Roark No-Hits Southern
BATON ROUGE, La. - Behind junior Megan Roark's first career no-hitter, the Indiana softball team shut out Southern University, 7-0, in the first game of the Tiger Classic on Friday afternoon.
"It is just another achievement for her and her career," said head coach Stacey Phillips. "She has come a long way and this just shows how much hard work can pay off for anyone."
Roark went the distance striking out seven batters, while allowing just two walks. The no-hitter was the 18th in the history of Indiana and the first since Alison Cooke threw one against Miami (Ohio) University on April 24, 2001, a Hoosier 1-0 victory.
"I felt fine warming up," said Roark. "I feel that I didn't have my `A' game, but we played great defense and we all accomplished this as a team."
Roark struck out two batters in the first and the side in the third. In the seventh, she struck out the first two batters of the inning. With the pressure on her, Roark faced a battle with Southern's Candice Stevens, who fouled off several pitches before working out a walk. Jamye Roberts then stepped to the plate and corked a pitch to deep left, but freshman Julia Hamilton was right there to corral the ball a few steps in front of the wall to end the game.
"After I got the first two outs, I was just thinking please don't get a hit," said Roark "She battled me and got a walk and I just kept telling myself just finish strong."
The Hoosiers gave Roark all the offense she needed with two runs in the second. With two out and runners on second and third, senior Ashley Griffiths stroked a two-run double to deep left. As the ball one-hopped off the wall, sophomore Kim Richards and Hamilton came around to score, giving IU a 2-0 lead.
IU put the game away with five-run sixth. Freshman Jennilee Huddleston led off the inning with a double to right. She came around to score on an error, as Lady Jaguars' shortstop La'Kisha Kenebrew booted junior Lauren Hines' grounder . Later in the inning, with runners on first and second, Richards ripped an RBI double down the right-field line, leaving runners on second and third. Freshman Kari Bettenbrock then drove in a run with her first collegiate hit, a single to right field. After a wild pitch moved runners to second and third again, Southern hurler Samisha Bledsoe threw another wild pitch, this time scoring the Hoosiers sixth run.
Hamilton then hit her second infield single of the game, and immediately stole second, putting another two Hoosiers in scoring position. A sacrifice fly by Griffiths gave IU a 7-0 advantage.
It was great to see the runs come across the plate today," said Phillips. "We had a lot of people contribute and we also had a lot of young players get their first hit and RBI today."
Hamilton ended the day at 2-for-3 with three stolen bases and a run scored. Richards was 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Griffiths was 1-for-3 with three RBI.
Indiana returns to the diamond tomorrow, Feb. 19, as the Cream and Crimson play a two-team doubleheader with Grambling University at 10 a.m., and host LSU at 12:15 p.m. LSU downed Grambling 10-0 in the second game of the Tiger Classic.
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