Bloomington, Ind. --If you arrived late to your aluminum bleacher seat for either game of today's doubleheader against Ball State at the IU Softball Field, you would have been just as well served by going back home. Essentially, with the exception of a BSU mini-uprising in the sixth inning of the nightcap, each contest was decided in the first two stanzas.
In the opener, Ball State took a 3-0 lead after two innings in the first game on its way to a 3-1 win. During today's second game, Indiana took a 4-0 lead on two, two-run home runs by seniors Stormy Hanson and Katie Joy in the bottom of the first and cruised to a 5-2 victory.
"I was disappointed with out intensity and are unwillingness to come out and play in the first game," said first-year head coach Sara Hayes. "I believe that you can will yourself to do things - hit, field, throw strikes. We are looking for results and leadership. We were better in the second game but I'm greedy. In my mind, with our start (four runs in the first inning), we should have had 15 hits. The home runs did help lift the intensity, however."
In the opener, almost all of the action occurred in the first two innings as Ball State took a 3-0 lead after two stanzas. The Cardinals scored a lone run in the top of the first on a double down the left field line by centerfielder Ruth Hjelmeland and added two runs in the top of the second on a four-base throwing error by Indiana third baseman Kristine Dugan that scored two more runs. Indiana scored its lone run in the bottom of the sixth inning on a home run by Hanson.
In the second inning of game one with Ball State leading 1-0, designated player Darla Dewig was hit by a pitch. Third baseman Kerrie Campbell followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt that Indiana third baseman Kristine Dugan fielded. Her throw to cut down the lead runner at second was late and well wide of the bag at second. It rolled to the outfield fence and both runners scored on the play to provide the Cardinals with a 3-1 lead.
Ball State freshman Quincy Duran (6-11) earned the complete-game victory for the Cardinals in the opener, allowing five hits and one earned run in 7.0 innings pitched. She walked one and struck out one. Junior Heather Stillians (7-13) worked the entire first game and allowed seven hits and one earned run. She did not walk or strike out a batter.
For the Hoosiers in the opener, leftfielder Abby Stark recorded two hits, while Hanson, junior first baseman Valerie White, and freshman designated player Lauren Hines all record base hits. Ball State recorded seven hits and both teams left four runners on base.
In the nightcap, Hanson and Joy hit two-run home runs in the bottom of the first off of BSU starter Nicki Hellem (0-3), who did not make it out of the first inning. The two blasts - Hanson's hit the top of the scoreboard in leftcenter - gave the Hoosiers a 4-0 lead. Indiana extended its advantage to 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning on a solo blast to right field by freshman Lauren Hines. By that time, redshirt Abby Ellis, who is placed in charge of retrieving home runs and foul balls and returning them to the dugout, could have used oxygen and an IV.
Sophomore Katie Witham (6-10) pitched the nightcap for the Hoosiers and allowed seven hits and two earned runs in six innings pitched. After allowing the first four Ball State hitters to reach base in the top of the sixth inning, Witham gave way to freshman Megan Roark. The Pleasant Hill, Calif., product allowed only a sac fly after inheriting the no-out, bases loaded jam in the sixth. After walking the leadoff hitter in the seventh, Roark gave way to Witham, who retired the first two hitters she faced before allowing a single. With runners at first and second, Witham retired shortstop Katie Shea on a line out to end the game.
For Ball State, Hellem only pitched 2/3 innings and allowed two hits, both of which were home runs. She also walked two hitters and allowed four earned runs. Senior Cortney Winger pitched very well in relief, allowing only four hits and one run, while walking one and striking out two, in 5.1 innings pitched.
Indiana recorded six hits in the nightcap and left only one runner on base. Ball State was led by leftfielder Many Snyder who notched three of Ball State's seven hits. The Cardinals left seven runners on base.
On Sunday, Indiana plays a doubleheader at Iowa that begins at noon.