Bloomington, Ind. The Indiana softball team will settle in for an eight-game home stretch this week, March 23-28. The Hoosiers start off the week with back-to-back doubleheaders against Drake on Tuesday, March 23 and Indiana State on Wednesday, March 24. The Cream and Crimson will then host the Hoosier Invitational on Saturday and Sunday, March 27-28. They face Western Kentucky (11:45 a.m.) and Notre Dame (2:00 p.m.) on Saturday and Saint Louis (11:45 a.m.) on Sunday. The tournament will conclude with consolation and championship games at 2:00 p.m. and 4:15 p.m., respectively on Sunday.
Scouting the Drake Bulldogs The Bulldogs took two of three from Missouri Valley Conference foe Evansville last time out. Drake is 13-8 overall this season. They are batting .274 as a team and the Bulldog pitching staff has a combined 2.03 ERA. The Hoosiers are 0-2 in the series history against Drake, losing two games, 3-2 and 5-4 back in 1999.
Scouting Indiana State
The Indiana State Sycamores are 17-13 overall this season and is the second of two Missouri Valley Conference teams the Hoosiers will face this weekend. As a team, ISU is batting .263. Earlier this season, the Sycamores and the Hoosiers met at the Southern Illinois Classic where ISU won the game, 2-1, in extra innings. Indiana holds the all-time series lead, 47-18.
Scouting Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish are 19-9 overall this season. They are batting .257 as a team and the pitching staff has a combined 2.09 ERA. Notre Dame has had to postpone three consecutive games. Their last time out was a 9-1 rout over Western Michigan on March 20. They will face Valparaiso on Tuesday and Loyola on Thursday before competing in the Hoosier Invitational Although the Irish are not ranked, they have been receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA top 25 poll all season long. The Hoosiers have a 10-8 lead in the all-time series history between the two teams. IU defeated Notre Dame, 2-0, the last time they met in 1999.
Scouting Saint Louis
The Saint Louis Billikens are 9-20 so far this season and are coming off a 4-3 loss to Eastern Kentucky to close out the University of Louisville tournament last weekend. As a team, Saint Louis is batting .236 and has a 5.16 ERA. Before traveling to the Hoosier Invitational, the Billikens will play a doubleheader against the UMKC Kangaroos on March 24. Indiana holds a 5-1 series lead over Saint Louis, with the Hoosiers defeating the Bills, 9-2, the last time the two teams met in 1982.
Scouting Western Kentucky
Last time out, the Hilltoppers went 2-3 at the Buzz Classic in Marietta, Ga. They are 18-6 so far this season and are batting .284 as a team. Before heading to the Hoosiers Invite, Western Kentucky will play a doubleheader against Tennessee Tech. This will be the first ever meeting between the Hoosiers and the Hilltoppers.
Head Coach Sara Hayes Nottger needs eight more wins to reach the 100 career wins plateau. While head coach at Northern Iowa, Nottger lead the Panthers to a 58-59 record in two years. In her second year here at Indiana, Nottger has notched 34 wins.
Coach Nottger Faces Alma Mater
Indiana head coach Sara Hayes Nottger will face her alma mater when the Hoosiers take on Notre Dame this weekend. Nottger played for the Irish from 1992-95 and her name appears all over the record books. She ranks in the top five in doubles (44), triples (11), homeruns (26), RBI (137), walks (66) and putouts (964). She was also named MCC Player of the Year in 1995 and was a three-time all-conference pick.
In one of the toughest schedules in IU softball history, the Hoosiers have faced four teams ranked in the USA/Today Top 25 poll this season. Most recently, IU went up against then No. 2 Arizona and No. 24 Georgia Tech. Although they lost to both teams, the Hoosiers produced solid pitching from the circle and stellar defense from the field. Just last week, Arizona moved up in the polls to take over the No. 1 spot.
Indiana faced its first ranked opponent when they took on then No. 12 Nebraska. IU forced the Cornhuskers into their first extra-inning game of the season before eventually falling, 5-4.
The Hoosiers also fell to No. 19 Florida, 1-0, earlier this season. Although the Gators were not ranked at the time, they have recently moved into the top 25.
Indiana also faces No. 11 Michigan on April 2 and No. 25 Northwestern on April 23. Other Hoosier opponents also receiving votes in the poll are Notre Dame and Illinois.
San Diego Classic
The Hoosiers are coming off a 3-2 spring break trip to San Diego where they competed in the San Diego Aztec Classic. On day one, Indiana defeated Buffalo, 2-1, and fell to UC-Riverside, 7-3. The Cream and Crimson lost to BYU, 2-0 but came back to defeat UC-Riverside, 5-1 on day two of the tournament. The weekend ended on a high note when the Hoosiers defeated Southern Utah, 8-0 in five innings in the final game of the San Diego Classic.
Hoosiers Win IU Classic
The IU Softball went undefeated on the weekend and was crowned the 2004 IU Classic Champions on March 14. It was the first time since 2002 that an IU softball team won a home tournament. The Hoosiers defeated Wright State, 5-4 and Western Michigan, 8-0 in six innings on the first day of play. On day two, IU downed Loyola-Chicago, 7-0 to earn a spot in the championship game. They faced Western Michigan for the second time and beat them, 4-1, to win the title.
Bogado On Fire at IU Classic
Bogado was 3-0 with a .053 ERA at the IU Classic. The Mariara, Venezuela, native pitched 17.0 innings with 21 strikeouts while giving up just one run. She also contributed at the plate, hitting .333 with a homerun, two RBI and two runs scored.