April 13, 2007
Minnesota, Wisconsin Notes in PDF Format (04-13-07)
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Opponent: Minnesota (DH)
Date: April 15, 2007
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Facility: Jane Sage Cowles Stadium
Series Record: even, 39-39
Opponent: Wisconsin (DH)
Dates: April 16, 2007
Location: Madison, Wis.
Facility: Goodman Diamond
Series Record: Wisconsin, 15-11
Indiana sets forth on its first Big Ten road trip of the season this weekend when it heads to Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Hoosiers are set to square off against the Golden Gophers in a doubleheader on Sunday, April 15, and will meet the Badgers for a twinbill on Monday, April 16. The games against Wisconsin were originally scheduled for Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, but were moved to Monday because of weather concerns in the area.
The series against Minnesota is even at 39 apiece, while Wisconsin leads the all-time series against Indiana, 15-11. The Badgers topped Indiana on March 18 of this season to snap a two-game losing streak to IU, while the Hoosiers have dropped two straight to the Gophers.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
Indiana enters the weekend fresh off a thrilling 6-3 win over Indiana State on Tuesday, April 10.
After the Sycamores took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, the Hoosiers answered in the bottom half of the frame. After junior Jennilee Huddleston singled to left with two outs, redshirt junior Tory Yamaguchi followed with a home run down the left field line to put IU on top. The home run was Yamaguchi's 11th of the season, tying her career high, which she set in 2005.
Both teams' pitchers settled in after that, with neither side cracking the scoreboard again until the sixth inning. ISU finally got to IU starter Monica Wright in the top half of that inning, using a hit batter and three singles to post a pair of runs and reclaim the lead. The Hoosiers again had an answer, however, loading the bases on a trio of singles in the bottom of the inning for sophomore Emily Bergeson. Bergeson came through in the clutch, pounding a bases-clearing double to put IU back on top. Bergeson would later score to make the score 6-3, and Wright pitched around a two-out walk in the seventh to seal the win. Bergeson improved to 4-for-6 on the season with the bases juiced.
Huddleston leads Indiana with a .368 batting average, a .422 on-base percentage, 12 doubles and 23 runs scored and shares the team lead with 25 RBIs. Yamaguchi paces the squad with 11 home runs and a .649 slugging percentage and shares the team RBI lead with Huddleston. Junior Julia Hamilton leads IU with 14 stolen bases in 15 attempts. In the circle, sophomore Monica Wright is 12-12 with a 3.08 ERA. She has pitched a team-high 170 2/3 innings and has 107 strikeouts to her credit.
The Golden Gophers will once again attempt to open their home slate this weekend after having their previous four scheduled home games cancelled by poor weather and unplayable field conditions. In addition to having its series at Penn State cancelled on April 1, Minnesota has also lost games with Iowa (April 7) and Illinois (April 8). The Gophers' scheduled doubleheader with UW-Green Bay on Wednesday, April 11, was postponed, as well, meaning Minnesota's last eight scheduled contests have not been played.
Should the weather finally cooperate, Minnesota will open its home slate with a pair of contests against Purdue this weekend, hosting the Boilermakers for contests on Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, before taking on the Hoosiers on Sunday, April 15. Minnesota last played on March 30-31, when it dropped a pair of games to league-leading Ohio State. The Gophers lost the first contest 4-2 then fell the next day 8-4.
The Gophers enter the weekend with a 13-14 overall mark and an 0-2 ledger in Big Ten play. Mandy Valadez leads Minnesota at the plate with a .323 batting average, and Briana Hassett is tops in the circle with a 7-5 record and a 2.14 ERA.
The Hoosiers and Gophers have not met since the 2005 season, as last year's contests in Minneapolis were cancelled because of bad weather. Minnesota swept a pair of one-run games in 2005, taking a 3-2 win on April 22 and a 5-4 win on April 23. Janetta Deaven's first collegiate home run put Indiana up 2-1 in the first game, but Minnesota answered with a solo home run from Valerie Alston and a pinch-hit RBI single from Katie Meyer to go ahead. The game was suspended in the seventh because of lightning, but the Gophers closed out the win the following day. The second game in the series was a dramatic one, as the Hoosiers scored four runs in the seventh inning to tie the game before Megan Higginbotham hit a walk-off solo home run in the bottom half of the frame.
The Badgers will also face Purdue in a pair of contests this weekend, taking on the Boilermakers in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 14, before hosting Indiana. Wisconsin comes into the contest off a split with North Dakota State on Tuesday, April 10, in which the Bison took game one 3-1 and the Badgers won game two 6-4. Athena Vasquez had two of Wisconsin's four hits in game one, while Katie Hnatyk and Ricci Robben had a pair of hits each in the nightcap.
Wisconsin has played all six of its scheduled Big Ten contests thus far, starting 0-4 but rebounding nicely with its first-ever sweep of Iowa.
The Badgers enter the weekend with a 20-12 overall record and a 2-4 mark in Big Ten play. Hnatyk paces the squad with a .370 batting average, 10 home runs and 31 RBIs, while Eden Brock leads the way in the circle with a 10-7 record and a 2.13 ERA. Center fielder Samantha Polito is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week.
Indiana and Wisconsin have met once this season already, in the championship game of the No. 2 seed bracket at the Speedline Invitational in Tampa, Fla., on March 18. The Badgers prevailed 5-0, pounding out 10 hits to the Hoosiers' five. Pinch-hitter Liz Klemp put Wisconsin on the board in the top of the second inning with an RBI single that scored Joey Daniels. The Badgers added another run in the fourth when Lynn Anderson scored on a Hoosier fielding error, and Athena Vasquez put the game on ice with a three-run home run in the sixth inning. Julia Hamilton and Jennilee Huddleston had a pair of hits each for Indiana, while Julie DiNallo added a double for the Hoosiers' only hit. The Badgers' Eden Brock and Letty Olivarez combined on the shutout, with Olivarez picking up the win with 4 innings of two-hit relief.
Indiana won nine straight games from March 10-17, its longest streak since winning 16 in a row in 1994. The school record for consecutive wins is 18, which IU set from March 23-April 12, 1983.
Junior Jennilee Huddleston has reached base in 26 of Indiana's last 28 games, via hit, walk or error. The Peachtree City, Ga., native had an 11-game hitting streak during the span, and reached base in 21 consecutive contests before Iowa kept her off the basepaths on Saturday, March 31. Before the Hawkeyes turned the trick, the last team to keep Huddleston at bay was Illinois-Chicago on March 9.
Sophomore Emily Bergeson was mired in an 0-for-17 slump entering her final at-bat in the Hoosiers' contest with Indiana State on April 10, but broke out of it in a big way. With IU down 3-2 and the bases loaded with two out in the bottom of the sixth, Bergeson drilled a bases-clearing double to the gap in left center to put Indiana on top to stay. Bergeson would later come in to score, and the Hoosiers won 6-3.
YOU CAN CALL ME CAL
Juniors Jennilee Huddleston and Julia Hamilton have been in the starting lineup for every Indiana game this season, and are the only two Hoosiers to start all 38 games. Huddleston has manned the hot corner for 37 of those contests, while earning one start at short. Hamilton has been in left field for 36 of her starts, while two came in center field.
Junior Julia Hamilton matched the school record for stolen bases in a single game with three swipes against Quinnipiac at the USF Spring Break Tournament on March 13. Hamilton reached base five times in the contest, going 3-for-4 with a walk and reaching on an error. The Lincolnshire, Ill., native stole second in the first, fourth and sixth innings to equal a record she also matched as a freshman in 2005. Hamilton has stolen 14 bases this season in 15 opportunities.
CRUNCH TIME SUCCESS
Indiana batters have been impressive in the clutch, going 14-for-43 with the bases loaded, good for a .326 batting average. Sophomore Stephanie Pellerito owns the Hoosiers' only grand slam on the season, while classmate Emily Bergeson is hitting at an impressive .667 clip with four hits in six at-bats with the bases juiced. Junior Julia Hamilton has recorded hits in both of her bases-loaded opportunities, while junior Tory Yamaguchi is 3-for-6 (.500) with the bags full. Senior Kim Richards has had the most opportunities with the bases loaded, as she has come to the plate in that situation eight times, recording two hits.
Redshirt junior Tory Yamaguchi hit her 11th home run of the season on April 10, giving her 32 for her career, good for second on IU's all-time list. Only Monica Armendarez, who hit 38 longballs from 1995-98, has hit more homers for IU than Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi is also moving up the single-season home run list, as her latest dinger moved her into a tie for fifth - with herself. The Woodland Hills, Calif., native also hit 11 home runs in 2005.
Senior Kim Richards sits eighth with 18 career home runs, while classmate Rachel Terry is tied for ninth with Sue Lilly (1977-80) with 12 for her career. Junior Jennilee Huddleston is 11th with 10 career jacks.
Richards has also moved into the top 10 in career doubles this season, as she now has 35 to her credit to stand tied for eighth with Margaret Haenisch (1991-94). Aimee Lonigro (1994-97) is seventh with 37 doubles during her career.
With her swipe of second against Louisville on Wednesday, April 4, junior Julia Hamilton moved into sole possession of eighth place on IU's career steals list with 40.
LUCKY NUMBER SIX?
The Hoosiers are 12-2 this season when scoring six or more runs. Indiana's lone setbacks when scoring at least six runs came on March 8, when IU lost to No. 19 Georgia Tech, 16-8, and on April 8, when the Hoosiers dropped a 14-7 contest to No. 8 Northwestern. IU has scored 10 runs four times this season, winning each time by at least eight.
While Indiana has had success when the bats are hot, the same cannot be said when the offense isn't clicking. The Hoosiers are just 3-15 this season when scoring two or fewer runs, and have been shut out seven times on the year. IU has picked up a pair of 1-0 wins on the season, and earned a 2-1 victory over Illinois-Chicago on March 23 for its only three wins when tallying two or fewer runs.
HOOSIERS DIG THE LONGBALL
Indiana has hit 31 home runs in just 38 games this season, already good for fourth on the Hoosiers' all-time single-season list. Five IU players have at least two home runs on the year, with junior Tory Yamaguchi leading the way with 11. Indiana is 14-6 this season when going deep, including an 8-1 mark when there are two IU home runs in the same contest.
TWICE IS NICE
Junior Jennilee Huddleston and senior Rachel Terry have etched their names into the IU record book this season, becoming the fifth and sixth players, respectively, to hit at least two home runs in the same game for Indiana. Huddleston hit a pair of home runs against Chattanooga on March 18, while Terry joined the elite club with two against Illinois on April 1. Only Monica Armendarez, Brooke Monroe, Michelle Venturella and Kim Richards had hit at least two home runs in the same game in an IU uniform prior to this season.
Juniors Jennilee Huddleston and Tory Yamaguchi have hit back-to-back home runs twice this season. The duo first turned the trick in the top of the fourth against Southern Illinois on Feb. 16, then went yard consecutively again against Chattanooga in the top of the seventh on March 18.
BRING ON THE SOUTHPAWS
The Hoosiers have dominated left-handed pitching this season, going 2-1 against lefty starters and hitting .409 against southpaws as a team. Every IU player with at least four at-bats against a lefty has at least one hit on the season, and only three Indiana players total are without a hit against a left-hander. Junior Jennilee Huddleston has done the most damage, as she is 6-for-9 (.667) against lefties on the year. Sophomore Emily Bergeson is also hitting .667 (4-for-6) against lefties, while Kari Bettenbrock is 3-for-4 (.750) against left-handed pitching. Senior Kim Richards is 4-for-8 (.500) against lefties, while junior Janetta Deaven is 3-for-5 (.600).
STEPHANIES MAKING THE MOST
Sophomore Stephanie Pellerito hit a grand slam to propel Indiana to a 6-2 win over Ball State on March 4. Pellerito was playing just her second game of the season, getting the starting nod after an injury to Emily Bergeson the day before. In her very next at-bat, against Massachusetts on March 8, Pellerito went deep again, this time with a solo shot to lead off the third. With two home runs already this season, Pellerito has matched her output from all of last year.
Freshman Stephanie Turner has also taken advantage of her limited playing time this season. Turner went 1-for-3 with a double in her first collegiate action, against Ball State on March 4, and hit a walk-off, pinch-hit home run in just her fifth career at bat, against Buffalo on March 16. Her two-run blast came in the bottom of the fifth inning, and put IU up 10-1 to put the mercy rule into effect. Turner got the call to pinch-hit again on April 1 in game one of a doubleheader with Illinois, and responded with an RBI double to spoil the Illini's shutout. Her clutch performance earned her the starting nod in game two, and Turner responded with a sacrifice fly and a walk.
INDIANA TAKES ON THE POLLS
The Hoosiers have eight teams on the 2007 schedule that have appeared in both major polls this season. 2007 IU opponents Georgia Tech, Louisville, LSU, Massachusetts, South Florida, Southern Illinois, Northwestern and Michigan have all been ranked in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 polls at some point in the season.
HEATING UP IN FLORIDA
Junior Jennilee Huddleston heated up under the Florida sun during the Hoosiers' spring break trip, hitting .429 over the 17 games with 10 runs scored and 17 RBIs. Huddleston hit safely in 13 of the 17 contests, and reached base in all but one. Tory Yamaguchi (.357), Emily Bergeson (.357), Julia Hamilton (.323) and Kim Richards (.306) also found success at the dish. As a team, Indiana hit .295 for the trip, raising its batting average 69 points in little more than a week.
Indiana will make the drive to Lexington, Ky., for a doubleheader against Kentucky on Wednesday, April 25, at 4 p.m. After that, the Hoosiers will stay on the road for contests at Penn State on April 27-28 and a doubleheader at Ohio State on April 29.