Indiana Plays at No. 13 Northwestern and Michigan State This Weekend

    Go Hoosiers! Julia Hamilton
    Go Hoosiers!
    Julia Hamilton
    Go Hoosiers!

    April 17, 2008

    Northwestern/Michigan State Notes

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Hoosiers will look to regain the momentum they had following a split at home with the Ohio State Buckeyes when they head to Northwestern and Michigan State this weekend. Indiana played well enough to take both games from the Buckeyes, but one miscue in the first game proved to be too costly. Monica Wright did come back the next day and put the team on her shoulders by tossing a one-hitter to lead the Hoosiers to a 4-0 win.

    In that game, senior third baseman Jennilee Huddleston collected her 37th career double to move into a tie for seventh on the career doubles list at Indiana with Amy Lonigro.

    Indiana sits in tenth place in the Big Ten entering play this weekend and is looking to move up into the top eight to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament at the end of the season. The Hoosiers are tied with Wisconsin in the win column and are one behind Illinois in the win column. Northwestern is tied with Michigan in the loss column with one while Michigan State's 5-5 conference mark has them tied with Minnesota for fifth in the conference.

    The Northwestern Wildcats feature one of the best hitters in the country, with Tammy Williams' robust .515 batting average ranking among the best in the country. She also boasts a .786 slugging percentage with seven home runs and has scored 31 runs. Erin Dyer and Michelle Batts the leaders in the home run category with both slamming eight this year.

    The Wildcats also have a go-to pitcher in the circle in the form of Lauren Delaney. Delaney has pitched 190 innings and recorded 281 strikeouts on her way to a 22-6 record. She has also gone the distance in each of her 24 starts and has 10 shutouts.

    Northwestern won their first nine games in conference play but dropped the second game of twinbill with Iowa last weekend to fall to 9-1 in the Big Ten. Despite that loss, they still enter this weekend ranked 13th in the latest NFCA poll.



    Michigan State begins Big Ten play this weekend coming off a tough 3-2 loss to Central Michigan on Wednesday. They currently stand at 21-19 overall and 5-5 in the conference.

    Nikki Nicosia leads the Spartans with a .399 batting average and also has six doubles, nine triples, six home runs and 22 RBI on the year. Bianca Mejia is the leading run producer for the Spartans with seven home runs and 31 RBI. Michigan State has also been extremely successful on the base paths, swiping 54 bases in 65 attempts.

    In the circle for MSU, Lesley Noel has drawn the start in 25 of the 40 games so far this season and has an 11-12 record. She also has 14 complete games and three shutouts to her credit during the 2008 campaign.

    A `BIG' WIN
    The Hoosiers recorded their second win in Big Ten play last Saturday at home against Ohio State. The Indiana bats gave Monica Wright four runs of support and she took them and ran with them on her way to a one-hit shutout victory.

    In the bottom of the first, Emily Bergeson dropped down a bunt to bring Julia Hamilton in from third for the first run. Then in the third inning, Jennilee Huddleston laced a single to center that brought Bergeson around from second for a 2-0 IU lead. But the game-changing hit came from freshman Sara Olson in the sixth inning. Olson was the designated player in the game and plated two runs with a single back up the middle to give the Hoosiers a comfortable lead of 4-0 going to the last inning.

    Since the Hoosiers returned from their Spring Break trip to Florida, junior shortstop Emily Bergeson has been in the middle of all the action for Indiana. In their 18 games back in the Midwest, Bergeson has a .361 batting average with two home runs, 10 RBI, 12 runs scored, 17 walks, a slugging percentage of .556 and an on-base percentage of .556. Her 27 walks on the year rank her among the conference leaders as well.

    The Cleveland, Ill., native had one of the best statistical days in recent memory for Indiana in game two of a doubleheader at Kentucky. She was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate and drew walks in her other four plate appearances to drive in a pair of runs and score three herself.

    She hit .429 with four of her six hits being doubles and driving in five runs at the Under Armour Invitational, the final tournament in Florida before returning home. At one point, she had a stretch of five at-bats where she had four doubles. She also posted a .714 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .500.

    The Hoosiers picked up their first win on the road in 2008 at Kentucky on April 1. Tory Yamaguchi got IU to within a run in the seventh inning when she reached on a Wildcat error, putting two runners on for Jennilee Huddleston. The senior from Peachtree City, Ga., had been mired in a 1-for-17 slump before breaking out with a triple in the sixth inning. She followed it up with a two-run double to the gap in right center to give Indiana a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh.

    Indiana used that momentum in game two against the Wildcats and pulled out a wild 16-13 win in eight innings. The Hoosiers added road wins three and four at Wisconsin and Indiana State, respectively.


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