IU Set for Big Ten Play
March 27, 2003
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It hasnt taken Hayes long to make her mark as the Hoosiers, with a 12-12 mark, are off to their best start since 1997.
Hayes takes over the helm of the Indiana program after spending the last two seasons as the head coach at the University of Northern Iowa. As an assistant coach at DePaul from 1995-00, Hayes helped lead the Blue Demons to a 265-97 overall record, which included back-to-back College World Series appearances in 1999 and 2000.
One of the finest softball players in the history of the University of Notre Dame, Hayes was a three-time All-Mideast Region honoree and was selected as team MVP as both a junior and senior as she led the Irish to back-to-back NCAA bids.
Scouting Ohio State: No. 21 Ohio State enters Big Ten action with a 15-10 record after having played six games in three days at Honolulu, Hawaii, this past weekend. The Buckeyes are coached by Linda Kalafatis, who has compiled a 490-269 overall record in this her 15th season of coaching, including a 217-154 mark at Ohio St.
Already in 2003, Ohio State has defeated 2002 NCAA Champion and seventh-ranked California, eighth-ranked Cal.-State Fullerton, No. 10 DePaul, No. 16 Alabama, and lost a one-run decision to second-ranked Washington.
The Buckeyes, who earned a national reputation a year ago for tremendous offensive production, have rode the strength of their pitching staff this spring as the OSU staff has compiled a 1.36 earned run average and have allowed only 138 hits in 169 2/3 innings, including 187 strikeouts and only 43 walks. The staff is led by the dynamic pair of senior Katie Chain and junior Kristi DeVries.
An All-Big Ten and all-region selection one year ago, Chain has compiled a 6-5 record this spring and has allowed only 56 hits in 75 1/3 innings, while striking out 92 and walking only 15. She is Ohio States career leader in wins, strikeouts, and shutouts.
DeVries is also among OSUs career pitching leaders in several categories and has compiled a 7-4 mark and a 1.46 earned run average in 2003. She has struck out 66 batters in 67 innings, while allowing only 58 hits.
Offensively, Ohio State presently maintains a .268 team batting average and has notched 15 home runs, including seven by senior third baseman Kristine Himes, who has recorded a .319 batting average with five doubles, two triples, and 21 RBI. Only one other Buckeye, sophomore Karisa Evans, has notched at least 10 RBI, as she is batting a team-leading .364 with two doubles, one triple, one home run, and 10 runs batted in.
Indiana vs. Ohio State - The Series: Indiana holds a commanding 50-19 series lead between the two softball programs, although the Buckeyes have won the last four meetings between the two schools, including 8-0 and 5-4 victories in Bloomington last spring. From 1993-98, Indiana won 16 consecutive games against the Buckeyes.
In the 2002 meetings in Bloomington, Ohio State led 3-0 after four innings and exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth inning to defeat the Hoosiers, 8-0. In the nightcap, Indiana led 2-0 against OSU starter Katie Chain after 3 1/2 innings but the Buckeyes scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth and added a single run in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-2 lead. Kristine Dugan hit a two-run home run off of Kristi DeVries in the bottom of the seventh to close to within 5-4. Katie Joy recorded two doubles.
Scouting Penn State: The Nittany Lions have recorded a 16-11 record in 2003 and have won seven of their last eight games and 10 out of 13. Already this season, Penn State has defeated 16th-ranked Alabama twice, and also has a win over No. 17 Florida State. The only common opponent for the Hoosiers and Nittany Lions is Canisius. Penn State defeated the Golden Griffins 8-0 on March 15, while Indiana defeated the Buffalo-based school, 5-2, on March 9.
Any discussion of the Penn State softball program most often begins with junior Marissa Hanson. The junior from Victoria, Texas, leads the Nittany Lions staff with an 8-5 record and a stellar 0.69 earned run average. In 91 2/3 innings pitched, she has allowed only 68 hits and nine earned runs, while striking out 71. She threw a no-hitter against Hofstra in 2002.
Offensively, senior Gina Bianchini is the catalyst for the Nittany Lions as she has tremendous speed and has recorded a .426 on-base percentage and .380 batting average from her leadoff spot in 2003. The centerfielder leads the team with 14 stolen bases in 16 attempts.
Second-hole hitter sophomore Mandy Nuxoll, who like Bianchini also hits from the left side of the plate, leads the team with a .387 batting average with 36 base hits, all of which are singles, in 93 at-bats. Between Nuxoll and Bianchini, the two have recorded 71 singles with only one extra-base hit.
Penn State is hitting .300 as a team and five different hitters have 11-or-more RBI.
The Nittany Lions are coached by Robin Petrini, who is in her sixth season in State College.
Indiana vs. Penn State - The Series: Indiana leads the all-time series against Penn State, 25-10, although the Nittany Lions have won seven of the last eight games played between the two teams. The Nittany Lions defeated the Hoosiers in Bloomington in 2003, 4-1. The other scheduled game was rained out. In 2001, Indiana lost to Penn State, 9-0, but split the season series with a 5-3 victory.
Other Big Ten Action this Weekend:
Fri., March 28
Indiana at Ohio State (6:00 p.m.)
Northwestern at Michigan State (3:00 p.m.)
Illinois at Michigan (4:00 p.m.)
Minnesota at Iowa (5:00 p.m.)
Purdue at Penn State (6:00 p.m.)
Sat., March 29
Indiana at Ohio State (noon)
Illinois at Michigan (noon)
Minnesota at Iowa (noon)
Northwestern at Michigan State (1:00 p.m.)
Purdue at Penn State (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., March 30
Indiana at Penn State (dh, noon)
Illinois at Michigan State (dh, noon)
Northwestern at Michigan (dh, noon)
Purdue at Ohio State (dh, noon)
Wisconsin at Iowa (dh, noon)
The McIntyre Connection: Penn State assistant coach Jen McIntyre was an assistant coach at Indiana, under head coach Diane Stephenson, from 1999-01.
Closing in on 800: Indianas next softball victory will be the 800th in the history of the program. Beginning in 1974, Indiana has compiled a 799-598-6 record, including a 228-236 mark in the Big Ten.
Peppering the Power Alleys: In 2002, Indiana recorded 53 doubles in 45 games. In 24 games this spring, IU hitters have already recorded 42 two-base hits in 2003.
The Shuffler: If she decides to give up softball coaching, she may be well prepared to be a Vegas blackjack dealer. With a roster that at times has had only 12 available players this season, head coach Sara Hayes has explored and used just about every possible permutation in her lineup this spring. The following individuals have played more than one position:
Kristine Dugan -- SS, 3B, RF, 2B
Stormy Hanson - C, DP
Lauren Hines - DP, RF
Abby Page - RF, LF, CF
Dawn Ramynke - 1B, DP, 3B
Abby Stark - LF, C
Heather Stillians - P, RF, 3B
Heather Suca - SS, 3B
Katie Witham - P, RF
Valerie White -RF, LF, 1B, CF
All Three IU Pitchers Have Hit; Witham and Roark have served as pinch runners
Ode to Joy: While every player has shown improvement in 2003, senior centerfielder Katie Joy, along with junior Valerie White, may have made the biggest leap forward from last spring to this years campaign. Always a solid defender with an above-average throwing arm, Joy has become a much more difficult out at the plate. During Wednesdays doubleheader vs. Indiana State, the Pell City, Ala., product recorded her first career home run. On the day, she notched four hits in seven at-bats with a run scored, a double, home run, two RBI, two walks, and a sacrifice.
Offensive Improvement: IU has scored 110 runs over its first 24 games in 2003. One year ago, the Hoosiers only scored 138 runs in 45 games and did not score their 110th run until their 35th game of the season. IU has scored eight-or-more runs in five games this spring and has scored 10-or-more runs on four occasions. The last time Indiana scored 10-or-more runs in four different games in the same season was 1997. In 1995 and again in 96, Indiana scored 10-or more runs on five different occasions.
Tougher Outs: In 2002, Indiana batters struck out 242 times in 1,130 official at-bats, which was an average of one strikeout every 4.67 official at-bat. This season, Indiana has cut its number of strikeouts to 96 in 667 at-bats, an average of one strikeout every 6.95 at-bats.
The Perfect Storm(y): Senior catcher Stormy Hanson is off to another excellent start in 2003. Although hampered by a hamstring injury that has forced her out of her catcher role and into the designated player slot in the lineup for the last four games, the Las Vegas product is tied with freshman Lauren Hines for the team lead in batting average (.400) and also leads the Hoosiers in the following offensive categories: hits (30), doubles (8), triples (3), home runs (4), RBI (19), slugging percentage (.747), and stolen bases (12).
Other Interesting Notes:
Indiana has recorded a double in 12 consecutive games and has only gone one game without an extra base hit (2-1 win over Stony Brook on March 8)
The Hoosiers have recorded 10-or more hits in three of their last four games (10, 5, 11, 15) and have notched seven-or-more hits in 9 of their last 10 games
An Indiana baserunner has stolen a base in each of the past five games
Every IU player who recorded a plate appearance in Indianas 15-9 victory over Indiana State on March 26 recorded at least one hit
Junior Valerie White has hit safely in six consecutive games and 16 of her last 17 games. The only game she did not hit safely during this stretch, she scored three runs in a 10-6 win over Bradley. After not reaching base in the season opener vs. San Jose State at the New Mexico State Tournament, White has reached base in 23 consecutive games.
Extra-Inning Magic: Teams may be advised to not allow their games to go to extra innings against the Hoosiers. Indiana is 4-0 in extra inning games this season and has outscored its opponents 18-2 in the eighth and ninth innings in 2003. Indiana has also outscored its opponents 16-8 in the fourth inning but only notched seven runs in the third inning all season, while IUs opponents have scored 21 in that stanza.
Setting the Table: Along with Katie Joy, junior Valerie White has made tremendous strides in just one season. Playing with much more confidence, the lefthanded leadoff hitter from Torrance, Calif., is hitting .318 in 2003, with five doubles, one home run, and seven RBI. She has a solid .358 on-base percentage and has reached base in 23 consecutive games. She has walked four times and has only struck out six times in a team-leading 88 plate appearances. Leading off an inning, White is hitting .462, with 18 hits in 39 at-bats. She recorded the first home run of her career during a 5-0 defeat of Detroit Mercy on March 22.
Aggressive on the Basepaths: In 24 games, Indiana baserunners have recorded 31 stolen bases on 40 attempts in 2003. In 45 games in 2002, Indiana only stole a total of 29 bases in 46 attempts. Senior catcher Stormy Hanson leads the Hoosiers with 12 stolen bases in 14 attempts, while freshman Abby Page has stolen seven bases in nine opportunities.
Better Control: At the earlier stops during his coaching career, pitching coach Mickey Dean has earned a national reputation for his ability to effectively handle young pitching staffs. His short stint at Indiana has been no different and one of the primary reasons for increased production has been the ability of the IU staff to throw strikes. Junior Heather Stillians, sophomore Katie Witham, and freshman Megan Roark have allowed only 34 walks in 167 innings (1 walk every 4.9 innings pitched) and have recorded a strikeouts to walk ratio of 3.1:1, with 106 strikeouts and only 34 walks. In contrast, Indiana pitchers walked one batter every 3.2 innings pitched in 2002, while recording a 1.15:1 strikeout:walk ratio.
Freshman Phenom: True freshman Lauren Hines has made a relatively easy adjustment to collegiate softball. In five games at the University of South Florida Tourney, Hines recorded 7 hits in 14 at-bats, to go along with three doubles and four RBI. She hit .429, with three hits in seven at-bats, at the New Mexico St. Invitational. For the season, Hines is hitting .400 with five doubles and two home runs. She has also drawn eight walks. She notched the first home run of her career during a 5-4 loss to Bradley. She hit her second home run of the season during a 15-9 win at ISU on March 26.
Explosive Innings: Indianas seven runs in the top of the eighth inning of a 12-5 victory over Radford (2/23/03) at the USF Invitational were the most runs the Hoosiers have scored in a single inning since the Hoosiers scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning of a 12-4 victory over Northern Illinois on March 16, 2002. IU did not score seven-or-more runs in any inning during the entire 2001 campaign. Indiana tallied eight runs in the top of the eighth inning of a 15-9 victory at Indiana State on March 26.
Specialty Statistics: The following is a analysis of key offensive statistics:
Freshman Lauren Hines is hitting .750 (3-for-4) with the bases loaded and Indiana is 9-for-20 as a team (.450) with the bases loaded
Hines is hitting .588 (10-for-17) leading off an inning
Hines is hitting .500 (12-for-24) with runners in scoring position
Junior Abby Stark is hitting .429 (12-for-28) with two outs in an inning
IU Roster Breakdown: The Indiana roster breakdown by class and by state is as follows:
Roster By Class
Stormy Hanson, Katie Joy, Heather Suca
Kristine Dugan, Dawn Ramynke, Abby Stark, Heather Stillians, Valerie White
Ashley Griffiths, Katie Witham
Abby Ellis, Abby Page, Lauren Hines, Megan Roark
Roster By State
Alabama (1): Katie Joy; Arizona (1): Katie Witham; California (5): Ashley Griffiths, Dawn Ramynke, Megan Roark, Heather Stillians, Valerie White; Illinois (1): Heather Suca; Indiana (3): Abby Ellis, Lauren Hines, Abby Page; Nevada (2): Kristine Dugan, Stormy Hanson; Washington (1): Abby Stark.
The IU Assistant Coaches: First-year head coach Sara Hayes staff will include Mickey Dean and Kathy Morton.
Dean is entering his first season in Bloomington after spending the 2002 season as the top assistant at the University of Akron. Prior to his stint in the Mid-American Conference, Dean led Lake City (Fla.) Community College to the 2001 NJCAA National Championship. Prior to Lake City, Dean guided Orange County (Va.) High School to back-to-back AA state championships in 1998 and 1999. He is an assistant coach on the Venezuelan National Team.
Kathy Morton is also in her first season as a member of the Indiana coaching staff after spending the 2001 and 2002 seasons as an assistant at the University of Florida. She was a two-time All-America outfielder at Louisiana-Lafayette.
The S Sisters - Stark, Suca, and Stillans
Stark Spends Time Behind the Plate: With senior Stormy Hanson ailing because of a hamstring injury, junior Abby Stark has moved behind the plate for the Hoosiers over the last four games. The Vancouver, Wash., product has let the new defensive duties affect her offensive production as she is batting .471 (8-for-17) during her four games behind the plate, along with scoring three runs, and driving in four. She has also notched two doubles. In 22 games played, Stark is hitting .316 with six doubles, one home run, and 12 RBI.
Stillians is Far From Stationary: Junior Heather Stillians has not only pitched in 2003, she as also appeared as a rightfielder and has played at third base. The team leader with six pitching victories (6-6), she leads the staff with a 2.37 earned run average and has allowed 74 hits in 71 innings pitched. At the plate, she has recorded five doubles and one home run, to go along with 11 RBI.
Putting the Short in Shortstop: At 4-foot-9, senior Heather Suca doesnt hesitate to talk about the fact that she is one of the shortest Division I athletes in any sport. During her home plate appearances, the lyrics I wish a was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller are played on the public address system at the IU Softball Field. What she may lack in size, she makes up for with hustle and determination. In 2003, Suca is hitting .254 with six doubles, seven RBI, and a team leading 11 bases on balls. She has an on-base percentage of .389.
Academic Success: In 2002, eight Indiana softball players earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, tying the highest number in IU softball history. Katie Joy, Abby Stark, Heather Suca, and Valerie White are all returning Academic All-Big Ten performers.
Softball on the Web: IU softball information may be accessed at www.iuhoosiers.com. Also, Big Ten softball information may be retrieved at www.bigten.org and collegiate softball information may be located at www.nfca.org, which is the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's web site, and www.ncaa.org.
The Indiana Hoosiers Softball Philosophy: Provide an empowering environment within which student-athletes have the opportunity to excel academically, achieve athletically, experience great things on and off the field of play, and grow into themselves in healthy, safe environment.
Hoosier Staff Goals: The Hoosier Staff Goals are as follows...
Graduate ALL Indiana Softball Players
Win a National Championship
Win a Big Ten Championship
Secure No. 1 Recruiting Class in the Nation
Earn 3.2 Cumulative Grade Point Average
Cultivate Alumni and Friends
Moving up the Career Charts: The following individuals will have an opportunity to move into IUs top 10 career lists:
With 29 career doubles, senior catcher Stormy Hanson has passed Kara Manley (28, 1991-94) to move into ninth place on Indianas career doubles list.
Senior infielder Heather Suca needs to draw 17 walks to move into a fifth-place tie with Amy Lonigro (1994-97) on the career walks list with 68.
Hoosiers Out of Action: Regular starting third baseman Kristine Dugan, who hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to lead the Hoosiers over Indiana State, 6-4, during the first game of a doubleheader on March 26, will miss Indianas Big Ten road trip to Ohio State and Penn State as she will be attending the funeral of a friend in her home town of Las Vegas. Freshman Abby Ellis has yet to play in 2003 after being hit in the head with a bat at a youth camp earlier this fall.