Bloomington, Ind.- The Indiana softball team will host two Big Ten Conference foes when Iowa and Illinois visit Bloomington this weekend, April 9-11. The Hoosiers and defending Big Ten champion Iowa will face off in single games today at 3:00 p.m. and tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. The Hoosiers and the Fighting Illini will play a doubleheader starting at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday. All four games will be played at the IU Softball Field.
Last Time Out For Indiana
The Hoosiers started last week off in the windy city where they swept Illinois-Chicago, 4-2 and 8-4 in doubleheader action on Wednesday. Back at home in Bloomington, Indiana opened Big Ten Conference play on Friday against ninth-ranked Michigan. Down 3-0 in game one, the Hoosiers rallied in the sixth inning on a two-run homerun by shortstop Kim Richards, before eventually falling, 3-2. The two teams met again on Saturday with the Wolverines pulling out the second win in the series, 4-1. The Hoosiers closed out the weekend with a sweep of Bowling Green, 6-4 and 4-2 in a twin bill on Sunday afternoon.
Scouting Iowa The Hawkeyes were a perfect 4-0 to start conference play last weekend. Iowa defeated Northwestern, 7-2 on Friday and 6-1 on Saturday afternoon followed by a sweep of Michigan State, 8-2 and 8-2 in a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. The Hawkeyes bring a 22-15 overall record into play this weekend and are batting .279 as a team. Their pitching staff has a combined ERA of 1.31. Iowa was the 2003 Big Ten Softball Champion and finished NCAA tournament play with a 3-2 record. Iowa holds a 47-30 all-time series lead over Indiana. The two teams last met up in 2003 with the Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers 8-0 and 9-0.
The Fighting Illini also opened Big Ten play last weekend at home, splitting their series with Michigan State. Illinois took game one, 7-1 and lost game two, 2-0. In a doubleheader against Northwestern, the Illini won both games, 7-2 and 2-0. With a 23-13-1 record, Illinois is batting .271 as a team and their pitching staff boasts a 1.59 ERA. The Fighting Illini holds a 1-5 advantage over the Hoosiers in the all-time series history. The last time the two teams met in 2003, Illinois won both games, 3-1 and 4-2.
Nottger Gets 100th Career Win
IUs 4-2 win over Bowling Green on Sunday marked head coach Sara Hayes Nottgers 100th career victory. Prior to taking the helm at Indiana, Nottger led the Northern Iowa Panthers to a 58-59 record in two years. In her two years at Indiana, Nottger has led the Hoosiers to a 42-50 overall record.
In one of the toughest schedules in IU softball history, the Hoosiers faced their fifth USAToday/NFCA Top 25 team when they took on No. 9 Michigan on Friday and Saturday. Here is a look at other ranked opponents the Hoosiers have faced:
February 20 No. 17 Florida
February 22 No. 19 Nebraska
March 6 No. 1 Arizona
March 7 No. 24 Georgia Tech
Other Hoosier opponents also receiving votes in the poll are Notre Dame, and Minnesota.
On March 31 against Illinois-Chicago, the Hoosiers notched their 20th and 21st wins of the season. With a little less than half the season to play, the Hoosiers have now won more games than any Indiana softball team since 1997.
Freshman shortstop Kim Richards has been on an offensive tear as of late. Against No. 9 Michigan, Richards hit a huge homerun over the scoreboard in center at the IU softball Field to put the Hoosiers on the board, 3-2. The Indianapolis, Ind., native has hit safely in nine of her last ten games and is batting .303 with two homeruns, six RBI and nine runs scored.
Thats Gonna Leave a Mark
This past weekend, three different Hoosiers were hit by pitches four different times. Overall this season, the Hoosiers have been hit 20 times! Sophomore Lauren Hines leads the pack with seven plunks followed by Mariangee Bogado who has been hit six times and Karly McCormack with five.
Bogado Strong in Circle, at Plate
In her last ten games, Bogado has contributed both on the mound and at the plate. She had pitched 31.2 innings with 36 strikeouts including 12 against Illinois-Chicago. At the plate Bogado had hit .296 with five RBI, four runs scored and one homerun.
Roark Goes 3-0
This past week, Megan Roark was a perfect 3-0, picking a win against Illinois-Chicago and in both games of the Hoosiers doubleheader with Bowling Green. Overall, the Pleasant Hill Calif., native pitched 24.1 innings with 19 strikeouts.