Softball Hosts Nebraska For Final Home Series

    Go Hoosiers! The four seniors
    Go Hoosiers!
    The four seniors
    Go Hoosiers!

    May 4, 2012

    Nebraska (31-18, 12-5 Big Ten) at Indiana (24=25, 8-10 Big Ten)
     Dates May 5-6, 2012
     Location Bloomington, Ind. (IU Softball Field)
     Game 1 (Saturday) Nebraska at Indiana • 2:00 p.m. ET | GameTracker | Video
     Game 2 (Saturday) Nebraska at Indiana • 4:00 p.m. ET | GameTracker | Video
     Game 3 (Sunday) Nebraska at Indiana • 1:00 p.m. ET | GameTracker | Video
     Live Video
     Live Audio Listen Live (All 3 Games)
    Game Notes Indiana Game Notes
     Social Media @IUSoftball
     Promotions Sunday: The seniors for both teams will be honored prior at approximately 12:45pm, prior to player introductions.

    The Hoosiers started last weekend with a thrilling 1-0 win in Iowa City against the Hawkeyes. But the bats remained cold over the final two games and Iowa went on to win the series.

    A couple highlights from the weekend against the Hawkeyes included Kelsey Brannon's four hit game in game one, including the game-winning RBI in the ninth inning. The Hoosiers also got a dazzling shutout performance from Meaghan Murphy in the circle. She went the distance and earned her second shutout of the season.

    The game was forced to extra innings after Samantha Heyman and Jenna Abraham threw out Iowa runners trying to score in the bottom of the seventh inning.

    Although this will be the first meeting between Indiana and Nebraska as Big Ten foes, it is not the first time the two schools have met. The first meeting took place in 1983, a 3-0 IU win, and then again in 1986, when Indiana won again. But then Nebraska won three straight meetings (1987, 1988 and 2004) before IU won the most recent meeting in 2006, 2-1.

    Amanda Wagner was named Big Ten Player of the Week on April 23, the first time an IU player has received the award since Sara Olson did it on April 4, 2011. Wagner hit .800 against Northwestern with six runs socred and a .909 on-base percentage.

    Brianna Meyer also brought home a weekly award, being named Freshman of the Week by the conference. She hit .556 versus the Wildcats and drove in five runs while scoring three runs herself. It was the first time an IU player has been named Freshman of the Week.

    In looking at the 62 softball teams in BCS conferences, there is just one (Pitt) that has fewer innings pitched returning from last year than Indiana. The Hoosiers had sophomore Meaghan Murphy's 5.0 innings of work last year coming back while Pitt has two freshman carrying all of the pitching duties this season. Among Big Ten, Indiana has the fewest innings returning with Purdue (48.0) being second.

    The Hoosiers have scored a run in the first inning of 17 games this season and are 15-2 in those games. When they score the first run of the game - regardless of inning - they are 20-6.

    Although Amanda Wagner continues to show opponents why she is a feared hitter in the middle of the lineup for IU. Her .360 average with nine home runs and 33 RBI speak for themselves, but she has drawn 33 walks and been hit-by-pitch seven times to help her .526 on-base percentage.

    In the win against Michigan on March 31, she had four RBI, including a three-run opposite field home run to put the game away. Then against Purdue, she hit .500 with two home runs, five RBI and a slugging percentage of 1.375. In the series at Penn State, she had just two hits but drove in five runs and drew eight walks. The following week, she hit .800 off Northwestern pitching on her way to Big Ten Player of the Week accolades.

    Dating back to the first game against Purdue, Wagner has been on base in 38 of 51 plate appearances, including 10 of 11 plate appearances against Northwestern.

    She leads the team lead with nine home runs this season. The native of Burbank, Ill., has 20 career home runs and 72 career RBI as she plays her third season. She is the 11th player in IU history to club 20 or more home runs in a career.

    When Indiana scores at least six runs in a game this season, they have posted a 14-1 record. When you compare that to last season, when the Hoosiers were 8-2 for the season when scoring six or more runs.

    With a pitching staff that is gaining experience by the inning, the Hoosiers have not been fazed by close games so far this year. In games decided by two runs or fewer, the Hoosiers are 11-6. In games that IU has had the lead going into the 7th inning, the Hoosiers are 16-2.

    Indiana has cranked 68 doubles this season, the third-most in the Big Ten and the most by an IU team since hitting 88 in 2004. Samantha Berenter leads the team with 13 doubles, the most by an IU player since Jennilee Huddleston had 15 in 2007.

    The Hoosiers have been issued 141 walks this season, already the most since drawing 145 in 1996. That has helped Indiana to a .369 on-base percentage, which would be the team's highest since 1994 (.378).

    Kelsey Brannon has become one of the most versatile players in the Indiana lineup this season. She has hit any where in the order from second to ninth and had success wherever she has been placed. She has a .291 batting average and has struck out just three times in 110 at-bats, meaning she strikes out just once every 36.7 at-bats, making her the 11th-most difficult player in the country.

    Sophomore Jenna Abraham continues to impress at the plate this season, hitting .312 with seven home runs and 20 RBI - all of which are better than her freshman season when she garnered Third Team All-Big Ten accolades. She also leads the team with 32 runs scored, the most in a season by an IU player since Stormy Hanson scored 34 in 2003.

    In addition to her prowess at the plate, she also robbed a home run in left field against UIC in the seventh inning for the final out of the game - a home run that would have tied the game.

    Shelby Gogreve has taken over the starting position at shortstop after Breanna Saucedo went down with a foot injury in the first game of Big Ten play at Ohio State on March 24. Since that time, Gogreve has hit .311 with three home runs, three doubles and 10 RBI.

    In the three-game series at Penn State, she hit her first career home run, a solo shot to left field. Then versus Northwestern, she clubbed a pair of home runs and drove in six while hitting .500 for the weekend. She also laced a walk-off two-run double in the series finale to give IU a 11-3 win over the Wildcats in six innings.

    Senior second baseman Samantha Berenter has been instrumental to the Hoosiers' offensive success this season and is having a career-year at the plate in the process. She is hitting .276 this season with 13 doubles, five home runs and 27 RBI while also scoring 24 runs. In her first three seasons, she posted a .190 average and had 23 total RBI with 18 runs scored.

    In the three-game series against Northwestern, Meyer hit .556 with five RBI and had at least one RBI in each game, capped off with a three-hit, three RBI effort in the series finale on her way to being named Big Ten Freshman of the Week. She is hitting .281 on the year but her on-base percentage is at .372 due to the 19 walks she has drawn.

    With 24 wins this season and 37 victories last season on their way to the NCAA Tournament, it marks the first time since 1996 and 1997 that Indiana has won at least 24 games in back-to-back seasons. The Hoosiers won 27 games in 1997 and 37 in 1996.

    Fifth year senior catcher Cassie Gogreve is hitting .280 this season and has 11 doubles, two home runs and 27 RBI. At the Phyllis Rafter Memorial in Georgia, the South Pasadena, Calif., native hit her first home run of the season and drove in six runs, including a four RBI game against Saint Louis. Then last week at Ball State, she turned on a inside pitch and hit a two-run home run, her second long ball of the year. Additionally, she has played in all 151 over her three years.

    Junior outfielder Samantha Heyman made one of the most difficult transitions a player can make - moving from the left side of the plate to the right side. And while her hitting has improved from .179 over her first three seasons to .220 this season (3 2B, 1 3B and 7 RBI). More importantly, as she bats predominately in the ninth spot in the order, she has seven sac bunts and one sac fly this season while she had just one last year.

    In addition to that, Heyman has been outstanding in center field, registering 17 career outfield assists, including throwing out the potential game-winning run at the plate to end the seventh inning in game one at Iowa.

    Freshmen third baseman Shannon Cawley was inserted into the heart of the Indiana order in Georgia and showed that's right where she belonged. Against No. 10 Stanford, the senior smacked a solo home run off All-American pitcher Teagan Gerhart to tie the game and keep the momentum in Indiana's favor. She also hit a towering home run against Central Arkansas and finished the five games in Georgia with six RBI.

    For the season, Cawley is hitting .320 with three home runs, eight doubles and 16 RBI, including four sac fly RBI which is tied for the 12-most in the country.

    Freshman pitcher Lora Olson has been a part of the IU pitching staff from day one. She knew coming in that she would be relied upon to throw a number of innings this season for the young IU pitching staff. She has thrown 153.0 innings and has 13 wins to her credit, which is the most victories by an freshman pitcher for Indiana since Jessica Creith had 15 in 1997. She has two shutouts on her ledger this season as well - Eastern Kentucky and Indiana State.

    In addition to that, she hit her first collegiate home run against Memphis - two-run shot that tied the game and allowed the Hoosiers to earn the comeback win in Las Vegas.

    Olson is the third of three sisters to play softball at Indiana, joining Anna (2005-08) and Sara (2008-2011).

    Meaghan Murphy is a sophomore because it's her second season in Bloomington, but it is basically her freshman year as a pitcher. She entered the year having pitched just 5.0 innings in one appearance in 2011. This season she has thrown 158.1 innings and has a 11-11 record and tossed a nine inning shutout at Iowa last weekend.

    In her 24 starts, she has gone the distance 14 times and also came in to get the save with three innings of work against Saint Louis.

    The Golden, Colo., native hit .220 last year in 82 at-bats while playing right field and first base in 2011. She also had two home runs and 14 RBI.

    Freshmen Lora Olson and Shannon Cawley showed their prowess at the plate in Las Vegas, connecting for their first collegiate home runs. Cawley did so with a solo home run to center field against BYU and Olson did it against Memphis, a two-run blast to tie the game in the fourth inning. Brianna Meyer got on the home run train against No. 20 Michigan, clubbing a solo home run, the first of her career, to right center in the Hoosiers 7-2 win over the Wolverines.




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