Hoosiers Ready For Home Opener, IU Classic This Week

    Go Hoosiers! Bloomington native Emily Crohn and the Hoosiers open the home schedule on Thursday against Drake at 4 p.m.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Bloomington native Emily Crohn and the Hoosiers open the home schedule on Thursday against Drake at 4 p.m.
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 19, 2008

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team will play host to Drake University on Thursday in its home opener before welcoming Louisville and Illinois-Chicago to the IU Softball Field for the IU Classic on Friday and Saturday.

    The Hoosiers started the season with 22 games on the road in three different states and are looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd this weekend to get back on the winning track.

    Despite the fact that the Hoosiers were just 4-9 on their trip to the Sunshine State for Spring Break, there were a number of standout performances. Monica Wright and Sara Olson both continued to keep the Hoosiers in games with their starting pitching. Wright had a 2.33 ERA in the 13 games and held opposing hitters to a .190 average while surrendering just 26 hits in 39.0 innings.

    Olson logged two wins for Indiana, the first two of her career, and struck out 22 in 27.0 innings while also picking up her first two hits at the plate and driving in two runs.

    The pitching staff as a whole also showed marked improvement during the trip. After starting the season with an ERA of over six through eight games, they cut it in half, posting a 3.19 ERA over the 13 games in Florida.

    At the plate, Jennilee Huddleston was the most consistent performer with a .316 average and a .421 slugging percentage. The offense was also distributed very evenly with 10 different Hoosiers picking up RBIs on the trip.

    Wright, the junior from Morrison, Ill., 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.

    She pitched perhaps her best game of the season, so far, against UMass. She threw all eight innings and gave up just one run on three hits while striking out five. Although she did allow five walks, she was able to effectively use her change up to keep the Minutewomen batters off balance and induce weak ground balls and line drives on the infield throughout the game. Wright would come back the next day against Radford and throw two innings of hitless relief to keep the game within one.

    The Drake Bulldogs have a 10-12 record entering the week and are led at the plate by Marilyn Buss, who is hitting .333 with two home runs and 13 RBI. She is also tied with two other players for second on the team with 11 runs scored. Susan Slycord is the leader in runs scored (13) and RBI (15) and also has three home runs to her credit along with 11 walks.

    In the circle, the Bulldogs look to Brynne Dordel and her 1.67 ERA in 14 appearances while posting a 7-3 record. She has three shutouts to her credit already this year and 77 strikeouts in 71.1 innings pitched.

    Louisville enters the IU Classic coming off back-to-back wins against Minnesota at the Louisville Tournament last weekend. Melissa Roth is hitting a robust .417 with 12 doubles, 19 runs scored and five stolen bases, all team highs. Kristi Cunningham has been providing the pop in the lineup with three of the Cardinals nine home runs. Another interesting note, the Cardinals have outscored their opponents by 22 runs (89-67) but are just one game over .500 at 12-11.

    The pitching duties are mostly split between Kristen Wadwell and Kassie Stanfill. Wadwell has six wins and a 2.18 ERA in 17 appearances and 86.2 innings pitched. Stanfill boasts a 2.27 ERA in nine starts and 58.2 innings pitched.

    Illinois-Chicago enters the weekend with a 7-18 mark this season but own two wins over San Diego and one over current No. 6 Michigan.

    Ashlee Ackerman has been setting the table for the Flames this year with her .333 batting average and .416 on-base percentage. Sarah Clynes leads UIC in the home run department with three and also tops the RBI list with 11. The Flames have also been successful on the basepaths this season, stealing 15 bases in 20 attempts.

    In the circle, Clynes has started 12 games and finished eight of those. She has also thrown two shutouts and combined for two others while recording a save in the process.


      Check back soon
      Indiana Sports Properties