Hoosiers Sweep Illinois
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Indiana softball team evened its Big Ten record to 2-2 on the year as the Hoosiers completed a two-game sweep of Illinois with a 3-2 victory on Saturday afternoon at Eichelberger Field.
It was IU's first Big Ten two-game sweep since 1999 when the Cream and Crimson took two from Ohio State in Bloomington. It also was the first time since 1998 that the Hoosiers swept a Big Ten series on the road. That year, Indiana earned a pair of road victories at Penn State.
"Just like yesterday, we put a complete game together," said Indiana head coach Stacey Phillips. "We got good pitching and played some good defense, and we were able to get timely hits."
Sophomore Kim Richards gave IU an early 1-0 lead with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first. The dinger was the first of the year for Richards and the fourth of her career.
Indiana (12-25, 2-2) got out of a jam in the top of the third, thanks in large part to Richards' glove. With runners on first and second and two outs, Illini left fielder LeAnn Butcher worked the count to 3-2 before sending a line drive to right-center filed. Richards, though, got a good jump on the ball and made a great diving catch to keep Illinois off the scoreboard.
"I just went up to the plate looking to get a hit and I just got a really good swing on that pitch," said Richards. "I picked up the ball pretty quickly and I moved towards right center and Lauren (Hines) told me 'Kim it's yours', so I made a dive for it and came up with it."
Illinois (17-17, 0-6) did come back to tie the game with a run in the fourth. Two Indiana errors to start the frame put Illini runners on first and second. Jackelyn Diekemper then stroked a pinch-hit single to even the contest at 1-1. That's all that Illinois would get as junior hurler Mariangee Bogado got the next two batters to ground out to end the inning.
Indiana stormed back to take the lead with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Freshman Julia Hamilton started the rally with a leadoff walk. She later stole second and advanced to third on a single by sophomore Rachel Terry to put Hoosiers on the corners with no outs. Freshman Janetta Deaven then hit an infield single to load the bases.
Pinch hitter freshman Rachel Carlson then hit a fielder's choice as Illini third baseman Shanna Diller came home to record the force out. The throw, though, was wild allowing two runs to score, putting Indiana back in front by two, 3-1.
The two-run lead was brief as Illinois tallied a run in the fifth to cut the Hoosier advantage to one, 3-2. Rachelle Coriddi was the main catalyst for the run. She laced a one-out single through the right side and proceeded to steal second and third. She then scored on an RBI ground out by Butcher.
Indiana would have to hold off one more Illinois comeback attempt in the sixth. With junior Megan Roark taking over in the circle, the Illini started the sixth with a walk and a single. That would be as close as Illinois would get to tying the game as Roark retired the next three hitters to end the threat.
Bogado (1-4) won her first game of the year. The right-hander went five innings, giving up two runs on three hits. She also struck out three and walked one, as she improved her career Big Ten record to 5-9. Roark earned the save, her first on the season and the third of her career, with two scoreless innings to close out the game.
Claire DeVresse (4-8) was the loser for Illinois. She went three innings giving up three runs, two earned on four hits.
Nine Hoosiers were on base at least once in the game via a hit, walk or hit by pitch. Richards ended the day at 1-for-3 with a home run, run scored and an RBI. She also recorded four put outs in the field, including a run-saving catch in the third.
The Cream and Crimson wrap up the second week of Big Ten play with a trip to Iowa City, Iowa, where the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes square off in a doubleheader tomorrow, April 10. First pitch is set for noon at Bob Pearl Field.
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