Indiana Softball Prepares for Speedline Invitational

    Go Hoosiers! Senior Kim Richards hit .455 with a 1.000 slugging percentage at the USF Spring Break Tournament.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Senior Kim Richards hit .455 with a 1.000 slugging percentage at the USF Spring Break Tournament.
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 15, 2007

    USF Speedline Invitational Notes in PDF Format (03-15-07)
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    Tournament: USF Speedline Invitational
    Location: Tampa, Fla.
    Host: South Florida
    Dates: March 16-18, 2007
    Facility: Greco Complex

    IU remains in the Tampa area for the third of three Spring Break tournaments. The Hoosiers will play at least four games at the Speedline Invitational from March 16-18. The games will not be available on Gametracker, as the Greco Complex does not have Internet capabilities.

    Indiana will conclude its Spring Break schedule at the Speedline Invitational, hosted by South Florida, on March 16-18. The Hoosiers are 7-5 on their road trip so far, having started 0-5 and won seven straight since then. IU lost all five games in pool play at the USF adidas Invitational from March 8-11, then went 3-0 in bracket play to win the Bronze Bracket. The Hoosiers then went 4-0 at the USF Spring Break Tournament from March 13-14 to win the tournament title.

    Indiana's all-time records against this week's opponents at the USF Speedline Invitational are below:

    Opponent: IU W-L (last)
    vs. Buffalo: 2-0 (W, 2005)
    vs. Princeton: 1-0 (W, 1995)
    vs. Boston U.: 1-0 (W, 2002)

    Indiana won the USF Spring Break Tournament from March 13-14, going 4-0 at the tournament. IU posted a 1-0 win over George Mason in the opening contest on March 13, then topped Quinnipiac 6-3 later in the day. IU picked up a 6-1 win over Long Island on March 14, and added a 1-0 win over USF to claim the tourney crown.

    Sophomore Monica Wright turned in the first of four dominant performances at the tournament with a four-hit shutout of George Mason in the opener. The shutout was the first of Wright's Hoosier career, as she struck out five Patriots and walked just two. Sophomore Sarah Padove celebrated her 20th birthday with an RBI single for the game's lone run. After classmate Emily Bergeson led off the sixth inning with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch, Padove singled to right to score Bergeson with all the offense Wright would need.

    The Hoosiers kept their roll going with a 6-3 win over Quinnipiac in the second contest of the day. After the Bobcats struck for two runs in the bottom of the first, junior Jennifer Moore and Wright came to the rescue, combining to allow just one unearned run in seven innings of relief. Meanwhile, Indiana batted around in the top of the second, scoring four runs on four hits. Senior Kim Richards had the big blow, as she drilled a two-run triple to the gap in right center to tie the contest. Richards came home on a Julia Hamilton single, and Hamilton scored on a Jennilee Huddleston single for what would prove to be the winning run.

    Day two of the tournament had a similar look, with Long Island scoring first, but IU roaring back with six unanswered runs to take the 6-1 win. After the Hoosiers scored an unearned run in the bottom of the third to tie the game, junior Tory Yamaguchi's solo home run put IU up to stay in the fourth. Richards led off the fifth with a home run and IU added three more runs to blow the game open.

    IU closed the tournament with a win over USF, which spent two weeks in the rankings at the beginning of the season. Wright was again brilliant in posting her second shutout in as many starts, and Huddleston's double to left in the third scored Hamilton with the game's only run.

    Indiana got off to a rough start at the USF adidas Invitational on March 8-11, dropping all five games in pool play, but rebounded to go 3-0 in bracket play to win the Bronze Bracket championship.

    Junior Jennilee Huddleston leads Indiana with a .339 batting average on the season and boasts a team-best .422 on-base percentage. Classmate Tory Yamaguchi is hitting .310 and paces the squad with a .638 slugging percentage and 13 RBIs. Junior Julia Hamilton has scored a team-best 12 runs on the season and leads IU with eight stolen bases in as many attempts. In the circle, sophomore Monica Wright is 7-6 with a 2.67 ERA. She leads the team in innings pitched with 99 2/3 innings. She has 66 strikeouts to her credit.

    Buffalo (1-17) - The Bulls have lost eight in a row after a 7-0 win over Northern Colorado on Feb. 24. Buffalo was swept in a doubleheader by Boston University on March 14, falling 9-0 in game one and getting no-hit 7-0 in game two. Erin Zilka leads the squad with a .295 batting average, while Sharon Barr (0-7, 7.20 ERA) sees the bulk of the action in the circle.

    Princeton (5-4) - The Tigers went 3-2 at the Maryland Invitational from March 9-11, falling to Louisville twice and topping Central Connecticut State, Rhode Island and the host Terrapins. Collette Abbott is Princeton's leading hitter with a .480 average in eight games played, while the Tigers' top pitching choice is Kristen Schaus, who has posted a 2-3 record with a 3.94 ERA in 32 innings pitched.

    Boston University (11-5) - The Terriers are riding a modest two-game winning streak into the Speedline after a doubleheader sweep of Buffalo on March 14. BU earned wins of 9-0 and 7-0, with Megan Currier twirling a no-hitter in game two. Chiya Louie leads the Terriers at the plate with a .422 average and 17 RBIs, while Cassidi Hardy is the top option in the circle with a 6-4 record and a 2.83 ERA.

    Indiana has won seven straight games entering the Speedline Invitational, its longest streak since 1997. IU had win streaks of six and five games during the 2006 campaign, but had not won seven consecutive contests since March 23-April 2, 1997. The school record for consecutive wins is 18, which the Hoosiers set from March 23-April 12, 1983.

    Redshirt junior Tory Yamaguchi, who missed all of last season with illness, returned to the Hoosier lineup with a vengeance at the Crowne Plaza Classic in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 16-18, collecting four hits in 13 at bats for a .308 average. The catcher from Woodland Hills, Calif., scored three runs on the weekend and hit a pair of home runs. She collected 10 total bases to lead the team with a .769 slugging percentage.

    Sophomore Monica Wright has been nearly untouchable lately, as she has allowed just three earned runs in her last eight appearances. The Morrison, Ill., product is 5-1 with 0.50 ERA in 42 1/3 innings over that span. Wright was nothing short of spectacular at the USF Spring Break Tournament, as she went 3-0 with two 1-0 shutouts and a save with a 0.00 ERA in four appearances.

    Indiana is hitting .407 this season with the bags full, with junior Julia Hamilton leading the way with a pair of hits in as many chances. Sophomore Emily Bergeson and senior Kim Richards are both 2-for-3 when batting with the bases loaded.

    Redshirt junior Tory Yamaguchi enters the Speedline Invitational with five home runs on the season, giving her a total of 26 for her career. The mark ties her for third in Indiana history with Meg Montgomery, who hit 26 roundtrippers from 1994-97. Next in Yamaguchi's sights is IU legend Michelle Venturella, who hit 28 from 1992-95.

    Senior Kim Richards hit her second home run of the season against Long Island on March 14, giving her 15 for her career, which puts her in sole possession of eighth on the all-time IU list. Stormy Hanson is seventh with 21 from 2000-03.

    With her longball against Wagner on March 10, senior Rachel Terry moved into the top 10 with nine career jacks to her credit. She is tied with Amy Lonigro, who hit nine home runs from 1994-97. Sue Lilly sits ninth with 12 from 1977-80.

    Juniors Jennilee Huddleston and Tory Yamaguchi hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the fourth against Southern Illinois on Feb. 16, marking the first time this season that a Hoosier duo had done so.

    Sophomore Stephanie Pellerito hit a grand slam to propel Indiana to a 6-2 win over Ball State on March 4. Pellerito was playing just her second game of the season, and got the starting nod after an injury to Emily Bergeson the day before. In her very next at bat, against UMass on March 8, Pellerito went deep again, this time with a solo shot to lead off the third inning. With two home runs already this season, Pellerito has matched her output from all of last year.

    The Hoosiers have eight teams on the 2007 schedule that have appeared in both major polls this season. 2007 IU opponents LSU, Massachusetts, South Florida, Louisville, Northwestern and Michigan were ranked in both the USA Today/NFCA and Softball preseason top 25 polls, while Southern Illinois and Georgia Tech have both jumped in since then. Indiana was 2-8-1 against ranked opponents last season, picking up wins over No. 15 Nebraska and No. 25 North Carolina and tying No. 10 Oklahoma. Five of the eight losses came against Big Ten competition, including three to Michigan and two to Northwestern.

    With their 3-0 win over Centenary on Feb. 16, the Hoosiers improved to 21-12-1 all-time in season-opening contests, dating back to the 1974 season, Indiana's first as a varsity program.

    The Hoosiers will finally play at home when they host the IU Classic on March 23-25. Indiana will face Illinois-Chicago and Eastern Michigan on Friday, March 23, then take on Buffalo on Saturday, March 24, before moving into bracket play for Sunday, March 25.




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