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IU prepares for Citrus II Classic


By Michael Hernandez



IU coaches and players are ready to play at home. 

But before they can, the Hoosiers will play in their last tournament this weekend at the 2015 Citrus II Classic in Orlando, Fla.

The Hoosiers are coming off their worst weekend of the year after dropping all fives games of the Mary Nutter Classic. This will be the last chance for the Hoosiers to improve their record before entering the regular season series format.

“We are in most of these games,” IU Coach Michelle Gardner said. “We are just trying to put the pieces together and find a way to get over that hump.”

For the second consecutive weekend, IU will get things started against No. 8 Georgia. The Bulldogs are 12-2, including a recent win against No. 4 Oklahoma. Georgia also beat IU last weekend 9-1.

Following the Georgia game, the Hoosiers will square off against Lehigh, who has yet to play this year due to weather conditions in North Carolina. Last season, the Mountain Hawks’ finished with a record of 30-20.

An exciting pair of matchups on Saturday will pit the Hoosiers against two teams they have never faced before: the Georgetown Hoyas (5-3) and Mississippi State (13-2), who is on the verge of becoming ranked after garnering votes from the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll.

The Hoosiers will close out the Citrus II Classic on Sunday against their in-state rival, No. 23 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have started the season 9-5, including a win last weekend against Georgia. IU leads the all-time series 10-9 but lost the last matchup 4-0 in 2004.

Freshman Taylor Uden and the young Hoosier team look to turn things around this weekend after a rough start to the season. Uden, however, is off to a hot start. 

She has scored three runs and recorded five hits last weekend, including her first career home run. She is tied for fourth in the Big Ten in doubles with four and second in walks with 13.

Senior Shannon Cawley continues to hit the ball well for the Hoosiers, picking up three more RBIs last weekend to bring her RBI total to a team-best 13.

Gardner has told her players keep on fighting. She said she believes her players are just one play or pitch away from turning losses into wins.

“We just have to limit the mistakes,” Uden said. “Really just comes down to one inning at a time.”

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