Bloomington, Ind.The Indiana softball team was swept 2-1 and 4-1 in a doubleheader against Illinois on Sunday afternoon at the IU Softball Field. The Hoosiers fell to 23-23 overall and 0-6 in Big Ten play. The Fighting Illini move to 27-14-1 overall and 5-2 in the Big Ten.
It is disappointing because we are not fully executing right now, said Indiana head coach Sara Hayes Nottger. We have now seen the top three teams in the Big Ten for this year in Illinois, Iowa and Michigan. All three teams have some of the best hitting and some of the best pitching in the country. We had our chances in game one but we didnt execute as well as we should have. In game two, Amanda Fortune did a good job of keeping us off balance. We are going to prepare well this week and be ready to roll with Wisconsin and Minnesota next weekend.
Mariangee Bogado got the loss in both games, pitching seven innings and striking out seven on the day. Megan Roark pitched six innings, while striking out four.
In game one, the Illini got on the board in the second inning when third baseman Erin Jones slapped an RBI single to left, giving Illinois the lead, 1-0. They tacked on another run in the third on an RBI single by first baseman Jenna Hall.
Indiana answered back with a run in the fifth. First baseman Karly McCormack started the inning with a single to right followed by designated player Lauren Hines who drew a walk. With Christy Wahl and Katie Witham pinch-running, left fielder Abby Stark singled to left, forcing a play at the plate where Wahl was thrown out. Pinch-hitter Heather Stillians then reached on an Illini error, which allowed Witham to score and put the Hoosiers on the board.
The Cream and Crimson just missed tying the game in the bottom of the seventh. Bogado started the inning with a double to center. With Abby Page pinch-running, Hines singled to center, forcing a play at home where Page was called out. With two outs in the inning, Stark reached on an error by the Illinois second baseman who then recovered the ball and threw Hines out at home to end the game.
In game two, Illinois got on the board in the third inning on a three-run homerun by Hall to give the Illinois the lead, 3-0.
The Hoosiers answered back with a run of their own in the fifth on a homerun by catcher Tory Yamaguchi, putting the Hoosiers on the board, 4-1. Yamaguchi leads Indiana in homeruns with seven.
Illinois tacked on one more run in the fifth on an RBI single by short stop Lindsey Hamma to secure the win, 4-1.
Next up, Indiana travels to Evansville for a single game on Tuesday, April 13 at 6:00 p.m. before heading on the road next weekend to continue conference play. The Hoosiers face Wisconsin in single games on Friday, April 16 at 3:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 17 at 12:00 p.m. and then take on Minnesota in a twin bill on Sunday, April 18 starting at 12:00 p.m.