Hoosiers Win Thriller
April 24, 2004
"I was proud of the heart and the fight we played with today," said Indiana head coach Sara Hayes Nottger. "It was a great win for this program and a great win overall for the team this year. When looking towards the conference tournament, splitting the series with one of the top four or five teams in the Big Ten means a lot."
The Hoosiers were led by Yamaguchi, who was 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. In her last three games, the Woodland Hills, Calif., native is 8-for-9 with three RBI and a 1.111 slugging percentage. Designated player Lauren Hines was 1-for-2 including her fifth homerun of the year while right fielder Val White was 2-for-3 on the day.
Mariangee Bogado got the start for Indiana, pitching 4.2 innings with four strikeouts. Megan Roark earned the win after pitching 2.1 innings of relief with one strikeout.
Northwestern scored first in the top of the second on an RBI single by first baseman Jamie Dotson to score pinch-runner Elizabeth Piatt.
Indiana answered back in the bottom of the second. With the win blowing hard in towards right field, designated player Lauren Hines drilled a solo shot to center field, trying the score at 1-1.
In the top of the fifth, the Wildcats scored three more runs on four hits and one Hoosier error, making the score 4-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, IU brought the game to within one run. Yamaguchi started the inning off with a single to left and Hines drew a walk to put Hoosiers on first and second. With center fielder Kim Richards pinch-running for Hines, Yamaguchi and Richards advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Yamaguchi then scored on a second wild pitch and Richards advanced to third and also scored on a throwing error by the Northwestern catcher.
Down to the last three outs of the game, the Hoosiers were down, 4-3. White started the inning off with a single to left field. Pinch-running for White, Katie Witham advanced to second on a sacrifice by Roark. Left fielder Abby Stark grounded out to the pitcher, advancing Witham to third and bringing Bogado to the plate. Bogado then reached first after being hit by a pitch. With two outs, Yamaguchi slammed a double over the head of the Northwestern center fielder, scoring Witham and Bogado and giving Indiana the win, 5-4.
"Today felt awesome," said Yamaguchi. "It was the kind of situation you dream about; coming to the plate with two outs and the opportunity to help the team win. I feel like I have been seeing the ball well recently and my swing had felt good."
The Hoosiers close out their road trip Sunday afternoon in East Lansing, Mich., where they will take on Michigan State in a doubleheader starting at 12:00 p.m.