Indiana Heads To Mariott Houston Classic This Weekend

    Go Hoosiers! Jennifer Glueckert
    Go Hoosiers!
    Jennifer Glueckert
    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 12, 2009

    Complete Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team will travel to Houston, Texas this weekend for the Mariott Houston Classic hosted by the University of Houston. The Hoosiers will open play on Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern against Texas State. On Saturday, IU will take on two of the top softball programs from the state of Oklahoma as they battle Oklahoma State and Oklahoma followed by a second game with Oklahoma State on Sunday. Here is a look at the schedule for the Hoosiers this weekend:

    Marriot Houston Classic Tournament Central

    Friday, Feb. 13
    Indiana vs. Texas State (8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT)

    Saturday, Feb. 14
    Indiana vs. Oklahoma State (2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT)
    Indiana vs. #7 Oklahoma (4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT)

    Sunday, Feb. 15
    Indiana vs. Oklahoma State (12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT)

    After a difficult opening weekend at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament in Los Angeles, the Hoosiers will travel to the University of Houston for the Marriott Houston Classic. They will begin play at 7pm CT/8pm ET on Friday against Texas State. Indiana will also take on No. 7/3 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in Houston.

    Here is a look at Indiana's all-time record against the teams they will play this weekend at the Marriott Houston Classic:

    Texas State 0-1 Oklahoma 2-5-1 Oklahoma State 3-8

    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.

    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. So far in 2009, Bergeson has continued her trend of geting on base as well as hittiing for power. Through the first four games, she has six hits in nine at bats along with four walks. All of that adds up to a slugging percentage of 1.111 and an on-base percentage of .769.

    Yet another freshman from California made an impact in her first collegiate action last weekend at UCLA. Centerfielder Heather Nelson, a native of Riverside, Calif., collected infield hits in each of her first two at bats and later drew a bases loaded walk for her first career RBI in college.

    While the Hoosiers may not have hit for a high average during their first weekend of game action, they were very patient at the plate, coaxing 13 walks from opposing pitchers. After drawing just on base on balls in the season opener against Cal Poly, the Hoosiers three walks against Pacific, four against #4 UCLA and then capped it off with five free passes against Cal State Fullerton in just five innings.

    Indiana head coach Michelle Gardner has pulled the right strings so far this season when bringing in a relief pitcher. Through the first four games, Gardner has had to bring in a relief pitcher on seven occasions. And in each of those occasions, the pitcher has retired the first batter they have faced. Looking even farther into it, the pitchers have struckout the first batter they have faced five times while the other two outs came on a popup in foul territory and a weak ground ball to first base. There have also been instances when those strikeouts have come in very important situations with runners on base. The first came against Cal Poly when Ashley Hobbs struckout the first batter she faced with a runner at third base. In the next game agaisnt Pacific, Sara Olson came on and fanned the first Tiger she faced with a runner on second base. And finally, Monica Wright came on against Cal State Fullerton and induced a weak groundout to first base for the final out of the inning with the bases loaded to end the threat.

    Senior utility player Julie DiNallo had to wait four years, but she finally collected her first career triple when she laced a pitch into right center field against Cal State Fullerton. The ball rolled all the way to the fence and bounced away from the Fullerton centerfielder, allowing her to advance to third base. Another bonus on the play is that she also received an RBI on the play as Jen Glueckert scored from first on the play.




      Check back soon
      Indiana Sports Properties