HOOSIERS SPLIT FIRST TWO GAMES AT CHARLESTON SOUTHERN INVITATIONAL
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Summerville, S.C. -- After sustaining a tough 3-0 decision to Furman in its opening game of the Charleston Southern Invitational this morning, Indiana (5-7) rebounded this evening by defeating Stony Brook, 2-1, in eight innings. Junior Abby Stark drove in freshman Lauren Hines with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth to lead the Hoosiers to their fifth victory of the season.
Junior pitcher Heather Stillians (4-3) was masterful in the circle for Indiana, allowing only four hits and one earned run in eight innings. The complete game was her third of the season. Indiana recorded nine hits, including two each by Stark, Hines, and senior Heather Suca, but did leave 10 runners on base. Angela Andrews was the tough-luck loser for the Seawolves, allowing nine hits and no earned runs in 7 2/3 innings pitched. Stony Brook scored its only run of the game on a solo home run by Colleen McCarthy in the top of the sixth. The hit was her first of the season.
"I thought we came out ready to play and had very appropriate focus," said first-year head coach Sara Hayes. "It was really a tale of two pitchers and we didn't necessarily adjust well to either. They were very different as the pitcher from Furman threw hard and had a nice drop and curve, while Stony Brook's pitcher kept us off balance with off-speed pitches. Our pitchers gave us the opportunity to hang in there both games."
In the bottom of the eighth, Hines was the runner at second base to begin the inning because of the International Tiebreaker rule, and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Stillians. After Ramynke was retired on strikes, Stark sharply singled to right centerfield to score the Hoosier freshman with the winning run.
Stillians started in the circle for the Hoosiers and immediately was greeted with a double to right field by centerfielder Stephanie DiBiase, Stony Brook's first hitter. The tall righthander settled down and retired the next three hitters she faced to retire the side. She also disposed of the first two batters she faced in the top of the second inning, before retiring Andrews on strikes on a full count delivery.
In the bottom of the first, junior rightfielder Valerie White singled to leftfield and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by second baseman Ashley Griffiths. Senior catcher Stormy Hanson followed with a ground ball to shortstop that was mishandled by sophomore shortstop Colleen McCarthy. Hines then reached base on an infield single to load the bases. Stillians then reached on a fielder's choice that retired White on a force out at the plate. The Stony Brook hurler then retired Dawn Ramynke on a ground out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the second, Andrews retired the first two hitters she faced before Suca singled sharply to left field. Valerie White followed with another sharply hit ball to left field that was flagged down by Stony Brook freshman Laura Bradford.
Stillians retired the first two batters she faced in the top of the third but DiBiase reached on an error when the IU hurlers throw was wide of the bag at first. She retired the next Stony Brook hitter on a ground out to end the inning.
After the Hoosiers went in order in the bottom of the third, Griffiths made two fine defensive plays to help retire the first two Seawolves' hitters in the top of the fourth as she snared a line shot by first baseman Kristen Brust and went far to her right to track down a ground ball hit in he hole by third baseman Hayley Durham. With two outs, rightfielder Jane Stein doubled to left center on a 3-2 delivery from Stillians. Hanson later threw her out at third at third attempting to advance on a wild pitch.
Indiana scored one run in the bottom of the fifth but failed to push a run across. With one out, Suca reached on a bloop single over the shortstop's head. After White and Hanson both reached base to load the bases, Hines hit a sharply hit ball to the right of Stony Brook first baseman Kristen Brust, who dove to keep the ball in the infield. Suca scored the first run of the game to give the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead.
Indiana's 1-0 advantage lasted only a matter of minutes as Colleen McCarthy, the nine-hole hitter in the lineup and the leadoff batter in the inning, hit a towering home run over the left field fence. DiBiase immediately followed with a sharply hit single to right, but with one out, was thrown out at second trying to steal.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, freshman Abby Page reached on an infield single and immediately stole second. She advanced to third on a single by Stark, who advanced to second on a throw. After a ground out, Andrews retired Suca on a pop out to second to end the scoring threat.
After Stillians retired the first batter she faced in the top of the seventh inning, Stein reached first on an error by first baseman Valerie White who failed to field a throw from Griffiths. The first base umpire originally called Stein out but later changed his call. With Stein now on first, Stillians struck out second baseman Marissa Servello for the second out of the inning and retired the next Seawolves' hitter on a ground out.
Griffiths recorded a one-out single to right field in the bottom of the seventh and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Hanson. After Katie Witham pinch ran for Griffiths at second, Hines grounded out to end the inning.
Because of International Tiebreaker rules, a Stony Brook runner was placed at second base to begin the eighth inning. Andrews, who is now the runner at second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Stephanie McCarthy. After Stillians notched the second out of the inning on a groundout, DiBiase hit a ground ball to shortstop and Suca's throw beat the Stony Brook runner to the bag at first by a matter of inches.
Indiana scored on Stark's single in the bottom of the eighth to end the game.
Indiana returns to action on Sunday morning with games against Canisius and Central Florida.
INDIANA LOSES TOURNEY OPENER TO FURMAN, 3-0
Summerville, S.C. -- Poor execution and offensive struggles welcomed Indiana back to the softball diamond today at the Charleston Southern Invitational as the Hoosiers returned to the field for after a two-week hiatus because of poor weather. Despite sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 60s, the Hoosiers' bats failed to warm up and several blunders proved costly in a 3-0 loss to Furman in Indiana's tournament opener. Indiana returns to the diamond later today vs. Stony Brook at 6:00 p.m.
Furman, who finished 24-24 in 2002, including an 11-10 mark in the Southern Conference, returned starters at every position in 2003 and has played a solid schedule this spring with games against nationally-ranked Georgia Tech, along with Tennessee and Florida International. Sophomore Meagen Johnson (2-4), who prepped at nearby Georgetown (S.C.) High School, opened in the circle for the Lady Paladins and handcuffed the Hoosiers (4-7) throughout the game, allowing only four hits and no earned runs in the complete game victory.
Senior catcher Stormy Hanson and junior leftfielder Abby Stark recorded two hits each for the Hoosiers, while senior centerfielder Katie Joy, who has been swinging a hot bat of late, and Valerie White also recorded hits.
All of the insurance that Furman (5-7) needed was garnered in the bottom of the third inning as the purple and white-clad team from Greenville, S.C., scored two runs off of IU starter Katie Witham to take a 2-0 lead. Designated player Alison McNulty began the inning with a double to right field and scored on a fielder's choice for the first run of the game. Furman added an unearned run later in the inning as centerfielder LaKerah Barr scored from first on a single and an error. The Lady Paladins added a single run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Sophomore hurler Katie Witham (1-4) suffered the loss for the Hoosiers. She pitched to one batter in the bottom of the fifth and allowed three hits and two earned runs and no strikeouts in four innings pitched. Junior Heather Stillians allowed only one hit in two innings of relief.
Indiana essentially had two legitimate scoring chances but squandered both. In the top of the fourth Hanson doubled but was eventually doubled off third base as Dawn Ramynke's swinging bunt attempt was softly lined to the pitcher. With one out in the top of the fifth, Stark singled to left field but was picked off first on a throw by catcher Karen Myers.
Trailing 3-0 in the top of the seventh inning, Indiana attempted to string a two-out rally together as Stark and Ramynke put together back-to-back singles. With runners on first and second, including freshman Abby Page who was running for Stark, Johnson retired junior Kristine Dugan on strikes to end the game.
In the bottom of the first inning against Johnson, Hanson, who was 2-for-2 on the day with a double and a walk, singled to left field and advanced to second on a walk by freshman designated player Lauren Hines. Furman's righthanded hurler worked her way out of the small jam by retiring Dawn Ramynke on a fielder's choice that retired Hanson at third.
Witham retired the side in the bottom of the first inning and Johnson returned the favor in the top of the second, retiring the Hoosiers in order.
The Hoosier righthander continued to mix speeds very well early in the game and retired the side in the second inning on two ground ball outs and a called third strike to catcher Karen Myers.
Johnson, the Furman sophomore pitcher retired the Hoosiers in order for the second consecutive inning in the top of the third as she struck out the side, including two called third strikes to Ashley White and Ashley Griffiths.
Furman designated player Alison McNulty led off the bottom of the third inning with a double over White in right field and pinch runner Kristen Arnold advanced to third base on a ground out. She eventually scored as rightfielder Kristin White grounded a ball back to Witham on the mound but the Hoosier pitcher's throw to home was late and McNulty slid beat Hanson's tag to give Furman a 1-0 lead. With two outs and centerfielder LaKerah Barr at first, third baseman Caroline Evans singled to centerfield and the ball scooted underneath the glove of IU centerfielder Katie Joy - who had done a nice job getting to the ball -- and rolled to the fence, scoring Barr from first to extend Furman's lead to 2-0.
Indiana relinquished a potential scoring opportunity in the top of the fourth as Hanson attempted to kick started the inning with a double down the rightfield line and Hines did an excellent job advancing her to third on a ground out to second base. Ramynke, however, hit a slow liner back to the pitcher and Hanson was retired at third base on the double play.
Witham regained her composure in the bottom of the fourth inning, again retiring the side in order.
Witham pitched to Furman's Alison McNulty to lead off the top of the fifth inning but was removed in favor of junior Heather Stillians after McNulty singled. Pinch runner Karissa King advanced to second on a wild pitch and reached third on a ground out. With one out, Stillians retired nine-hole hitter Kristin White on a shallow fly to center that kept King at third. Stillians couldn't completely work out of the inning as LaKerah Barr singled to right field, scoring King with Furman's third run of the game.
With one out in the top of the sixth, Indiana's Valerie White singled to right field and advanced to second on a ground out by Griffiths. With two outs, Johnson pitched around Hanson who drew a walk. She then retired Hines on a fielder's choice that retired White at third to end the inning.