The IU softball team is geared up for a doubleheader this afternoon with No. 12 Michigan.
First pitch is slated for 2 p.m., followed by the second game at 4 p.m.
The Wolverines (35-7, 12-0 Big Ten) come into Bloomington at the top of the Big Ten and riding a 17-game winning streak, most recently sweeping a doubleheader at Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich.
After being swept by Purdue in their most recent Big Ten Series, IU (19-23, 3-9) is going into today’s games looking to turn its losing streak around.
“We have to bounce back really fast,” senior infielder Amanda Wagner said. “We have to forget about this weekend.
“I think it’s going to be more of a mental preparation that we need rather than a physical one since we have a day and a half to prepare for Michigan.”
Wagner is currently first in the Big Ten in on-base percentage at .602 and second in hitting with a .469 batting average.
She also has the second most doubles in the Big Ten with 13.
Sophomore utility player Shannon Cawley leads the conference in sac flies with four.
On the Wolverine side of the matchup, freshman shortstop Sierra Romero is second in the conference in runs scored with 46 and slugging percentage with a .889 clip.
Romero is also tied for first in the Big Ten in home runs with 17.
Romero’s teammate, junior outfielder Nicole Sappingfield, leads the conference in runs scored with 48.
“I think the biggest challenge and our biggest focus will be controlling the controllables,” junior shortstop Shelby Gogreve said. “They have a lot of great players, and it’s our job to focus on how we can keep those players down and to focus on how to really maximize our results.”
The Wolverine pitching staff is headlined by the 1.52 and 1.69 earned run averages of sophomores Haylie Wagner and Sara Driesenga, respectively.
The team has a 2.02 earned run average on the season, as well as a .351 batting average. The Wolverines have outscored their opponents 320-122.
In comparison, the Hoosiers head into the matchup with a 3.45 earned run average and a .251 batting average.
The pitching staff is led by junior Meaghan Murphy, who is posting a 3.03 earned run average, followed by sophomore Lora Olson’s 3.26 ERA.
IU Coach Michelle Gardner said the team will stick to the game plan they’ve had all season in today’s matchup.
“We need to show up and play,” Gardner said. “We need to have good pitching, and we need to score some runs.”
The Hoosiers are looking to improve on their 6-4 home record and are hoping to pull off the upset on the Wolverines.
“The outcome is largely going to depend on what team we bring out to the field, so I think what we’re really going to be focusing on is bringing the Indiana that has a lot of communication and has a lot of energy and the Indiana that has a lot of fight,” Gogreve said. “If we can do that, then I have confidence that we can take a game or two from Michigan.”
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