OSU, PSU Up Next For IU
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team travels into the eastern time zone for a crucial Big Ten weekend, with a conference tournament berth on the line. The Hoosiers open with a Friday-Saturday (April 29-30) series at Ohio State. Friday's action is scheduled for 6 p.m., while Saturday's contest gets underway at 1 p.m. The Cream and Crimson will then head to Penn State for a doubleheader on Sunday, May 1. First pitch is slated for noon.
With a 2-12 record in the Big Ten and six conference games left, IU will need to win at least five of those contests, and hope Wisconsin (6-8), Minnesota (6-8), Michigan State (6-6) and Penn State (6-6) have a rough last two weeks of conference play. The top eight teams in the Big Ten advance to the Championships, held at the home of the highest seed.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE
Like Indiana, Ohio State needs some wins and some help to get into the Big Ten Tournament. The Buckeyes bring a 24-14 record, including a 4-6 tally in the conference, into this weekends action. OSU has won four in a row and five of its last six, with its lone loss coming to the hands of Illinois.
Hitting has not been a problem for Ohio State this year as they lead the conference in batting average with a .334 mark. OSU also tops the conference with 17 triples and is second in stolen bases (64), third in runs scored (238) and doubles (63) and fourth in home runs (32). Sophomore Jamee Juarez does it all for the Buckeyes. As a hitter, Juarez leads the team and is seventh in the conference with a .396 average. She is second with 28 runs scored and third plating 24 RBI. In the circle, Juarez (18-10, 2.20 ERA) is the Buckeyes top pitcher with 30 appearances and 25 starts. In 155 2/3 innings, the right-hander has allowed just 140 hits and 32 walks against 136 strikeouts. She has 16 complete game and six shutouts to her credit as well. Sophomore Megan Schwab is second on the team in hitting with a .385 average, good for 10th in the conference. Schwab's seven homer, 32 RBI and 10 runs scored all are team highs. On the basepaths, OSU is 64-for-81, with freshman Brittany Vanderink (13-for-14) and sophomore Nycole Koyano (11-for-12) leading the charge.
Three other pitchers have seen action for Ohio State, junior Chelsea Baker (5-2, 4.34), redshirt freshman Nicole Gragson (1-2, 5.15) and senior Andrea Tribuzi (0-0, 6.00).
IU leads the all-time series 51-22, but the Buckeyes have bested the Hoosiers in eight of the last 10 meetings. Indiana and OSU split two games last season, 4-1 and 3-4.
THE BOOK ON PENN STATE
Penn State is 30-18, 6-7 in the Big Ten, heading into this weekend. They will host Purdue on Friday and Saturday before the IU doubleheader on Sunday. With two wins this weekend, PSU will official clinch a playoff spot, but if the Nittany Lions falter down the stretch, they could miss out on the Big Ten Tournament.
Penn State is third in the conference with a team batting average of .300. Freshman Ashley Esparza leads the team with an astounding .413 average, second in the Big Ten. She has played in all 48 games compiling three homers, 24 RBI and 19 runs. Another freshman, Jen Acunto, is second on the Nittany Lions with a .388 average, while leading the team with eight home runs and 31 RBI Sophomore Jen Willams is the top speed demon on Penn State. Willams, who is batting .230 with a team-high 27 runs scored, is 15-for-18 in stolen bases.
Three hurlers make up a pitching staff that is fourth in the conference with a 1.62 ERA.. Senior Missy Beseres (13-10, 1.51) has seen the most action with 33 appearances and 21 starts. She has recorded 162 1/3 innings giving up 121 hits and 39 walks. She is also second in the Big Ten with 218 strikeouts. Esparza (11-4, 1.69) has been in 22 games as a pitcher with 19 starts. In 95 1/3 innings, the righty has permitted just 48 hits and 19 walks, while fanning 89. Freshman Jen Reynolds (6-4, 1.79) has worked 23 games, starting eight of them. In 66 1/3 innings, Reynolds has allowed 57 hits. She has also walked 29 and struck out 45.
Indiana leads the all-time series with a 26-11 advantage. The Hoosiers and Nittany Lions have split the last four meetings.
BOGADO HOLDS EVANSVILLE HITLESS
Junior Mariangee Bogado tossed her first collegiate no-hitter at Evansville on April 26. Bogado, who had three one-hitters during her sophomore year, ended the day with eight strikeouts and four walks. It was Indiana's third no-hitter on the year, and, overall, the 20th no-hit game in Hoosier history. Junior Megan Roark has also thrown a no-hitter this season against Southern on Feb. 18 and a perfect game verses IPFW on Mar. 20.
HOOSIERS BLAST THREE HOME RUNS
Two-run home runs by junior Lauren Hines and sophomore Rachel Terry and a solo home run by redshirt sophomore Tory Yamaguchi was all the offense the Cream and Crimson needed to down Evansville 5-0 on April 26. The last time IU hit three homers in a game was in a home contest against Indiana State last season, a 13-2 Hoosier victory.