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Hoosier upset bid falls short in 9th inning



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The IU Softball team hudles up during their match against Michigan on Tuesday at Andy Mohr Field Ethan Bennett Buy Photos

In an extra innings heartbreaker at Andy Mohr Field Tuesday, the IU softball team (19-24, 3-10 Big Ten) fell 7-4 to No. 9 Michigan (36-7, 13-0 Big Ten).

A doubleheader was set on the schedule for the Hoosiers, but the second game of the evening was canceled due to severe weather.

Despite the loss, IU Coach Michelle Gardner said the team gained a lot of confidence in almost taking down the top dog in the Big Ten Conference.

“I am just really pleased with our performance today,” Gardner said. “I was so proud of them. They just were resilient, and they battled.”

The Wolverines struck the first blow in game one with one run in the second inning followed by three runs in the third to take the early 4-0 lead. The Hoosiers came close to scoring in the fifth inning with bases loaded, but ended their half of the frame with all three runners left on base.

It took the Hoosiers six innings to get on the scoreboard, but they did so in dramatic fashion, with four runs off of five hits in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 4-4.

Freshman pitcher Brooke Boetjer got things started for the team with a single to shortstop. Freshman infielder Michelle Huber and freshman catcher and third baseman Kelsey Dotson followed suit with another single each to load the bases.

Senior outfielder Samantha Heyman walked, bringing in the first run for the Hoosiers. Another single by senior outfielder Kelsey Brannon brought in the second IU run, and a final single by senior infielder Amanda Wagner allowed two more Hoosiers to score.

Neither team brought in runs for the remainder of regulation, pushing the game into extra innings.

The score remained tied at 4-4 in the eighth inning.

In the top of the ninth the game was delayed for what would end up being more than an hour due to severe weather.

The Wolverines came out of the delay with a three-run top of the ninth to swing the lead back in their direction, 7-4.

The Hoosiers were unable to regain their momentum after the delay, and failed to drive in a run in the bottom of the ninth, dropping the game to the Wolverines.

“It’s just unfortunate, the delays, because who knows what would have happened, but I sure do like our chances if we didn’t have all that delay crap going on,” Gardner said.

The teams were able to get in two-and-a-half innings of the second game before play was delayed multiple times and the game eventually canceled.

Dotson led the IU offense with three hits and one run in the first game of the evening.
“I was just kind of more focused on finding contact, slowing it down, not trying to kill the ball, and just really focus on finding it,” Dotson said. “I have my confidence back and I’m just rolling with it.”

Wagner, Brannon, and Huber each had two hits on the outing, while Wagner also drove in two RBI. 

Dotson said that the team will use what they learned in Tuesday’s game to help them down the road.

“[We learned] That we are good enough to beat teams like Michigan,” Dotson said. “I think today was just kind of the realization of ‘wow, we really can do that.’ We’ve been down lately, and I really think that from now on we’ll take this into games that ‘hey, we can do this.’

“Michigan is undefeated, and we almost beat them right there.”

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