Weekly Release #3
March 5, 2003
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Indiana enters this weekend's action with a 4-6 overall record, following a 1-4 showing at the University of South Florida Tournament (Feb. 21-23). Indiana opened its season during the weekend of February 14-16, winning three of five games at the New Mexico State Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M.
This weekend at the Charleston Southern Invitational, Indiana is scheduled to face Furman, Stony Brook, Savannah State, and Central Florida. Indiana is also guaranteed a fifth game and may play as many as eight contests if it reaches the championship game of the tournament. Championship bracket play begins Saturday evening and extends to Sunday.
The Hayes File: For the first time since 1988, Indiana is under the direction of a head coach other than Diane Stephenson. On July 22, 2002, Indiana named Sara Hayes as the sixth head softball coach in school history.
Hayes takes over the helm of the Indiana program after spending the last two seasons as the head coach at the University of Northern Iowa. As an assistant coach at DePaul from 1995-00, Hayes helped lead the Blue Demons to a 265-97 overall record, which included back-to-back College World Series appearances in 1999 and 2000.
One of the finest softball players in the history of the University of Notre Dame, Hayes was a three-time All-Mideast Region honoree and was selected as team MVP as both a junior and senior as she led the Irish to back-to-back NCAA bids.
Scouting the Opponents: The Charleston Southern Tournament features 12 teams in two different pools. Indiana is paired with Central Florida, Furman, Savannah State, Stony Brook, and Tennessee Tech in Pool B. Belmont, Canisius, Centenary, Charleston Southern, Monmouth, and UNC-Greensboro comprise Pool A.
Indiana will play a minimum of four games and, if it advances to the championship game of the tourney, would play a total of eight contests.
The Hoosiers open pool play vs. Furman on Friday at 1:00 p.m. The Paladins currently maintain a 4-7 overall record and are led by junior outfielder La Kerah Barr, who is hitting .429 with two doubles, eight RBI, and five stolen bases.
At 5:00 p.m. Friday, Indiana continues pool play against Stony Brook (2-2). The Seawolves have been picked to finish second in the America East Conference and has picked up early-season victories over Delaware State and North Carolina A&T. Stony Brook has already hit five home runs in only four games in 2003, including two by sophomore first baseman Kristen Brust.
On Saturday, the Hoosiers will face Savannah State and Central Florida. In the 10:00 a.m. opener vs. Savannah State (0-8), the Hoosiers face a squad that enters the tournament having been outscored 143-1 in its first eight games of the 2003 season.
Indiana concludes pool play with a tough task as the Hoosiers face Central Florida (10-11) at 2:00 p.m. Saturday. The Golden Knights have played a very demanding schedule in 2003 and have already recorded a victory over national power Fresno State.
IU vs. Charleston Southern Tournament Opponents: Indiana will be facing three opponents for the first time in school history at this weekend's tournament. Indiana has never met Central Florida, Stony Brook, or Savannah State on the softball field. Indiana has played three games against Furman and maintains a 3-0 record in the series, including an 8-0 victory in 1996, which was the most recent meeting between the two schools.
Offensive Improvement: Indiana has scored 41 runs during its first 10 games in 2003. One year ago, the Hoosiers did not score their 41st run of the season until their 15th game. IU has scored eight-or-more runs in three different games this spring, while scoring eight-or-more runs in only five games in 2002.
Production from Hines: True freshman Lauren Hines (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) has made a relatively easy adjustment to collegiate softball. In five games at the University of South Florida Tournament, Hines recorded seven hits in 14 at-bats, to go along with three doubles and four RBI. She hit .429, with three hits in seven at-bats, at the New Mexico State Invitational. For the season, Hines is hitting .476.
Aggressive on the Bases: Indiana has recorded 11 stolen bases in 10 games in 2003 (11-17), including a perfect 7-for-7 by senior catcher Stormy Hanson (Las Vegas, Nev./Silverado). In 45 games in 2002, Indiana was successful on only 29 of 46 steal attempts.
Seven-Run Eighth Inning: Indiana's seven runs in the top of the eighth inning of a 12-5 victory over Radford (2/23/03) at the USF Invitational was the most runs the Hoosiers have scored in a single inning since the Hoosiers scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning of a 12-4 victory over Northern Illinois on March 16, 2002. IU did not score seven-or-more runs in any inning during the entire 2001 campaign.
Ten-Run Games: In ten games in 2003, Indiana has already recorded two games in which it has scored 10-or-more runs, including a 10-2 victory over Eastern Illinois and a 12-5 win vs. Radford. Prior to this spring, Indiana has not scored 10-or-more runs more than once in a season since 1997. That year, the Hoosiers tallied 10-or-more runs in four different games.
Hanson Slugging at an .800 Clip: Through 10 games, Stormy Hanson has recorded a slugging percentage of .818. In 33 official at-bats, she has notched three doubles, two triples, and two home runs. A high slugging percentage certainly isn't an alien concept to the senior catcher as she tallied a .616 slugging percentage in 2002.
Success With Runners on Base: With runners on base, Indiana is hitting .291 as a team in 2003, yet is only hitting .227 with the bases empty. Indiana is 3-for-7 as a team with the bases loaded and is hitting .309 with runners in scoring position.
Slow Starts; Late Rallies: In 10 games in 2003, Indiana has scored first in only three contests (2-1) and has been out outscored in innings one through four, 24-16. However, in innings five through seven and extra innings, Indiana has outscored its opponents 25-21.
Setting the Table: IU junior outfielder Valerie White (Torrance, Calif./North) has been doing a solid job in the leadoff slot for the Hoosiers as she has reached base on 8-of-17 leadoff opportunities. Freshman Lauren Hines has reached base on six of her nine leadoff opportunities.
Advancing Runners: Junior Abby Stark (Vancouver, Wash./Central Catholic) and sophomore Ashley Griffiths (Dove Canyon, Calif./Trabuco) have done a tremendous job advancing runners in 2003. Stark has advanced runners on 7 of 11 opportunities (.636), while Griffiths has been even better, advancing runners on 9 of 13 opportunities (.692).
Stillians Turns in Solid Performance: Despite losing a 2-1 decision, junior hurler Heather Stillians (Atascadero, Calif./Atascadero) was rather impressive on the mound vs. Maryland at the University of South Florida Tournament as she allowed only five hits and one earned run in six innings pitched. She also walked only two batters, while striking out five. She did earn the victory in IU's 12-5 win over Radford as she allowed only one earned run in four innings of relief.
Witham Impressive: Sophomore hurler Katie Witham (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) pitched 16 innings at the New Mexico State Softball Tournament without allowing an earned run. In 16.0 innings pitched, she surrendered only 12 hits, four runs (0 earned), and four walks, while recording seven strikeouts.
Spreading the Wealth: During IU's 8-3 victory over Bowling Green during the final of the New Mexico State Softball Tournament, eight of nine Hoosier batters recorded hits, including two each by Stormy Hanson and Valerie White.
Sara Hayes Era Begins With Solid Performances at New Mexico State Tournament: The Indiana softball program, under the direction of first-year head coach Sara Hayes, opened its season in impressive fashion, winning three of five games at the New Mexico State Tournament in Las Cruces, N.M. (Feb 14-16). Despite not practicing outside all winter, Indiana secured victories over San Jose State, 4-2, Eastern Illinois, 10-2, and Bowling Green, 8-3, while falling to Southwest Texas State and Marshall.
Leading the way for the Hoosiers was senior catcher Stormy Hanson who was named to the all-tournament team after hitting .625 with three doubles, two triples, a home run, and six RBI. In the circle for the Hoosiers, sophomore Katie Witham allowed no earned runs and only 12 hits in 16 innings pitched.
South Florida Struggles: The Indiana coaching staff was disappointed with its team's play at the University of South Florida Tournament (Feb. 21-23) as the Hoosiers dropped four out of five contests, including a 2-1 decision vs. Maryland, a 3-0 loss vs. Seton Hall, and a 6-2 setback against the host Bulls, who are currently ranked 22nd in this week's NFCA/USA Today poll.
The Hoosiers did finish the tournament in a positive manner, scoring seven runs in the top of the eighth inning to break a 5-5 tie with Radford during IU's final game of the weekend.
A Look Back at 2002: The 2002 softball campaign closed the books on the Diane Stephenson Era at Indiana University. Although Indiana had the offensive firepower to compete with just about anyone, inconsistent pitching and untimely defensive miscues haunted the Hoosiers throughout most of the campaign.
Indiana showed the ability to hit the long ball throughout the year as its 26 home runs as a team was the third-best total in school history. Remarkably, eight different IU players recorded home runs. Indiana's run production in 2002 was its highest total since 1997.
With its increased production, Indiana often found itself in tight games throughout the year but suffered a number of late-inning defensive collapses that cost the Hoosiers a number of victories.
The season, however, wasn't without its bright spots.
Indiana defeated two eventual NCAA Tournament participants, a 5-4 victory over Boston University at Fresno State and a 6-3 win over the Purple Aces of the University of Evansville.
It was, however, close losses that defined Indiana's season. Indiana lost one-run games to both Ohio State and Michigan during the Big Ten campaign, both of whom made the NCAA Tournament. Michigan would go on to make the Women's College World Series. At the Fresno State Invitational in March, the Hoosiers lost 2-1 to Cal Poly and suffered a 2-1 (9 inn.) setback against San Diego State.
After earning a tie and a win vs. New Mexico to begin the 2002 campaign, Indiana lost its next seven contests before winning seven of its next 10 games, including a doubleheader sweep at Bradley and wins over Northern Illinois, Ball State, Valparaiso, Loyola (Chicago), and Butler.
Individually, senior Brooke Monroe capped a stellar career by earning third-team All-Big Ten honors as a utility player as she hit .306 in Big Ten play, to go along with three home runs and four doubles. Monroe saw action at catcher, third base, and shortstop.
During her career, Monroe earned 1st-team All-Big Ten honors at catcher in '01. In addition, she finished fourth on Indiana's career home run list (24) and fifth on the career RBI list with 94.
Other seniors included pitcher Alison Cooke and outfielder Monique Bullock. Cooke finished her career ranked third on Indiana's career strikeouts list with 258. She threw a no-hitter vs. Miami (Ohio) in 2001.
IU Roster Breakdown: The Indiana roster breakdown by class and by state is as follows:
Roster By Class
Stormy Hanson, Katie Joy, Heather Suca
Kristine Dugan, Dawn Ramynke, Abby Stark, Heather Stillians, Valerie White
Ashley Griffiths, Katie Witham
Abby Ellis, Abby Page, Lauren Hines, Megan Roark
Roster By State
Alabama (1): Katie Joy; Arizona (1): Katie Witham; California (5): Ashley Griffiths, Dawn Ramynke, Megan Roark, Heather Stillians, Valerie White; Illinois (1): Heather Suca; Indiana (3): Abby Ellis, Lauren Hines, Abby Page; Nevada (2): Kristine Dugan, Stormy Hanson; Washington (1): Abby Stark.
The IU Assistant Coaches: First-year head coach Sara Hayes' staff will include Mickey Dean and Kathy Morton.
Dean is entering his first season in Bloomington after spending the 2002 season as the top assistant at the University of Akron. Prior to his stint in the Mid-American Conference, Dean led Lake City (Fla.) Community College to the 2001 NJCAA National Championship. Prior to Lake City, Dean guided Orange County (Va.) High School to back-to-back AA state championships in 1998 and 1999. He is an assistant coach on the Venezuelan National Team.
Kathy Morton is also in her first season as a member of the Indiana coaching staff after spending the 2001 and 2002 seasons as an assistant at the University of Florida. She was a two-time All-America outfielder at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Academic Success: In 2001, eight Indiana softball players earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, tying the highest number in IU softball history. Katie Joy, Abby Stark, Heather Suca, and Valerie White are all returning Academic All-Big Ten performers.
Hanson Moving Behind the Dish: After primarily playing at third base for most of the 2002 season, senior Stormy Hanson (Las Vegas, Nev./Silverado) moves behind the plate in 2003 as she replaces 2001 first-team All-Big Ten catcher Brooke Monroe, who earned third-team honors as a utility player last spring.
Along with the departed Monroe, Hanson was the most productive offensive threat for the Hoosiers in 2002. She led IU in batting average (.355), runs (27), slugging percentage (.616), on-base percentage (.412), and hits (49) and was second on the team in doubles (11). She also hit a career-high seven home runs.
"Stormy is one of the most dynamic, passionate and determined student-athletes I have ever had a pleasure to work with," said Hayes. "The leadership the she provides is like us having an assistant coach on the playing field."
Inside the Circle: Despite the graduation loss of Alison Cooke, who is fourth on Indiana's career appearances list with 103, the Hoosiers return two starters who both pitched extensively in 2001-02. Pitching coach Mickey Dean will look to junior Heather Stillians (Atascadero, Calif./Atascadero) and sophomore Katie Witham (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) who return in 2003 and will be joined by freshman Megan Roark (Pleasant Hill, Calif./College Park). Stillians is also expected to contribute offensively.
One year ago, the 5-foot-10 Stillians appeared in 20 games, recording a 6-9 overall record and a 3.71 earned run average. She allowed 112 hits and struck out 38 opponent hitters in 88 2/3 innings of work.
"Heather is hard working and powerful, said Hayes. "She has the potential to be an All-Big Ten athlete as a pitcher and a hitter. We are looking for Heather to make an impact with her strength and power this year."
Along with her impressive her size, Stillians is a crafty righthander who has had successfully mixed pitches and kept hitters off balance. One year ago, she proved that she could be successful against some of the nation's top teams. Last spring, she defeated eventual NCAA tournament participant Boston University at the Fresno State Invitational as she allowed only six hits and three earned runs is a 5-4 victory. At the same tournament, she handcuffed a solid San Diego State club as she allowed only seven hits and one earned run in nine innings pitched, despite suffering a 2-1 loss.
Witham will join Stillians in the circle. As a true freshman in 2001, the 5-foot-11 righthander led the Hoosiers with a 3.32 earned run average and tied Stillians for the team lead in victories with six (6-10 overall record). In 28 appearances (21 starts) she allowed 142 hits and 51 earned runs in 107 2/3 innings pitched. She walked 37 and struck out 27. After struggling with her control early in the season, she greatly improved as the season progressed.
"Katie is one of the funniest and hardest-working student-athletes on our team," said Hayes. "She does a great job on the mound, and will continue to increase her level of power and consistency with Coach (Mickey) Dean's program."
An Experienced Infield: In addition to Hanson, Indiana will also feature several other infielders who played extensively in 2002. Senior Heather Suca (Shorewood, Ill./Joliet West) started 43 games in 2002, almost all at second base. The 4-foot-9 Suca is a solid defensive player who is highly competitive by nature. She recorded a career-high batting average of .237 and notched seven extra-base hits in 114 at-bats, including four doubles, two triples and a home run.
"Heather has the heart of a lion and good vision for what she is doing as an athlete and a student," said Hayes. "She is a wonderful leader for our young team to follow. She has quick feet and great hands, making her an impact player at second base."
Kristine Dugan (Las Vegas, Nev./Taft J.C.) transferred to IU for the 2002 spring semester and went on to start over 30 games at shortstop. She also saw limited action at second base. While only hitting .157, she displayed solid power with three home runs. She also drove in 10 runs and her defense improved throughout the season as she became acclimated to Big Ten-caliber play.
"With Kristine increasing her confidence level, she will be a solid defender and a great hitter. She is a hard-nosed player who understands what we need to have happen for this team to play at a higher level."
In addition to Hanson, Suca, and Dugan, juniors Dawn Ramynke (Placentia, Calif./Sonora), Heather Stillians (Atascadero, Calif. /Atascadero), Ashley White (Torrance, Calif./North) all saw action at first base last season. Stillians will be one of Indiana's primary pitchers.
Roaming the Outfield: Two-thirds of Indiana's starting outfield returns from one year ago while a number of newcomers and returning players will look to challenge for extensive playing time. The Hoosiers return two experienced outfielders in senior Katie Joy (Pell City, Ala./Pell City) and junior Abby Stark (Vancouver, Wash./Central Catholic). Sophomore Ashley Griffiths, along with juniors Heather Stillians and Valerie White have the ability to play both infield and outfield. The four returning players will be joined by freshman Abby Page (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central), who along with White, hits from the left side of the plate.
Stark had a tremendous sophomore campaign, hitting a career-high .279, including .243 in Big Ten play. In 129 at-bats, she hit 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs, and recorded a team-best 26 RBI.
"Abby is a solid left-handed hitter and a great outfielder. If Abby can find a way to bring more consistency and confidence to the field of play, Abby will do a great job in both aspects."
A strong-armed outfielder, Joy played solid defense in centerfield throughout the 2002 campaign. A good athlete and an improving hitter, she played in 43 of 45 games last spring, including 40 starts. She recorded two doubles in the season finale against Ohio State.
"Katie is a wonderfully hard-working and determined young lady. We need Katie's leadership and communication skills to blossom this year. She is going to be an offensive threat and a solid defender."
A first baseman in 2002, White may see action in the outfield this spring. A solid hitter with excellent defensive ability, she saw action in 39 games last spring with 33 starts. She opened Big Ten play with three hits in eight at-bats against Iowa.
"Val has the quick feet, good hands and a solid bat. She will be an excellent defender, both at first base and outfield. We need her to lead us offensively as well, with consistency at the plate."
Softball on the Web: IU softball information may be accessed at www.iuhoosiers.com. Also, Big Ten softball information may be retrieved at www.bigten.org and collegiate softball information may be located at www.nfca.org, which is the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's web site, and www.ncaa.org.
The Indiana Hoosiers Softball Philosophy: Provide an empowering environment within which student-athletes have the opportunity to excel academically, achieve athletically, experience great things on and off the field of play, and grow into themselves in healthy, safe environment.
Hoosier Staff Goals: The Hoosier Staff Goals are as follows...
Graduate ALL Indiana Softball Players
Win a National Championship
Win a Big Ten Championship
Secure No. 1 Recruiting Class in the Nation
Earn 3.2 Cumulative Grade Point Average
Cultivate Alumni and Friends
Moving up the Career Charts: The following individuals will have an opportunity to move into IU's top 10 career lists:
With 24 career doubles, senior third baseman Stormy Hanson needs four two-baggers to move into 10th-place tie with Kara Manley (28, 1991-94) on the career doubles list.
Senior infielder Heather Suca needs to draw 23 walks to move into a fifth-place tie with Amy Lonigro (1994-97) on the career walks list with 68.
Overall Record: 4-6-0
Big Ten Record: 0-0
Longest Win Streak: 2
Longest Losing Steak: 4
Longest BT Win Streak: 0
Longest BT Losing Streak: 0
Record vs. Top 25 Teams: 0-1
1-run decisions: 0-1
1- or 2-run decisions: 1-2
5+ run decisions: 0-0
Extra innings: 1-0
Doubleheader sweeps: 0
Doubleheader splits: 0
Hits Per Game:
IU 6.8, Opp. 8.5
Runs Per Game:
IU 4.1, Opp. 4.5
Leading after 5 innings: 4-0-0
Trailing after 5 innings: 0-5-0
Tied after 5 innings: 0-1-0
Scoring first run: 2-1-0
Not scoring first run: 2-5-0
Big Ten Player-of-the-Week:
Big Ten Pitcher-of-the-Week:
2003 Big Ten
W L T Pct.
Illinois 8 1 0 .889
Mich. St. 10 3 0 .769
Minnesota 10 4 1 .700
N'Western 8 5 0 .615
Michigan 8 6 0 .571
Ohio St. 8 6 0 .571
Iowa 6 5 0 .545
Wisconsin 6 7 0 .462
Indiana 4 6 0 .400
Penn St. 3 5 0 .375
Purdue 5 9 0 .357