HOOSIERS SPLIT SECOND DAY AT CHARLESTON SOUTHERN INVITATIONAL
Indiana Defeats Canisius, 5-2; Hoosiers fall to UCF, 4-1
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Summerville, S.C. -- AAfter splitting two games during Saturday's action with a 2-1 (8 inn.) win over Stony Brook and a 3-0 loss to Furman, Indiana returned to the Gahagan Softball Complex this morning to play two games against 2002 NCAA Tournament participant Canisius and the University of Central Florida, a team that compiled a 46-19 record last spring.
Indiana (6-8) defeated Canisius 5-2 in the first game, before falling to the Golden Knights (15-11) in the second contest of the morning, 4-1. In the opener, Indiana sophomore hurler Katie Witham (2-4) limited the Golden Griffins (4-4) to only four hits and two earned runs in seven innings, while walking none and striking out eight. Indiana trailed 2-1 but scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Senior catcher Stormy Hanson led the Hoosiers with two hits and an RBI against Canisius sophomore starting pitcher Andrea Bunten (3-1), who allowed only five hits and three earned runs, although she did walk six and hit three IU batters with pitches.
In 27 innings pitched during this weekend's tournament action, IU pitchers allowed only 20 hits and nine earned runs, while striking out 23 and walking only one. Indiana's opponents recorded a .200 batting average against the Hoosiers.
"We came ready to play today," said first-year head coach Sara Hayes. "Both pitchers did a great job on the mound. Lauren and Stormy hit very well today and throughout the week. During the entire weekend we were very pleased with the way that our players implemented the things that we put in practice this week - defensively, on the mound, and in the defense of Indiana softball."
In the second game of the day, junior Heather Stillians (4-4) started on the mound for the Hoosiers and after retiring UCF in order in the bottom of the first, surrendered a two-run home run to pitcher Dottie Cupp in the bottom of the second inning that gave the Golden Knights a 2-0 advantage. It was a lead that UCF never relinquished. After UCF centerfielder Jania Shinhoster homered to lead off the bottom of the third, Indiana did manage to pull to within 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning when Hanson singled, stole second base, and then scored on a single by freshman Lauren Hines. Central Florida added a single run in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 4-1 lead. Cupp (6-3) pitched the entire game for Central Florida and allowed only four hits and one earned run, while striking out three and walking none, in seven innings pitched.
Stillians pitched five innings for the Hoosiers against Central Florida and allowed eight hits and four earned runs, while walking one and striking out seven. Freshman Meghan Roark pitched the bottom of the sixth inning and did not allow a hit.
In the opener vs. Canisius, sophomore Katie Witham (2-4) opened on the mound for the Hoosiers and retired the Golden Griffins in order in the top of the first. Canisius countered with sophomore hurler Andrea Bunton. After allowing a leadoff walk to junior Valerie White, she retired the next two batters she faced. On a 2-1 count to Hines, the Hoosier freshman swung as if to protect a stealing base runner but White was not running from first. Despite the swing, the umpires ruled that she had not swung. With runners on first and second, junior Abby Stark flew out to end the inning.
In the top of the second, Witham struck out the side and Indiana took a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the inning. Senior Heather Suca was hit by a pitch to lead off the second inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Stillians. Senior centerfielder Katie Joy struck out but reached first on a wild pitch and advanced to second on a throwing error by catcher Rebecca Murphy. Suca scored from second on the play. After a walk by freshman Abby Page, White popped out to third base and Griffiths struck out looking.
The IU lead did not last long as the Golden Griffins scored twice in the top of the third to take a 2-1 lead. After retiring the first six batters she faced, Witham allowed a leadoff single by shortstop Mary Burke. Canisius attempted a sacrifice bunt that landed several feet in front of home plate and Hanson gunned down Burke at second base for the first out of the inning. After a ground out advanced Amanda Luukinen to second base, leadoff hitter Jamie Gorczynski singled to center and Luukinen moved to third. Both scored on a two-run double by centerfielder Tempie Coelho-Freeman.
Hanson led off the bottom of the third with a double to right centerfield and advanced to third on a deep fly ball to center by Abby Stark. Coelho-Freeman made a great play to track down the ball and actually caught the ball while practically falling on the portable snow fence erected at the softball complex. Suca followed with a walk and immediately stole second by Stillians struck out with runners on second and third to end the threat.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Page walked and immediately stole second base on the first delivery to White. After Page advanced to third on a wild pitch, White struck out looking for the second out of the inning. On a 3-and-2 count, Griffiths stuck out looking for the second time of the game. Leaving page at third.
With two outs in the top of the fifth, designated player Laura Miller singled. Maria Violante pinch ran for Miller and advanced to second when White failed to catch a ball thrown from Griffiths on a ground ball by Gorczynski. With runners at first and second, Witham struck out Freeman to end the inning.
Indiana again left two runners on base in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Hines reached after being hit by a pitch. After Stark reached first on a throwing error by Bunten, both advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Suca. Bunten then struck out Stillians to end the IU threat.
In the top of the sixth, Stark made a diving catch to rob rightfielder Ashley Gonnello of a base hit.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Abby Page battled back from a 2-2 count to walk. She again stole second. She then scored from second on a single to left field by White as she avoided the tag at the plate by Murphy. Griffiths then doubled off of the left field fence and scored on a single to center by Hanson, who then stole second base and advanced to third on a passed ball. Hanson scored from third on a bloop single by Hines.
Weather permitting, Indiana's home opener is scheduled for Tuesday vs. Illinois State (doubleheader) beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST.