Bloomington, Ind. -The Indiana softball team lost a 3-2 heartbreaker to No. 9 Michigan in its Big Ten Conference opener Friday afternoon at the IU Softball Field. The Hoosiers drop to 21-17 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play. The Wolverines move to 26-6 overall and 1-0 in conference action.
I was impressed with the confidence and energy that our team played with today, said Indiana head softball coach Sara Hayes Nottger. We had great cuts all day, we were just missing on their pitches a little bit. I was disappointed with some of our defensive play but Mariangee did a great job on the mound. We play a preseason schedule to prepare for games like today and when we get ourselves in a position to win, we now need to follow through.
The Hoosiers were led by Mariangee Bogado who pitched her 12th complete game of the season while striking out four and giving up just two earned runs. Shortstop Kim Richards was 1-for-3 with a two-run shot to center, her second homerun in as many games. Richards has now hit safely in seven straight games.
Indiana kept Michigan scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when Gracie Leutele hit an RBI single to left, putting the Wolverines on the board, 1-0. Michigan tacked on two more runs in the sixth when Monica Schock hit an RBI single to right. Amy Prichard, who was running for Schock, then stole second and got caught in a rundown, allowing Michigan to score another run and take the lead, 3-0.
The Hoosiers answered back with two runs in the bottom of the inning. After second baseman Ashley Griffiths walked to start the inning, Richards slammed a homerun over the scoreboard in center field to put the Hoosiers on the board, 3-2. Despite another hit in the inning, IU was unable to score to tie the game.
The Hoosiers will face the Wolverines in game two of the series Saturday afternoon at the IU Softball Field. Game time is set for 12:00 p.m.