Hoosiers Set To Host Minnesota In Big Ten Opener

    Go Hoosiers! Kelli Ritchison
    Go Hoosiers!
    Kelli Ritchison
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 20, 2009


    IU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    The Indiana softball team will open Big Ten Conference play this weekend when they host the Minnesota Golden Gophers at the IU Softball Field in the first conference games for both teams.

    The Gophers have spent the week in the state of Indiana, taking on a IUPUI in a doubleheader on Tuesday followed by a doubleheader at Butler on Thursday.

    This year's conference schedule has seen a change from the past years, as teams will play just one game on Saturday and one game on Sunday. Last year, the teams would play a doubleheader on Friday against one team and then travel to another school for single games Saturday and Sunday.

    The Indiana Hoosiers are 11-16 all-time in Big Ten Conference openers. They have dropped 10 of their last 11 conference openers. The last win came on March 31, 2006, a 4-1 victory for the Hoosiers over Ohio State.

    Last year, Indiana made the trip to Minneapolis for a pair of games with the Golden Gophers and came away with a pair of losses. In the first game, Indiana fell 7-3 and then dropped the second game as well, 5-2.

    In the first game, Emily Bergeson, Jennilee Huddleston and Jennifer Glueckert each drove in a run while Minnesota's Brianna Hassett allowed three runs on six hits while striking out 16.

    Game two saw the Hoosiers jump out to a 1-0 lead after the first half inning only to see the Gophers score in their half and then add four more in the bottom of the third inning.

    Sophomore catcher Brittany Stein put her powerful bat on display at the DeMarini Invitational hosted by Cal State Fullerton, crushing three solo home runs in the five games. She now has four home runs through 16 (38 AB) games this season after hitting one home run in 34 games last year (70 AB).

    In the five games at Fullerton, the Vancouver, Wash., native hit .308 and had a slugging percentage of 1.000 and also put down a perfect sac bunt. She started the weekend in style with a solo home run against No. 5 Stanford and then followed it up with another bomb against UC Riverside later in the day. She then closed the weekend in style with a home run against Cal Poly.

    Stein continued her hot hitting with a 7-for-17 (.412 avg.) performance at the USF Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater, Fla.

    Junior outfielder Kelli Ritchison was the Hoosiers' top hitting for the weekend at the DeMarini Invitational, going 5-for-14 (.357) with a run scored. She also hit leadoff for the first time in her career against Cal Poly in the weekend finale, going 2-for-4 to extend her hit streak to four games, the best of her career.

    At the USF Under Armour Showcase, Ritchison hit .333 while driving in four runs and scoring three.

    The junior also leads Indiana with a .438 batting average with runners on base and .429 average with runners in scoring position.

    Sophomore Sara Olson was among 12 players from the USF Under Armour Showcase named to the All-Tournament team. For the five games, she hit .385 with two home runs and seven RBI to go along with a .846 slugging percentage. She also pitched ten innings and struckout seven while leading the Hoosiers to a win against Loyola Marymount.

    Sophomore Kelsey Stander joined the Indiana softball team during the Winter break, but has left a impression on the team in her first couple months. She came to Indiana from the University of Tennessee, where she was a perfect 12-for-12 in the stolen base department. She has continued that perfection at Indiana, as she has not been caught in six attempts so far this season.




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