March 22, 2012
The Hoosiers get set to open Big Ten play this weekend in Columbus riding a four-game winning streak after sweeping the Hoosier Classic in Bloomington last weekend.
With the four victories, the Hoosiers ran their home winning streak to 15 games dating back to last season.
During the weekend, Breanna Saucedo led IU with a .538 batting average and six runs scored. Samantha Berenter drove in six runs while hitting .500 and Jenna Abraham collected five RBI to help Indiana hit .315 as a team.
In the circle, Lora Olson and Meaghan Murphy both picked up a pair of victories and went the distance in both of their starts and had a combined ERA of 2.42.
The Hoosiers have made the IU Softball Field a difficult place for opponents to win, having won 15 straight home games dating back to last season. Indiana won its final 11 home games last year and won the first four last weekend to extend the streak. Entering play this weekend, the streak is tied for fifth-longest in the country.
Senior second baseman Samantha Berenter has been instrumental to the Hoosiers' offensive success this season and is having a career year at the plate in the process. She has scored 17 runs, hit three home runs and 16 home runs, all of which are career highs.
Although Amanda Wagner has seen her production trail off in recent weeks, she continues to show opponents why she is a feared hitter in the middle of the lineup for IU. Her .303 average with four home runs and 13 RBI are one thing but she has drawn 13 walks to help her .424 on-base percentage.
She is second on the team with four home runs this season. The native of Burbank, Ill., has 15 career home runs and 52 career RBI as she plays her third season.
ALL ABOUT ABRAHAM
Sophomore Jenna Abraham continues to impress at the plate this season, hitting a team-leading .382 with five home runs and 14 RBI - all of which are better than her freshman season when she garnered Third Team All-Big Ten accolades.
In addition to her prowess at the plate, she also robbed a home run in left field against UIC in the seventh inning for the final out of the game - a home run that would have tied the game.
After getting off to a slow start by her high standards, junior Breanna Saucedo is turning it on at the plate just in time for the start of conference action. Over the last two weekends, Saucedo is hitting .448 with 13 hits and seven runs scored. Over the first three weekends ht hit .326 with 14 hits and seven runs scored.
With a pitching staff that is gaining experience by the inning, the Hoosiers have not been fazed by close games so far this year. In games decided by two runs or fewer, the Hoosiers are 8-3. In games that IU has had the lead going into the 7th inning, the Hoosiers are 10-2
HEY MAN, RIGHT IS RIGHT
Junior outfielder Samantha Heyman made one of the most difficult transitions a player can make - moving from the left side of the plate to the right side. And this year the results have been dramatically better, as she is hitting .313 with two doubles and a triple and five RBI. In her first two seasons, she hit .179 with two doubles and eight RBI while batting from the left side.
In addition to that, Heyman has been outstanding in center field, registering 14 career outfield assists.
CASSIE CATCHES FIRE
Fifth year senior catcher Cassie Gogreve is hitting .300 so far this season and has a team-best 18 RBI. At the Phyllis Rafter Memoria in Georgia, the South Pasadena, Calif., native hit her first home run of the season and drove in six runs, including a four RBI game against Saint Louis.
She has also appeared in all 130 games over the last two-plus seasons since she joined the Hoosiers from South Carolina.
CAWLEY-ING THE SHOTS
Freshmen third baseman Shannon Cawley was inserted into the heart of the Indiana order in Georgia and showed that's right where she belonged. Against No. 10 Stanford, the senior smached a solo home run off All-American pitcher Teagan Gerhart to tie the game and keep the momentum in Indiana's favor. She also hit a towering home run against Central Arkansas and finished the five games in Georgia with six RBI. For the season, Cawley is hitting .314 with three home runs and 13 RBI.
Freshmen Lora Olson and Shannon Cawley showed their prowess at the plate in Las Vegas, connecting for their first collegiate home runs. Cawley did so with a solo home run to center field against BYU and Olson did it against Memphis, a two-run blast to tie the game in the fourth inning.
HERE'S WHAT COMING BACK
Returing to the fold in 2012 for the Hoosiers will be a number of experienced upperclassmen and underclassmen that broke into the lineup last season. Leading the way is junior shortstop Breanna Saucedo, who hit .326 last year and stole 15 bases. She is just the second player in IU history to lead the team in hits in her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Another one of the top returners is sophomore outfielder Jenna Abraham, who was a Third Team All-Big Ten performer last year. Junior infielder Amanda Wagner, who was a Second Team All-Big Ten honoree in 2011 returns to help anchor the infield and the heart of the Indiana lineup after hitting six home runs and driving in 20 last year.
The rock behind the plate that will work with the very young pitching staff is fifth year senior Cassie Gogreve. While her offensive numbers might now "wow" many, it is her defense and communication with the pitching staff that has earned her respect. Last season alone, she threw out 15 runners attempting to steal and opponents only attempted to steal a base once per game against her. In her two season with IU, she has caught 38 runners attempting to steal.
In the circle, the Hoosiers have just one pitcher returning - sophomore Meaghan Murphy - and she threw a total of 5.0 innings in 2011. She tossed a five inning shutout against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in her only appearance. She will be used this season along with freshmen Lora Olson and Miranda Tamayo.