IU Falls to Indiana State in Fall Finale
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Stacey Phillips' softball squad dropped both ends of a doubleheader against Indiana State in front of a capacity crowd at the IU Softball Field on Oct. 3 as the Sycamores came out ahead, 4-0, and 5-4 (11 innings). IU's Megan Roark, however, provided a major highlight for the Hoosiers with 13 punchouts in the marathon contest.
"We saw some great defensive plays from some new players for the first time this fall," Phillips said. "We also had a couple of younger players come through with some key hits early in the second game to help us go ahead in that ball game. We just need to sharpen our defensive performance. We have a lot of great tools and we highlighted them today."
In the opener, a trio of Hoosier errors spelled disaster for the Cream and Crimson as the miscues gave Indiana State an early 1-0 lead in the second stanza. In the fifth frame, Indiana State stretched its lead to 4-0 with three runs off three hits, including a double by Julie Damico. That offensive effort was enough for ISU's Darcy Wood as she held Indiana to just four hits in the shutout. Wood also fanned eight Hoosiers and never allowed an IU runner past second base. IU's Mariangee Bogado suffered the loss after holding ISU to a pair of hits by striking out four Sycamore batters.
The nightcap was much more exciting as the intrastate rivals traded blows in an 11-inning marathon that saw Indiana fall, 5-4, in a heartbreaking loss. IU's Roark proved to be a leader on the field by fanning 13 Sycamore batters and sitting down 10 straight batters in the middle innings.
"I felt fresh and in the zone at the time," Roark said. "I was not really thinking about the strikeouts. I just took it one pitch at a time."
The Cream and Crimson immediately rebounded from the tough opening loss to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the first frame as Lauren Hines rocked a three-run blast to right center to score Ashley Griffiths and Tory Yamaguchi. Kim Richards then rounded out IU scoring in the second stanza with an RBI double to right center to drive home Janetta Deaven and extend Indiana's lead to 4-0.
"I think we just did a good job of staying focused," Roark said. "We mixed it up with a lot of good pitches and kept them off balance most of the day. They just didn't know what to expect."
The Hoosiers, however, could not hold onto the lead as Indiana State knotted the game at 4-4 in the fifth frame when the Sycamores converted on two IU miscues. After a dropped fly ball brought home Jessica McGivney to cut Indiana's lead to 4-1, Jackie Chomicki dropped a ball just over the right field fence to tie the game, 4-4. Roark and ISU's Damico then engaged in a five-inning dual which saw the Sycamore come out on top. ISU's Korie Shawver crossed the plate on IU's fourth error of the game and seventh of the day to account for Indiana State's winning margin. The tally allowed ISU to take the lead and secure a 5-4 triumph.
"Megan has worked so hard over the past two-and-a-half years and it is starting to pay off," Phillips said. "We look to her for stability and she has always answered with a positive result."
IU's fall season is now complete.
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