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Hoosiers to play slumping Nittany Lions

The IU softball team takes on Penn State (7-21, 0-5 Big Ten) at home this weekend for its third Big Ten series of the season.

The Hoosiers (17-19, 1-5 Big Ten) will start the three-game series at 6 p.m. Friday at Andy Mohr Field. The second game of the weekend is slated for 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday.

“Like I’ve said all season, we need to have complete games with pitching, hitting and defense (to be successful against Penn State),” IU Coach Michelle Gardner said.

IU is coming off of a 7-0 win against Indiana State Tuesday in which the team posted eight hits led by multi-hit games from senior infielder Amanda Wagner and junior infielder Shelby Gogreve.

The pitching team of junior Meaghan Murphy and sophomore Brooke Boetjer kept ISU scoreless while only allowing two hits on the evening.

Penn State comes into Bloomington with a six-game losing streak, most recently being swept in its Wednesday doubleheader at Michigan State.

Senior outfielder Cassidy Bell leads the Penn State offense with a .456 batting average, while also leading the Big Ten Conference in slugging percentage at 1.063 and home runs with 14 on the season. Sophomore pitcher Macy Jones leads the Penn State defense with a 4.86 earned run average. The Lions are posting a .286 batting average and 7.68 earned run average in their 2013 campaign.

The Hoosiers go into the weekend with a .251 batting average and 3.26 earned run average.

“(We need to) just continue to have the energy we’ve had throughout the last few games,” Murphy said about the Hoosiers’ game plan for the weekend.

While the Hoosiers only have one Big Ten victory so far this season, the team has several players sitting at or near the top of multiple statistical categories in the Big Ten Conference.

Wagner leads the conference for batting average and on base percentage, coming in at .464 and .582, respectively. Wagner is also fourth in the Big Ten in slugging percentage at .762 and second in the conference in doubles with 11 for the season.

Sophomore infielder Brianna Meyer leads the conference in walks with 27, while her on base percentage of .470 takes her to 12th in the Big Ten.

Sophomore utility player Shannon Cawley leads the conference in sac flies with four on the season.

Murphy’s earned run average of 2.76 brings her in at 12th in the conference, while she is tied for sixth in the Big Ten for batters struck out at 96 on the season.

IU is currently tied for ninth place in the team standings for the Big Ten, while Penn State comes in at 12th.

The Hoosiers are looking to keep their seven-game home winning streak alive, as well as their undefeated record at Andy Mohr Field.

“If we stay focused mentally and kind of just carry on what we had (against Indiana State), I think we’ll be successful,”
Murphy said.

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