IU Returns To Conference Play|
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - After rain cancelled Wednesday's doubleheader at No. 16/19 Missouri, the Hoosiers return home and to Big Ten play. First up for IU is a Friday-Saturday (April 22-23) match-up with Minnesota. Friday's game time is set for 4 p.m., while Saturday will begin at noon. The slate continues with a doubleheader against Wisconsin on Sunday, April 24. First pitch is scheduled for noon. All of the weekend action can be viewed through live stats by clicking here, while Saturday's contest will be broadcast live over the internet by WIUS. You can listen to the game by clicking here.
Minnesota stands at 22-20, 3-7 in the Big Ten, where they are currently holding the eighth and final conference playoff slot. The Golden Gophers have won four in a row, including a sweep over Michigan State last weekend. They have been swept by Michigan, Northwestern and Ohio State and have split with Penn State on the season.
Minnesota is hitting .244 as a team, ninth in the conference, and is averaging just over three runs a contest. The Gophers like to play small ball, as they lead the Big Ten in stolen bases (74) and stolen base attempts (82), but they have hit only nine home runs on the year.
Sophomore Megan Higginbotham, the reining Big Ten Player of the Week, leads the team with a .370 batting average, nine doubles, four home runs and is second on the squad with 20 RBI. She is also 17-for-18 on the basepaths this year. Last week, Higginbotham was 12-for-14 with two home runs and eight RBI. Senior Stephanie Sward tops the conference with 25 stolen bases and sports a .340 batting average, while senior Rachel Keeney leads the squad with 21 RBI.
Four Gophers make up the Minnesota pitching staff that is sixth in the Big Ten with a 2.76 ERA. Senior Lyn Peyer is the ace of the staff with a 13-12 record and a 2.34 ERA. She has appeared in 31 games with 23 starts. In 161 2/3 innings, Peyer has let up 136 hits and 58 walks while fanning 130. The opposition is batting .224 against her. Freshman Katie Dalen (3-3, 2.59) is second on the team with 48 2/3 innings, while sophomores Rene Konderik (3-1, 2.74) and Mandy Valdez (3-4, 5.02) have thrown 30 2/3 and 37 2/3 innings, respectively.
IU leads the all-time series at 39-37, but the Hoosiers are just 5-21 against the Gophers since 1995.
Wisconsin holds a 15-19 record and a 3-7 mark in the Big Ten. The Badgers are coming off a doubleheader sweep of North Dakota State on Monday and are scheduled to play a twinbill against Illinois-Chicago on Tuesday, before heading to Purdue for a Friday-Saturday showcase.
Senior Kristin Zacher's .413 average tops the team, that, overall, is hitting .262 on the year. She also leads the squad in triples (4) and stolen bases (9) and is also tied for the lead with 20 runs scored. Seniors Boo Gillette and Anastasia Miller are the two other batters hitting over .300. Gilette sports a .355 mark with eight home runs, 22 RBI and 20 runs scored, while Miller is hitting .337 with eight home runs, 21 RBI and 17 runs scored. Wisconsin has stolen just 15 bases on the year in 21 attempts.
Three hurlers make up a Wisconsin staff that has a team ERA of 2.73. Sophomore Eden Brock (11-8, 2.44) has made 22 appearances and 20 starts on the year. In 112 innings, she has given up 129 hits and 14 walks against 78 strikeouts. Senior Katie Layne (3-6, 2.68) has made 21 appearances with nine starts. The right-hander has totaled 81 innings of work, scattering 80 hits. She has walked 43 and struck out 63 on the season. Sophomore Megan Smith (1-5, 3.13) rounds out the staff. In 11 appearances, with five starts, she has thrown 38 innings giving up 53 hits and 12 walks with 11 punchouts.
Wisconsin leads the all-time series 12-9 and have won 11 out of the last 13 meetings. The Hoosiers did split with the Badgers a season ago, taking game one of a doubleheader, 3-2, in nine innings. Mariangee Bogado was 2-for-4 with two RBI, while also picking up the win in relief with five scoreless innings. Valerie White's RBI single in the top of the ninth was the game winner.
YAMAGUCHI MOVING UP
Redshirt sophomore now has 17 career home runs and is in sixth place on Indiana's all-time list. Next up for the Woodland Hills, Calif., native is former Hoosier standout and current assistant coach Stormy Hanson, who has 21 career long balls.
ROARK NEARS 400TH CAREER STRIKEOUTS
Junior Megan Roark needs just five more strikeouts to reach 400 for her career. Roark is currently third in school history with 395 punchouts. She also needs 10 more K's for 200 on the season, which would place her sixth on the career single-season list.