Softball

    Hoosiers to face MSU and UM

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    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    News Update

    April 24, 2003

    INDIANA CONTINUES BIG TEN ACTION THIS WEEKEND WITH GAMES AT MICHIGAN STATE AND MICHIGAN

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    Bloomington, Ind. - Indiana continues Big Ten play this weekend with a road trip to Michigan to face Michigan State and 14th-ranked Michigan . The Hoosiers will face the Spartans (30-14 overall, 8-5 Big Ten) in single games on Friday (4:00 p.m. EDT) and Saturday (1:00 p.m. EDT), prior to meeting the Wolverines (32-10 overall, 9-3 Big Ten) at noon EDT on Sunday.

    After finishing with a 24-35 overall record in 2002, including a 4-15 record in Big Ten play, Michigan State has rebounded nicely this spring under the direction of head coach Jacquie Joseph, who is in her 10th season in East Lansing. One of the primary reasons for the resurgence of the Spartans has been the pitching of junior Jessica Beech. The Okemos, Mich., product is presently 20-6 with a 0.99 earned run average. In 170.0 innings pitched, she has allowed only 106 hits, while striking out 174 hitters and walking only 33.

    Offensively, the Spartans are hitting .289 as a team, while five regular starters are hitting .300 or higher. Junior first baseman Natalie Furrow (.348), a second-team all-conference pick last spring, leads the Spartans in hitting, trailed closely by senior outfielder and 2002 third-team All-Big Ten selection Sandy Lewis (.357). Freshman designated player Elizabeth Peterson has also provided a nice lift for the Spartans as she is hitting .308 with seven doubles, two triples, six home runs, and 23 RBI.

    Michigan is led by All-America candidate Marissa Young. The senior from Santa Ana, Calif., has been named Big Ten Pitcher-of-the-Week in each of the last two weeks. This past week she posted a 3-0 mark with a 0.33 ERA in 21.0 innings of work.

    In 23 appearances this spring, Young has compiled a 17-1 record to go along with her 1.07 earned run average. In 124.2 innings pitched she has allowed only 64 hits and 37 walks, while recording 166 strikeouts. Offensively, Michigan is hitting .287 as a team and features five hitters batting .310-or-higher.

    The Hayes File: For the first time since 1988, Indiana is under the direction of a head coach other than Diane Stephenson. On July 22, 2002, Indiana named Sara Hayes as the sixth head softball coach in school history.

    It hasn't taken Hayes long to make her mark as the Hoosiers have already exceeded their win total for the entire 2002 season by four games.

    Hayes takes over the helm of the Indiana program after spending the last two seasons as the head coach at the University of Northern Iowa. As an assistant coach at DePaul from 1995-00, Hayes helped lead the Blue Demons to a 265-97 overall record, which included back-to-back College World Series appearances in 1999 and 2000.

    One of the finest softball players in the history of the University of Notre Dame, Hayes was a three-time All-Mideast Region honoree and was selected as team MVP as both a junior and senior as she led the Irish to back-to-back NCAA bids.

    Scouting Michigan State: Michigan State has compiled a 30-14 record in 2003, including an 8-5 mark in Big Ten Conference play. The Spartans won 12 consecutive games from Feb. 22-March 8 before losing a 4-3 decision to Washington, who is ranked fourth in the most recent USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I Top 25.

    The Spartans have displayed tremendous aggressiveness on the basepaths, stealing 82 bases in 106 attempts. Senior Margaret Schick has pilfered 26 bases (32 att.), which is only two thefts shy of the school record of 28 which she set last spring. Conversely, MSU opponents have managed only 15 stolen bases in 2003.

    One of the primary reasons for the resurgence of MSU has been the pitching of junior Jessica Beech. The Okemos, Mich., product is 20-6 with a 0.99 earned run average. In 170.0 innings pitched, she has allowed only 106 hits, while striking out 174 hitters and walking only 33.

    Offensively, the Spartans are hitting .289 as a team, while five regular starters are hitting .300 or higher. Junior first baseman Natalie Furrow (.348), a second-team all-conference pick last spring, leads the Spartans in hitting, trailed closely by senior outfielder and 2002 third-team All-Big Ten selection Sandy Lewis (.357). Freshman designated player Elizabeth Peterson has also provided a nice lift for the Spartans as she is hitting .308 with seven doubles, two triples, six home runs, and 23 RBI.

    The Michigan State-IU Series: Indiana leads the all-time softball series with Michigan State, 46-39, although the Spartans have won seven of the last 10 games played between the two teams, including the last three contests. In 2002, Michigan State defeated Indiana in Bloomington by the scores of 8-0 and 11-2.

    Indiana's longest win streak in the series is 13 in a row from 1990-93, while the Spartans have won five games in a row twice, including the first five games in the series (1974-78)

    Scouting Michigan: The Wolverines, who made an appearance at the the 2002 College World Series, are ranked 14th nationally in the most recent USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I Top 25 poll and have compiled a 32-10 record, including a 9-3 mark in Big Ten play. The Wolverines have recorded impressive victories over Fresno State, Florida (currently No. 25), and two wins over Texas (currently ranked third) in non-conference play.

    The Wolverines hit .287 as a team, while opponents have only mustered a .177 batting average. Teams have displayed almost no success whatsoever running against Michigan, tallying only 13 stolen bases in 42 games.

    Michigan is led by All-America candidate Marissa Young. The senior from Santa Ana, Calif., has been named Big Ten Pitcher-of-the-Week in each of the last two weeks. This past week she posted a 3-0 mark with a 0.33 ERA in 21.0 innings of work.

    In 23 appearances this spring, Young has compiled a 17-1 record to go along with her 1.07 earned run average. In 124.2 innings pitched she has allowed only 64 hits and 37 walks, while recording 166 strikeouts. Offensively, Michigan is hitting .287 as a team and features five hitters batting .310-or-higher.

    Young is also one of the offensive stars as she is fourth on the team with a .312 batting average and leads the team with 10 home runs. Junior outfielder Meghan Doe, a second-team All-Big Ten pick last spring, leads the club with a .338 batting average, junior Monica Schock, the 2002 first-team All-Big Ten catcher, is hitting .323 with seven doubles and three home runs, and Melinda Molden, a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 2002 and a first-team pick in 2001, is hitting .319 with 12 doubles and six home runs.

    The Michigan-IU Series: Michigan currently maintains a 50-26 advantage over IU in the all-time series between the two schools and has won the last 16 meetings between the two schools. Michigan swept IU in 2002, 9-2 and 4-3.
    Streaks and Other Marks: Stormy Hanson's 11 home runs in 2003 is a career-high and ties her for fifth on IU's single-season HR list...if Hanson is able to maintain her current .400 batting average, she would become the first Hoosier since Monica Armendarez hit .437 in 1997 to hit .400 in a season.

    Other Big Ten Action this Weekend: This weekend's Big Ten action is as follows:

    Fri., April 25
    Indiana at Michigan State (4:00 p.m.)
    Penn State at Wisconsin (3:00 p.m.)
    Northwestern at Iowa (6:00 p.m.)
    Ohio State at Minnesota (6:00 p.m.)
    Purdue at Michigan (6:00 p.m.)

    Sat., April 26
    Indiana at Michigan State (1:00 p.m.)
    Northwestern at Iowa (noon)
    Ohio State at Minnesota (noon)
    Penn State at Wisconsin (1:00 p.m.)
    Purdue at Michigan (1:00 p.m.)

    Sun., April 27
    Indiana at Michigan, DH, (Noon)
    Illinois at Iowa, DH, (Noon)
    Ohio State at Wisconsin, DH, (Noon)
    Purdue at Michigan State, DH, (Noon)
    Penn State at Minnesota, DH, (Noon)

    Big Ten Leaders: Indiana has several leaders in the most recent Big Ten Conference statistical rankings. They are as follows:

    All Games
    Slugging Percentage - Hanson (.785 - 1st)
    Batting Average - Hanson (.400 - 2nd)
    Doubles - Hanson (11 - tied for 7th)
    Total Bases - Hanson (102 - 3rd)
    On-Base Percentage - (.466 - 3rd)
    Home Runs - Hanson (11, 2nd)
    Hit By Pitch - Hines (5, tied for 3rd)
    Triples - Hanson (3 - tied for 5th)
    Runs Scored - Hanson (32 - 6th)
    Hits - Hanson (52 - tied for 7th)
    Stolen Bases - Hanson (16 - tied for 7th)
    Steal Attempts - Hanson (19 - eighth); Page (17 - ninth)

    Moving Up the Single-Season Team Charts: In 2002, Indiana recorded 53 doubles in 45 games. In 44 games this spring, IU hitters have recorded 56 two-base hits, which is the sixth-best single-season total in school history. The Hoosiers have also recorded five triples and 23 home runs, which is the fourth-highest single-season total in school history.

    Indiana Single-Season Doubles List
    1. 95, 1994
    2. 65, 1995
    3. 63, 1993
    4. 61, 1990
    5. 57, 1997
    6. 56, 2003
    7. 55, 1983
    8. 54, 1985

    Indiana Single-Season Home Runs List
    1. 32, 1994
    2. 30, 1997
    3. 26, 2002
    4. 23, 2003
    5. 21, 1996 and 1995

    Hoosiers Show Improvement in Nearly Every Area: Indiana has displayed improvement in almost every statistical category in 2003. In 44 games, Indiana has recorded 148 runs, which exceed last year's total of 138, which was tallied in 45 contests. Other statistical improvements are as follows...
    Wins: 17 (2003)...13 (2002)
    Runs: 148 (2003)...138 (2002)
    Batting Avg.: .249 ('03)....247 ('02)
    Doubles: 56 ('03)...53 ('02)
    Fielding %: .940 ('03)...929 ('02)
    Stolen Bases: 46 ('03)...29 ('02)
    ERA: 3.19 ('03)... 3.50 ('02)
    Strikeouts By: 173 ('03) ...106 ('02)
    (Pitch) K:W ratio: 2.2 ('03)...1.15
    Double Plays Turned: 12 ('03)...4

    Holding Leads: One of the strengths of the 2003 squad has been its ability to hold leads late in games. Indiana is 12-2 this spring when it has lead after five innings.

    Competitive Games: In a total of 45 games in 2002, Indiana was outscored 230-138, which is an average of 5.1-2.5 runs per game. In 44 games this spring, the Hoosiers have been outscored 191-148, which is an average of 4.3-3.4. Indiana has played 17 games this spring that have been decided by two or fewer runs, recording a 6-11 mark in those games.

    Double Play Combo: Double plays, which tend to be a rarity in collegiate softball, have become almost commonplace for the IU infield. After only turning four double plays in 2002, Indiana has notched 12 double plays this spring. One of the primary reasons for the number of double plays has been the play of sophomore second baseman Ashley Griffiths. The Dove Canyon, Calif., product has been a part of six double plays in 2003. She has also recorded a fielding percentage of .969, with only five errors in 159 chances.

    You Can Run Once But You'll Think Twice the Second Time: Teams that have done a poor job scouting Indiana this season have made the mistake of attempting to test the throwing arm of senior centerfielder Katie Joy. Opponents haven't often made the same mistake twice. Joy, who most certainly has one of the strongest outfield arms in the entire Big Ten Conference, has 13 assists in 2003, a number of which have been on outs at home plate, including one vs. Evansville this past Tuesday.

    The Shuffler: If she decides to give up softball coaching, she may be well prepared to be a Vegas blackjack dealer. With a roster that at times has had only 11 available players this season, head coach Sara Hayes has explored and used just about every possible permutation in her lineup this spring. The following individuals have played more than one position:

    Kristine Dugan -- SS, 3B, RF, 2B
    Stormy Hanson - C, DP, RF
    Lauren Hines - DP, RF
    Abby Page - RF, LF, CF
    Dawn Ramynke - 1B, DP, 3B
    Abby Stark - LF, C
    Heather Stillians - P, RF, 3B, 2B
    Heather Suca - SS, 3B
    Katie Witham - P, RF, 2B
    Valerie White -RF, LF, 1B, CF
    All Three IU Pitchers Have Hit; Witham and Roark have served as pinch runners

    Ode to Joy: While every player has shown improvement in 2003, senior centerfielder Katie Joy, along with junior Valerie White, has made the biggest leap forward from last spring to this year's campaign. Always a solid defender with an above-average throwing arm, Joy has become a much more difficult out at the plate. During a doubleheader vs. Indiana State on March 26, the Pell City, Ala., product recorded her first career home run. On the day, she notched four hits in seven at-bats with a run scored, a double, home run, two RBI, two walks, and a sacrifice. She also notched one of Indiana's three hits in the second game of a doubleheader at Ohio State and doubled and drove in a run in IU's 7-3 win at Wright State on April 2. She has recorded Indiana's third-best average in conference play (.231) and hit her second home run of the season in a 5-2 win over Ball State on April 19.

    The Perfect Storm(y): Senior catcher Stormy Hanson has played tremendously throughout 2003. Although hampered by a hamstring injury that forced her out of her catcher role and into the designated player slot in the lineup for four games from March 23-26, the Las Vegas product leads the team in the following offensive categories: batting average (.400), hits (52), runs (32), doubles (11), triples (3), home runs (11), RBI (29), slugging percentage (.785), and stolen bases (16). She recorded solo home runs in both games of a doubleheader at Wright State on April 2 and notched solo home runs against two of the top pitchers in the country in Minnesota's Piper Marten and Wisconsin's Andrea Kirchberg this past weekend. Hanson's home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning against Marten broke up a no-hitter by the Gopher hurler.

    Extra-Inning Magic: Teams may be advised to not allow their games to go to extra innings against the Hoosiers. Indiana is 4-1 in extra inning games this season and has outscored its opponents 18-3 in the eighth and ninth innings in 2003. Indiana has also outscored its opponents 16-12 in the fourth inning but only notched 10 runs in the third inning all season, while IU's opponents have scored 30 in that stanza.

    Setting the Table: Along with Katie Joy, junior Valerie White has made tremendous strides in just one season. Playing with much more confidence, the lefthanded leadoff hitter from Torrance, Calif., is hitting .301 in 2003, with eight doubles, one home run, and 11 RBI. She has a solid .337 on-base percentage.

    Success with Two Outs: Several Indiana hitters have had great success with two outs in an inning. Abby Stark has recorded a .392 average (20-of-51) with two outs in an inning, while Stormy Hanson (.353, 18-of-51) and senior Katie Joy (.302, 13-of-43) have also recorded .300 batting averages with two outs in an inning.

    Reaching as a Leadoff Hitter: Freshman Lauren Hines is hitting .467 (14-of-30) as the first hitter in an inning. She is also 3-of-6 with the bases loaded. Junior Valerie White, who is the leadoff hitter in the IU lineup, is hitting .420 leading off an inning (29-of-69).

    Better Control: At the earlier stops during his coaching career, pitching coach Mickey Dean has earned a national reputation for his ability to effectively handle young pitching staffs. His short stint at Indiana has been no different and one of the primary reasons for increased production has been the ability of the IU staff to throw strikes. Junior Heather Stillians, sophomore Katie Witham, and freshman Megan Roark have allowed only 79 walks in 298.0 innings (1 walk every 3.77 innings pitched) and have recorded a strikeouts to walk ratio of 2.2:1, with 173 strikeouts and only 79 walks. In contrast, Indiana pitchers walked one batter every 3.2 innings pitched in 2002, while recording a 1.15:1 strikeout:walk ratio.

    Frosh Phenoms: Indiana has been bolstered in 2003 by the presence of freshmen Lauren Hines (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) and Abby Page (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central). Hines has made a relatively easy adjustment to collegiate softball as she is hitting .288 with five doubles, two triples, and four home runs. In five games at the University of South Florida Tourney, Hines recorded 7 hits in 14 at-bats, to go along with three doubles and four RBI. She hit .429, with three hits in seven at-bats, at the New Mexico St. Invitational. For the season, Hines is hitting .318 with five doubles, one triple, and two home runs. She has also drawn nine walks. She notched the first home run of her career during a 5-4 loss to Bradley. She hit her second home run of the season during a 15-9 win at ISU on March 26. During a 3-0 win over Wright State on April 2, scored the eventual game-winning run when she scored on a triple and an error to provide the Hoosiers with a 1-0 lead over the Raiders in a 3-0 victory. She hit her fourth home run of the season during a 5-2 win over Ball State on April 19.

    Page, who had never hit from the left side of the plate prior to this season, is batting .242 with 16 hits in 66 at-bats. She has scored eight runs and stolen 13 bases in 17 attempts.

    Aggressive on the Basepaths: In 44 games, Indiana baserunners have recorded 46 stolen bases in 61 attempts in 2003. In 45 games in 2002, Indiana only stole a total of 29 bases in 46 attempts. Senior catcher Stormy Hanson leads the Hoosiers with 16 stolen bases in 19 attempts, while freshman Abby Page has stolen 13 bases in 17 opportunities.

    Stark a Tough Out: For the second consecutive season, junior Abby Stark has been one of the toughest outs in the IU lineup. The Vancouver, Wash., product is hitting .295 in 2003, along with eight doubles, two home runs, and 21 RBI. She is Indiana's second-leading hitter in Big Ten play with a .242 average, to go along with two doubles, one home run, and six RBI. She has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in Big Ten play.

    IU Roster Breakdown: The Indiana roster breakdown by class and by state is as follows:

    Roster By Class
    Senior (3)
    Stormy Hanson, Katie Joy, Heather Suca
    Junior (5)
    Kristine Dugan, Dawn Ramynke, Abby Stark, Heather Stillians, Valerie White
    Sophomore (2)
    Ashley Griffiths, Katie Witham
    Freshman (4)
    Abby Ellis, Abby Page, Lauren Hines, Megan Roark

    Roster By State
    Alabama (1): Katie Joy; Arizona (1): Katie Witham; California (5): Ashley Griffiths, Dawn Ramynke, Megan Roark, Heather Stillians, Valerie White; Illinois (1): Heather Suca; Indiana (3): Abby Ellis, Lauren Hines, Abby Page; Nevada (2): Kristine Dugan, Stormy Hanson; Washington (1): Abby Stark.

    The IU Assistant Coaches: First-year head coach Sara Hayes' staff will include Mickey Dean and Kathy Morton.

    Dean is entering his first season in Bloomington after spending the 2002 season as the top assistant at the University of Akron. Prior to his stint in the Mid-American Conference, Dean led Lake City (Fla.) Community College to the 2001 NJCAA National Championship. Prior to Lake City, Dean guided Orange County (Va.) High School to back-to-back AA state championships in 1998 and 1999. He is an assistant coach on the Venezuelan National Team.

    Kathy Morton is also in her first season as a member of the Indiana coaching staff after spending the 2001 and 2002 seasons as an assistant at the University of Florida. She was a two-time All-America outfielder at Louisiana-Lafayette.

    Academic Success: In 2002, eight Indiana softball players earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, tying the highest number in IU softball history. Katie Joy, Abby Stark, Heather Suca, and Valerie White are all returning Academic All-Big Ten performers.

    Softball on the Web: IU softball information may be accessed at www.iuhoosiers.com. Also, Big Ten softball information may be retrieved at www.bigten.org and collegiate softball information may be located at www.nfca.org, which is the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's web site, and www.ncaa.org.

    The Indiana Hoosiers Softball Philosophy: Provide an empowering environment within which student-athletes have the opportunity to excel academically, achieve athletically, experience great things on and off the field of play, and grow into themselves in healthy, safe environment.

    Hoosier Staff Goals: The Hoosier Staff Goals are as follows...
    • Graduate ALL Indiana Softball Players
    • Win a National Championship
    • Win a Big Ten Championship
    • Secure No. 1 Recruiting Class in the Nation
    • Earn 3.2 Cumulative Grade Point Average
    • Cultivate Alumni and Friends



     

     

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