Feb. 28, 2008
Frost Classic (Chattanooga, Tenn.) (Feb. 29-March 2)
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
OUT OF THE BOX
Indiana travels to the Frost Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn., its second tournament of the season. The Hoosiers opened up the season on Feb. 15 in San Diego, Calif., at the Campbell Cartier Tournament. The offense struggled to find its groove the first three games but came on strong over the final two games. In their last game of the tournament, senior Kari Bettenbrock hit a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Hoosiers a 7-6 win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. The home run was just the third of her career but the third of the game for IU, with Emily Bergeson and Tory Yamaguchi doing the honors earlier in the game.
The Hoosiers and Huskies have met just two times and Indiana came out victorious in both meetings. IU won the inaugural meeting in 1996 by a score of 6-0 and came a way with an 8-6 triumph ten years later.
The series between Indiana and Eastern Illinois dates all the way back to 1974 when the teams split a pair of meetings. The Hoosiers have dominated the series ever since, holding a 28-11 lead and have won 23 of the last 26 meetings. The last time the two teams squared off was 2003, a 10-2 win for Indiana.
The Hoosiers and Bulls only have a brief history against each other, having met just three times prior to this season. In those three meetings, IU has outscored UB, 16-2 to take all three games. In last season's meeting, the Hoosier offense was clicking in a 10-1 win.
Chattanooga is another team that the Hoosiers will face this weekend who they have had success against in the past. Indiana holds a 5-1 lead in the brief series and have held the Mocs to just one run in five of the six games. Last year, IU pulled away with a 7-1 over Chattanooga.
The Wildcats are the only team that the Hoosiers will battle this weekend that has a winning record against them. Kentucky is 8-5 against Indiana all-time, but the Hoosiers have won three of the last four over the past two seasons. In those four games, three of them have been decided by just one run.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE HUSKIES
The Huskies have struggled out of the gate in 2008 and enter this weekend looking for their first win. Two of their five losses have come at the hands of the current No. 1 team in the country, Alabama. Justyne Roy has just three at-bats for the Huskies this season, but has recorded a hit in each of them and has three RBI to her credit. Julianne Towers is batting .375 and has two RBI and Melissa Lucas has a home run an three stolen bases in the early part of the season.
In the circle, Rachael Crossin has a 3.50 ERA while allowing 12 hits in 12.0 innings of work but she has also walked 11 batters.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE PANTHERS
The Panthers opened the season last weekend in Tulsa, Okla., and dropped all three games they played. Their offense also struggled to get going, getting outscored 20-4 in the three games. Robyn Mackie is batting .333 with a triple and two run batted in. Mackie's sister, Karyn, is the top pitcher for EIU so far in 2008, posting a 4.00 ERA in 7.0 innings of work with nine hits and two strikeouts.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE BULLS
The Bulls are also 0-5 after competing in a tournament at Arizona State against the Sun Devils, Iowa, Radford, Miami (OH) and Illinois State. At the plate, Marcy Hansen is off to a great start, hitting .364 and two RBI while Alexandra Bejarano is hitting .214 with three doubles and an RBI.
The pitchers for Buffalo have also struggled from the outset, with the team posting a 13.50 ERA after giving up 39 earned runs in 26.0 innings.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE MOCS
Chattanooga has started the season off on the right foot with a 9-7 mark so far. The Mocs have hosted two tournaments already and have a 6-3 mark at home in the early going. Michelle Fuzzard is on fire at the plate, hitting .436 with a home run and 14 RBI, as she is one of five Mocs with 11 or more runs batted in.
The pitching staff for Chattanooga has been led by Brooke Loudermilk (3-4, 3.09 ERA) and Kandice Irwin (4-2, 3.13). Loudermilk has 54 strikeouts in 43.0 innings of work while Irwin is allowing opposing teams to bat just .245 against her.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS
Kentucky will be making its second trip to Chattanooga this weekend after opening their season at the Chattanooga Shootout where they split four games. The Wildcats bring a 5-7 record into the weekend and are coming off a doubleheader sweep of Toledo on Sunday. Molly Johnson has done it all for Kentucky on offense so far, hitting .447 with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, 10 RBI and three stolen bases in three attempts.
Jennifer Young has been solid in the circle for UK in her two appearances. She has allowed just 15 hits in 13.1 innings of work but has struck out only three in that stretch.
Redshirt senior Tory Yamaguchi has been a terror at the plate throughout her career in Bloomington. In her three previous seasons, Yamaguchi slugged 33 home runs in her first three seasons and has one this season for a total of 34 round trippers, leaving her just four home runs short of the all-time mark set by Monica Armendarez (199-98).
Each season, the native of Woodland Hills, Calif., has increased her home run total. After hitting 10 as a redshirt freshman in 2004, she followed that up with 11 in 2005 before hitting 12 in 2007. That total from a year ago tied two other Hoosiers for the third most in a single season in IU history. The all-time single season record is 16 set by Michelle Venturella in 1994.
Indiana Career Home Run List
1. Monica Armendarez 38
2. Tory Yamaguchi 34
3. Michelle Venturella 28
4. Meg Montgomery 26
5. Lauren Hines 25
10. Jennilee Huddleston 10
KARI TO THE RESCUE
Kari Bettenbrock, a senior from Cory, Ind., gave IU its first win of the 2008 season at the Campbell Cartier Tournament in San Diego, Calif., on Feb. 17. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Hoosiers trailing 6-5, she stepped in and drilled a two-run homer over the wall in center field. It was just her third career home run, but it sent the Hoosiers home with confidence heading into their next tournament.
TO (NOT) CATCH A THIEF
Senior outfielder Julia Hamilton has caused headaches for opposing defenses ever since putting on the Indiana uniform for the first time in 2005. Entering the 2008 season, she had stolen 43 bases in 47 attempts. So far in `08, she is a perfect 2-for-2 to give her 45 career steals.
As a freshman, the Lincolnshire, Ill., product stole nine bases in 10 attempts before swiping 17-of-19 each of the past two seasons.
The 45 career stolen bases moves her past Kelli Brandt into seventh all-time. With another season similar to the past two, Hamilton would finish in the top five all-time, but will have a tough time catching the all-time leader, Aimee Lonigro's 90 career thefts.
Indiana Career Stolen Base List
1. Aimee Lonigro 90
2. Karleen Moore 83
3. Khara Good 71
4. Pam Craig 61
5. Jenny McDaniel 52
6. Julie Hudson 47
7. Julia Hamilton 45
RETURNING TO THE PLATE
The Indiana offense will have some familiar hitters stepping into the box this year, as the top four batters from last year are returning this year, led by senior third baseman Jennilee Huddleston, who hit .335 with six home runs and 25 RBI. Yamaguchi was just shy of the .300 mark, batting .295 with 12 home runs and 32 runs batted in. Rounding out the top four are Sarah Padove (.284) and Julia Hamilton (.266).
EXPERIENCE IN THE CIRCLE
IU will return over 92 percent of their innings pitched from the 2007 season this year. Junior Monica Wright threw 241.2 innings out of a possible 350.0 last season and will be looked upon to once again carry the load in 2008. Wright made 31 starts and completed 25 of those games on her way to 14 wins and 148 strikeouts.
WHO NEEDS A BREAK?
Jennilee Huddleston has been a staple in the IU lineup over the past two seasons, starting each of the last 111 games for the Hoosiers. This season she has started all five game to bring her active streak to 116 games. Of those 116 games, all but one has been at third base. On March 9, 2007 against Northern Illinois, Huddleston shifted to shortstop while Kari Bettenbrock got the start at third.
Under fourth year head coach Stacey Phillips, the Hoosiers have improved their defensive fielding percentage each year, culminating with the all-time Indiana mark of .973 last year. The 2007 Hoosiers also committed a school-record low 43 errors in 55 games.
Huddleston not only led the Hoosiers on the field, she also set the pace in the classroom. The Peachtree City, Ga., native earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V honors for having at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA.
In addition to that, Huddleston was one of ten Hoosiers to be named Academic All-Big Ten, tying Penn State for the most in the conference. In her three seasons as head coach of the Hoosiers, a total 25 Academic All-Big Ten awards have been handed out to IU softball players. On top of all those accomplishments, six Hoosiers were also given the honor of being named NFCA Academic All-Americans for 2007.
A year ago, Indiana got off to a fast start over Spring Break in Florida. First, they won the Bronze Bracket of the USF adidas Invitational. Tory Yamaguchi went 4-for-4 in the title game to provide Indiana with all the offense necessary.
Three days later, the Hoosiers once again celebrated a tournament title in the Tampa, Fla., area. Behind the second consecutive shutout from Monica Wright, Indiana secured the USF Spring Break Tournament crown with a 1-0 win over USF in the championship game. Huddleston once again provided the punch at the plate, lacing a double to left field that allowed Julia Hamilton to score the game's only run.
The tournament was part of a stretch that saw IU win nine straight games before Boston University ended it just before the Hoosiers returned to Indiana.