana and then came back two weeks later and defeated Indiana State on the Sycamore's home field thanks to superb pitching from senior Monica Wright and freshman Alyssa Maiese.  In the second game of the tournament at Indiana State, the Hoosiers saw themselves trailing 1-0 to the Butler Bulldogs and the allotted time for the game was running out.  Freshman Molly Anderson reached on an error to start the inning and bring up senior Sarah Padove, who was inserted into the lineup as a defensive replacement the inning prior.  With time winding down, Padove appeared to be the Hoosiers final hope and she came through in  big way, blasting the 2-2 pitch over the fence for a walk-off 2-1 victory for Indiana.

    The following weekend, the Hoosiers hosted the IU Fall Classic and picked up an victory over Lake Land College and tied in-state rival Ball State, 4-4.  Against Lake Land, sophomore Sara Olson broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning with a two-run double to the gap in right-center field which plated the go-ahead runs.

    The second game of the tournament saw Indiana jump out to a commanding 4-0 lead on Ball State only to see them rally in the late innings to get the tie.  IU jumped out to the early lead thanks again to Olson's bat, as she crushed a towering three-run home run over the scoreboard in left-center field.  Freshman Samantha Berenter tacked on the fourth run later in the first on a sac fly.

    In 2008, the Indiana softball team had a number of highlights on the field and some record-setting performances.  Here is a list of some of the accomplishments from last season:

    • Current volunteer assistant coach Tory Yamaguchi etched her name into the IU softball record books against the Iowa Hawkeyes on April 27 when she slammed her 39th career home run to break the previous record of 38 held by Monica Armendarez since 1998.  Yamaguchi would go on to hit her 40th career round-tripper on May 3 against Purdue in her final game at home.

    Emily Bergeson crushed three home runs on April 26 against Illinois, becoming just the second player in Indiana softball history to hit three home runs in a single game.  She joins Monica Armendarez in that elite club, as she hit her three home runs on April 24, 1996 against Michigan State.

    • In that game, Bergeson also tied the school record with four runs scored, the seventh time a Hoosiers has scored four runs in a single game.

    • Yet another school record that Bergeson matched was the single-game walks record when she reached base via base on balls in four plate appearances at Kentucky on April 1.

    •  The Hoosiers swept No. 25 Iowa on the second to last weekend of the season, the first time since 1990 that the Hoosiers swept a season series from the Hawkeyes.




      Check back soon
      Indiana Sports Properties