Hoosiers Host Illinois and Iowa In Big Ten Play
April 24, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team (13-32, 3-11 Big Ten) will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini (27-26, 6-8 Big Ten) and Iowa Hawkeyes (33-15, 10-4 Big Ten) this weekend at the IU Softball Field. The Hoosiers and Illini will start the weekend on Friday at 4 p.m.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE ILLINI
The leader on the mound for the Illini is senior Claire DeVreese. Devreese carries a 19-17 overall record and a 3.52 ERA into the weekend, while striking out 142 batters.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE HAWKEYES
But the reason for the success of the Hawkeyes this season has been in the circle. Led by junior sensation Brittany Weil, Iowa has an impressive 1.07 team ERA, having allowed just 51 earned runs in over 300 innings this season. Weil's 1.03 ERA leads the Hawkeyes but Amanda Zust's 1.13 ERA is not far behind.
100-HITS CLUB GETS BIGGER
Junior shortstop Emily Bergeson is closing in on the mark, as she needs just two more hits to reach 100 in her career after going 1-for-3 against Louisville.
In addition, Bergeson has been coming up with clutch hits throughout the season, as she leads the team with a .462 batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs and posting a .769 slugging percentage in the same situation.
And with the Fighting Illini bringing in three left-handed pitchers into the IU Softball Field this weekend, Bergeson will put her .429 batting average against lefties on the line.
The Cleveland, Ill., native had one of the best statistical days in recent memory for Indiana in game two of a doubleheader at Kentucky. She was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate and drew walks in her other four plate appearances to drive in a pair of runs and score three herself.
She hit .429 with four of her six hits being doubles and driving in five runs at the Under Armour Invitational, the final tournament in Florida before returning home. At one point, she had a stretch of five at-bats where she had four doubles. She also posted a .714 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .500.
More recently, she drilled a solo home run to start the sixth inning at Michigan State that ignited a seven-run outburst over the final two innings to bring the Hoosiers back from a 6-2 deficit and earn a 9-7 win on the road.
And it she has not done it with just single either. Of her team-high 40 hits on the year, 13 have been for extra bases. She leads the Hoosiers with seven doubles and has moved into a tie for fifth on the career doubles list at Indiana with 38. She has also legged out three triples to top her career total coming into the year. And her three home runs give her 13 in her career, placing her in ninth place on the career home run list at Indiana.
She has not been able to do all of by taking days or games off. In fact, she has appeared in every game for the Hoosiers over the past three seasons. And going back to her freshman season, she played in 28 games before a hip injury forced her to the sidelines for the remainder of the season. All totaled, she has played in 184 games in her career, and made 181 starts.
And when she has gotten in a slump this season, she has broken out of it in a big way. The senior had been mired in a 1-for-17 slump entering the doubleheader at Kentucky but broke out of it in a hurry. She picked up a triple and a double in the game one, and the go-ahead RBI in the top of the seventh. In game two, she recorded two hits and two walks and scored a run to help the Hoosiers to a doubleheader sweep of the Wildcats.
MAKING `EM COUNT IN A PINCH
The first that comes to mind was Kari Bettenbrock's walk-off two-run pinch-hit home run against Tulsa in the final game of the season-opening Campbell-Cartier Tournament in San Diego, Calif.
Yet another comeback that was started by pinch hitting was the first game of a doubleheader at Wisconsin. Brittany Stein singled with one out as a pinch hitter and was followed two batters later by Alyssa Maiese's pinch-hit double off the wall in left center to cut the Badgers lead to 2-1. Maiese came around to score later in the innings as the Hoosiers rallied for a 5-3 win in game one.
She hit two home runs in each of her first two seasons and has added two more this year. But this year, the two that she has hit have come in key spots in both games.
The first bomb came in the eighth inning of game two at Kentucky, when she sent a drive over the wall in center field to break a 13-13 tie and propel the Hoosiers to a two-game sweep.
Home run number two was also instrumental in another win for the Hoosiers, as she drove one out at Michigan State to bring IU to within a run of the Spartans going to the seventh inning. Indiana would go on to win the game with four runs in the top of the seventh. inning.
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