March 13, 2008
Under Armour Showcase Notes
CLEARWATER, Fla. -
The Indiana softball team will wrap-up its spring break trip this weekend by competing in the Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater, Fla. The Hoosiers will take on Florida International, Rutgers, Radford and Massachusetts before starting bracket play on Sunday.
Here are some notes on the Hoosiers and their opponents heading into the weekend...
OUT OF THE BOX
The Hoosiers will be looking to get their offense off the schnide in when they begin play in the Under Armour Showcase hosted by the University of South Florida in Clearwater, Fla. The Hoosiers will take in Florida International and Rutgers on Friday and Radford and Massachusetts on Saturday before bracket play begins on Sunday.
Indiana is coming off the USF Spring Break Tournament on the campus of USF that saw IU shutout in three of its four games and suffer a 4-2 loss to Ball State. Prior to that, they had won three of five at the Under Armour Invitational, also in Clearwater, Fla.
At the plate, senior third baseman Jennilee Huddleston is maintaining a .346 average on the season while Emily Bergeson leads the team with 10 RBI and is tied for the team lead with two home runs. In the circle, Monica Wright had a 1.17 ERA in her previous five outings before giving up four runs against Boston.
The Hoosiers and Panthers have met just once prior to this year's meeting, and that was in 2001. In that game, FIU came away with a 5-0 win over Indiana.
The game between the Hoosiers and Scarlet Knights this week will be the first since 1978 when the teams split two meetings. The teams met three times in 1977, with IU winning all three by a combined score of 32-22. Indiana won the first game in 1978, 3-0 before Rutgers rallied for a n 8-6 win in the second game.
The Highlanders and Hoosiers have squared off just twice all-time and Indiana pulled out victories in both contests. The first was in 2001, a 4-0 shutout win and was followed two seasons later with a 12-5 Hoosier triumph.
Indiana holds a 4-2 advantage in this all-time series, but UMass has won two of the last three meetings. Indiana won the first two meetings in 1985 and followed that up with a 8-0 win in 1989. The Minutewomen then won in 1995 and in 2007 while IU picked up a 6-5 win in 1998.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE PANTHERS
Florida International enters the tournament this weekend riding a four-game winning streak behind the bat of new all-time home run leader Monique White. White is hitting .433 with seven home runs and 21 RBI for the 12-18 Panthers. Kim Rodriguez is also swinging a big bat in 2008 with nine home runs and 30 RBI.
In the circle, Kasey Barrett has a 2.57 ERA and a 10-8 record in 17 starts. She has covered 109.0 innings in her 20 appearances.
Errors have plagued the Panthers so far this season, having committed 50 miscues that have led to 32 unearned runs for their opponents.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE SCARLET KNIGHTS
Rutgers will enter the Under Armour Showcase as losers of its last five games. But a look at their schedule will soon reveal why, after they played the likes of No. 12 Northwestern, No. 24 Virginia Tech and No. 3 UCLA to leave their record at 6-8 on the season.
Mandy Craig is the top hitter for the Scarlet Knights, hitting .333 with a home run and 10 RBI to her credit. She leads a balanced offensive attack that has six players hitting over .300.
The Rutgers pitching staff is also balanced with three different players having appeared in at least seven games. Katye Hamlin has an ERA of 2.97 and has a 3-4 record in 37.2 innings pitched.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE HIGHLANDERS
Radford comes into the weekend on a roll, winners of its last six games with the most recent being a 1-0 eight inning affair against Big Ten foe, Penn State.
Sarah Himan is hitting over .400 with 15 RBI and a .646 slugging percentage while Cassie Rhodes leads the team with four home runs and 13 runs scored.
The pitching has also been a key part of the Highlanders' success this season, posting a 1.84 ERA and four shutouts. Ashley Taylor is 5-3 with a 1.62 ERA and Rebecca Whalley is 6-2 with a 2.28 ERA.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE MINUTEWOMEN
Massachusetts has not played since March 2 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., where they defeated then-No.2 Texas A&M. The Minutewomen are 6-9 on the season, but have been in almost every single game. Their opponents have scored just one more run than them for the season, 41-40.
Sarah Reeves lead the team with a .302 batting average and seven RBI. As a team, UMass is hitting just .218 but have a .306 on-base percentage.
Brandice Balschmitter has been stellar in the circle this season for UMass, posting a 1.14 ERA and completed all nine games she has started. In her 79.0 innings of work, she has struck out 75 batters and walked just 12. Bailey Sanders has also been solid, posting a 2.62 ERA in six starts.
Junior Monica Wright was listed as the starting pitcher against Chattanooga, but a switch prior to the game put Sara Olson in the circle for the first pitch. Olson went two innings before Wright was brought in to shutdown a Moc offense that had scored eight runs in the first two innings. She did just that, allowing three hits and striking out five over the final four innings.
She continued her dominance out of the bullpen at the Under Armour Invitational in Clearwater, Fla. She pitched three innings of one-hit relief against Kennesaw State and followed that by coming on with one on and one out against Fairield in the seventh inning to retire the next two hitters to preserve a 6-5 win for IU.
She also made two starts in Clearwater and gave up just two runs in 8.1 innings on eight hits to lower her season ERA by over a run.
Before she gave up four runs in her most recent start against Boston University, Wright had given up three runs in her previous 18.0 innings for a 1.17 ERA, including a complete game, three-hitter against USF, but took the loss in a 1-0 game.
BERGY'S BURNIN' UP
With the Hoosiers in need of some pop in the lineup following a tough trip to Chattanooga for the Frost Classic, junior shortstop Emily Bergeson stepped into that role. She hit .429 with four of her six hits being doubles and driving in five runs at the Under Armour Invitational. At one point, she had a stretch of five at-bats where she had four doubles. She also posted a .714 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .500.
WIN NUMBER ONE....AND TWO
Freshman pitcher Sara Olson came on in relief against Syracuse and threw 3.2 innings of four-hit softball, allowing one run to get her first win as the Hoosiers came from behind to get the win. She followed it up the next day by going 5.1 innings in a starting assignment against Fairfield to get her second win. She had a no-hitter going through 4.2 innings before a single to right field broke up that bid. In that game against the Stags, she also struck out a season-high six batters.
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 18 game to bring her active streak to 129 games. Of those 129 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.