Softball Heads to Evansville for Non-Conference Clash

    Go Hoosiers! Senior Heather Hohs and the Hoosiers will take on in-state foe Evansville on Wednesday.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Senior Heather Hohs and the Hoosiers will take on in-state foe Evansville on Wednesday.
    Go Hoosiers!

    April 18, 2007

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    Opponent: Evansville
    Date: April 18, 2007
    Time: 6 p.m. Central
    Location: Evansville, Ind.
    Facility: Cooper Stadium
    Series Record: IU, 22-6

    Indiana (19-23) wraps up a five-game road swing with a non-conference contest at Evansville (23-14) on Wednesday, April 18. The Hoosiers have lost four straight since a 6-3 win over Indiana State on April 10, dropping doubleheaders to Minnesota and Wisconsin last weekend. The Purple Aces enter Wednesday's contest winners of three of their last four, with the only setback coming at the hands of No. 20/22 Southern Illinois on April 10.

    Indiana holds a whopping 22-6 edge in the series, but Evansville has won five of the last nine. The Hoosiers won the first 15 games in the series, which dates back to a 33-6 IU win in 1975. Evansville took last year's meeting, 9-4, in Bloomington.

    Indiana went 0-4 over the weekend, dropping doubleheaders to Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    Against the Golden Gophers on Sunday, April 15, IU lost a heartbreaker in game one. After seeing a 3-1 lead evaporate to force extra innings, senior Kim Richards put IU up with a solo home run with two out in the top of the eighth inning. Minnesota rallied in the bottom half, however, plating two runs for the walk-off, 5-4 win.

    Minnesota completed the sweep with a 3-1 win in game two. With the Gophers leading 2-0 in the fifth inning, Indiana cut the lead to one on junior Tory Yamaguchi's bloop single, which scored classmate Julia Hamilton. Senior Rachel Terry followed with a walk to load the bases with two out, but IU could not come up with another hit, leaving the bases loaded. The Gophers added an insurance run in the seventh.

    The next day was more of the same, as IU stranded eight runners in game one, falling 5-3 to the host Badgers. After allowing five runs in the first three innings, IU settled in, and Terry's three-run home run in the top of the fifth inning sparked new life for the Hoosiers. IU would put runners on first and second after Terry's home run, but could not push across another run.

    Game two saw Indiana fall victim to a dominant pitching performance, as Wisconsin starter Letty Olivarez was perfect through the first three innings. Hamilton broke up the perfect game with a single in the fourth, but was doubled off of second after advancing on a wild pitch. The Hoosiers would add a Jennilee Huddleston single and a Terry walk in the inning, but could not dent the scoreboard.

    Richards provided some more late-game heroics against the Badgers, hitting a solo home run to left center with two out in the seventh to break up Wisconsin's shutout. IU would be unable to add more, falling 7-1.

    Huddleston leads Indiana with a .362 batting average, a .420 on-base percentage, 13 doubles, 24 runs scored and a .615 slugging percentage. Yamaguchi paces the squad with 11 home runs and 26 RBIs. Junior Julia Hamilton leads IU with 16 stolen bases in 17 attempts. In the circle, sophomore Monica Wright is 12-14 with a 3.19 ERA. She has pitched a team-high 186 2/3 innings and has struck out 116.

    The Purple Aces swept a doubleheader from Bradley on Sunday, April 15, to improve to 23-14 overall and 7-9 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

    Sophomore Ashley Hobbs had a no-hitter going through 8 2/3 in game one of the doubleheader against the Braves, but couldn't get any offensive support. Bradley finally managed a double in the ninth, but Hobbs recovered with a strikeout to escape unscathed. Hobbs also wriggled off the hook in the top of the 10th after allowing a leadoff triple and loading the bases on a walk and a hit batter. UE got a fielder's choice to erase the lead runner at home, and Hobbs got another big strikeout to end the threat.

    The Aces finally broke through in the 10th inning, loading the bases with one out and getting the 1-0, walk-off win when pinch-runner Weslie Gladfelter scored on Amanda Ockmon's RBI single through the right side. Hobbs worked 10 innings, allowing just two hits and two walks and striking out 10.

    Game two lacked the drama, but produced the same result as the Aces picked up a 3-1 win. UE picked up a pair of runs in the second inning, when Jamie Lindauer came to the plate with the bases loaded and two out and singled through the left side to score Ashley Werner and Liz Mooney.

    The Aces added another run in the bottom of the third on Ockmon's RBI single, while the Braves tallied their lone run in the top of the fifth. Jacki Bradley earned the win in the circle, allowing one run on three hits in 7 innings of work.

    Junior Brittany Herald paces the squad with a .418 batting average and 30 RBIs on the season, while classmate Laura Rather has scored a team-best 25 runs. Mooney leads the team with eight home runs. Hobbs leads the pitching staff with eight wins on the season, and boasts a 2.68 ERA. Bradley is 7-4 with a 2.57 ERA, while Danny Murphy has posted an identical record to go with a 2.92 ERA.

    The Purple Aces won a slugfest in Bloomington on April 4 of last season, pounding out four home runs to take a 9-4 win. Evansville opened the game with Alicia Laraway's three-run home run in the top of the first, but the Hoosiers matched UE with a three-run outburst of their own in the bottom half of the frame on Lauren Hines' three-run shot. Laura Rather hit the first of her two home runs on the day to lead off the top of the second, and Evansville added two more runs in the top of the third on a two-run shot from Rather. The Hoosiers scratched across a run in the fifth on Kim Richards' RBI single, but the Aces closed the door on any rally with a three-run seventh.

    Over the last 10 games, Indiana has gotten quite a boost from a quartet of players. Seniors Rachel Terry and Kim Richards, sophomore Sarah Padove and junior Jennilee Huddleston have all hit over .300 for the Hoosiers in their last 10 contests, with Terry leading the way with a .379 average, four home runs, 10 RBIs and a mammoth .862 slugging percentage. Richards is hitting .344 over the last 10, with three home runs and five RBIs, and is slugging .625. Padove is batting .323 over the last 10 games, while Huddleston is hitting .313 with a team-high three doubles. Terry, Richards and Huddleston have each scored five runs over the span to share the team lead.

    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 30 of Indiana's last 32 games. 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 March 31. Before Iowa 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.

    Junior Jennilee Huddleston has been in the starting lineup for every Indiana game this season, making her the only Hoosier player to start all 42 games. Huddleston has manned the hot corner for 41 of those contests, while earning one start at short. Huddleston started all 56 games at third last season, and started 27 of the 28 games in which she appeared at short as a freshman in 2005. A starter from the beginning of her rookie season, Huddleston's 2005 campaign was cut short by injury. Overall, she has started 98 straight games, and 125 of her 126 career games.

    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 16 bases this season in 17 opportunities.

    Indiana batters have been impressive in the clutch, going 14-for-44 with the bases loaded, good for a .318 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 nine 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 20 career home runs, just one back of Stormy Hanson (2000-03), while classmate Rachel Terry is ninth with 13 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. She now has 42 to her credit, and needs two more to match Kelli Brandt (1994-97) for seventh.

    The Hoosiers are 12-2 this season when scoring six or more runs, including a perfect 6-0 when scoring exactly six. 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 3-17 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.

    Indiana has hit 34 home runs in just 42 games this season, already good for third 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 14-9 this season when going deep, including an 8-1 mark when there are two IU home runs in the same contest.

    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.

    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).

    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.

    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 Softball Top 25 polls at some point in the season.

    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 host their final home games of the season, as Michigan State and Michigan come to town this weekend. The Hoosiers will take on the Spartans on Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, before squaring off with the Wolverines for a doubleheader on Sunday, April 22.




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