Indiana Takes On Purdue Looking For Big Ten Tournament Berth
May 2, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team currently sits in 10th place in the Big Ten standings, with the top eight teams advancing to the conference tournament next weekend. But the Hoosiers still have plenty to play for because it is still possible for them to finish as high as fifth in the conference with a sweep and help from the top three teams in the conference. It is also possible for the Hoosiers to sneak in as the eighth seed with a split of their two games against Purdue and Michigan sweeping Penn State.
The Hoosiers and Boilermakers get the weekend started on Saturday at the IU Softball Field with the first pitch slated for shortly after 1:00 p.m. The teams will then travel to West Lafayette on Sunday for the regular season finale that will certainly have numerous post-season implications riding on it.
The following are some notes on the Hoosiers heading into the final weekend of the regular season:
A QUICK LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS
Candace Curtis is the top hitter for the Boilers, batting .356 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI and is one of three players with an average of .300 or higher. Katie Mitchell is tied for second on the team with seven home runs and 29 RBI while also adding a team-high 13 doubles.
In the circle for Purdue, Dana Alcocer (17-12) has started 29 games and pitched 178.2 innings while Suzie Rzegocki (14-8) has received the starting nod 23 games and thrown 147.1 innings. The two have pitched eight shutouts between them.
A NEW NO. 1
Each season, the native of Woodland Hills, Calif., has increased her home run total. After hitting 10 as a redshirt freshman in 2004, she followed that up with 11 in 2005 before hitting 12 in 2007. That total from a year ago tied two other Hoosiers for the third most in a single season in IU history. The all-time single season record is 16 set by Michelle Venturella in 1994.
100-HITS CLUB GETS BIGGER
The junior Emily Bergeson joined the trio with a bang on Saturday, as she crushed a two-run home run in the first inning against Illinois. She would go on to hit a total of three home runs in the game and currently sits at 104 hits in her career.
Bergeson is also hitting .325 this year, more than 25 points higher than her previous single-season high. Her current hit total of 37 is one shy of her total from her freshman year in 2006.
And because she has been getting on base at nearly a 50 percent clip, she has scored a career-high 27 runs. One part of her approach at the plate that has led to the increased on-base percentage has been her ability to lay off bad pitches. She has drawn 34 walks this season, second in the Big Ten to Ohio State's Sam Marder.
In addition, Bergeson has been coming up with clutch hits throughout the season, as she leads the team with a .429 batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs and posting a .714 slugging percentage in the same situation.
In Big Ten play, Bergeson is hitting .341 with five home runs and 12 RBI and has scored 13 runs to put the Hoosiers in position to make it to the Big Ten Tournament.
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.
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