March 27, 2013
The Last Meeting
May 12, 2012
East Lansing, Mich.
Indiana Holds On In Extra Innings Against Michigan State, 6-5
It took extra innings but the Indiana Hoosiers (29-25, 13-10 Big Ten) extended their win streak to five games with a 6-5 victory over the Michigan State Spartans at Secchia Stadium on Saturday afternoon in game one of a doubleheader. Shannon Cawley's deep sac fly to center field plated the eventual winning run in the eighth inning for the Hoosiers.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
The Michigan State softball program sits at 14-13 on the season and has not yet competed in Big Ten action. Their three-game series with Penn State last weekend was rescheduled due to poor weather conditions, so the Spartans will host Indiana for their first go at conference play in East Lansing, Mich. MSU is currently seventh in the B1G with an overall batting average of .277. Their pitching staff owns a 2.78 ERA, which also ranks seventh, while their .950 fielding percentage is 11th in the Big Ten. Individually, the Spartans are led by the bat of Kylene Hopkins who has hit to a .434 clip through 27 games. Kelly Smith as pitched to an 11-7 record in the circle for MSU and leads the staff with a 2.30 ERA.
The Hoosiers and Spartans will meet for the 106th time in program history. IU leads the all-time series, 59-46, and have taken the past five straight and the previous nine out of 10 contests. Both squads met in their final Big Ten series of the 2012 campaign, where Indiana swept the Spartans in East Lansing, Mich. to close out their year on a six-game win streak.
LAST TIME OUT
Indiana opened up Big Ten Conference play last weekend in Columbus, Ohio where the Hoosiers went 1-2 with the Buckeyes. IU dropped the opening game 9-5 and was led by Amanda Wagner and Brianna Meyer's multiple-hit performances, posting 2-for-3 efforts each. Shannon Cawley drove in three runs thanks to a two-run homer and a sac fly. Meaghan Murphy got the start and lasted 2.1 innings before giving way to Lora Olson. Olson became the pitcher of record to fall to 6-6 on the year. She tossed 1.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits before Brooke Boetjer checked in to close out the final 2.1 innings.
In game two, the Hoosiers battled in a three-hour, nine-inning contest with OSU and came out victorious thanks to Meyer's two-run shot to take the lead in the top of the ninth. Meyer went a career-best 4-for-4 while Wagner hit 3-for-3. Both reached base in each of the six plate appearances. Each squad went through two pitchers, with Murphy (9-8) picking up the win in 6.1 innings of work. The lefty fanned six OSU batters and held them to five hits without allowing a single run. Boetjer got the start for Indiana, tossing the first 2.2 innings and struck out two while giving up just one earned run.
The Buckeyes would take the series finale 8-2 after being held to just three hits in the contest. Wagner, Cawley and Lexi Reese each singled for Indiana. Murphy was dealt the loss after giving up five on three hits in 1.1 innings pitched.
WHERE THEY RANK
Several members of the Indiana softball time sit near the top of a handful of statistical catagories in the Big Ten Conference:
Amanda Wagner - 1st (.473)
Brianna Meyer - 23rd (.363)
Amanda Wagner - 2nd (.797)
Amanda Wagner - 1st (.574)
Brianna Meyer - T-6th (.491)
Amanda Wagner - 11th (35)
Amanda Wagner - 2nd (10)
Amanda Wagner - 9th (59)
Brianna Meyer - 2nd (24)
Shannon Cawley - 1st (4)
WAGNER CLIMBS NATIONAL RANKS
Midway through the 2013 season, senior Amanda Wagner has posted numbers that not only lead the Big Ten, but rank amonst the top of the national statitics as well.
Wagner's .473 batting average is currently the eighth-best amonst NCAA Division I hitters. Her 10 doubles through 29 games puts her tied for 37th in the country for doubles per game (.34). Wagner's .574 on-base percentage is currently 10th-best, while her .797 slugging percentage sits 47th in the NCAA rankings.
THE ONE, TWO (THREE) PUNCH
Last week, the Hoosiers 1-2-3 hitters provided a huge lift for the Indiana offense, combining for 17 of the Hoosiers 25 hits through four games. Brianna Meyer, Amanda Wagner and Shannon Cawley collaborated for a .500 average (17-for-34), with Wagner leading the way with her .636 (7-for-11) clip through four games. Meyer followed with a still impressive .500 average (6-for-12) while Cawley was 4-for-11 (.364) on the week.
RPI RANKINGS RELEASED
Indiana has been given an RPI (ratings percentage index) ranking of 78 in the latest release by the NCAA. The Hoosiers RPI ranking of 78 is the second highest under head coach Michelle Gardner, second only to her 2011 squad that finished the season with an RPI of 30.
The Rating Percentage Index is one of many factors used by NCAA sports committees when evaluating Division I teams for postseason selection, seeding and bracketing.
A team's RPI ranking consists of three factors that are weighted as follows:
- Factor 1: Division I winning percentage -- 25 percent of the RPI
- Factor 2: Opponent strength of schedule -- 50 percent of the RPI
- Factor 3: Opponents' opponent strength of schedule -- 25 percent of the RPI
NOT IN OUR HOUSE
The Hoosiers have done a tremendous job of defending their home field since the 2011 season. Indiana has combined for a remarkable 42-6 record in Bloomington, Ind. during that time, including a perfect 3-0 start at the new Andy Mohr Field this season. Those three wins extend the Hoosier's home win streak to six games, as IU swept Nebraska in Indiana's final home series of the 2012 season.