The IU softball team got out to a historic start in non-conference play this season.
It was a run that left fans wondering whether or not the No. 22-ranked Hoosiers were the real deal as the team looks for its first regular season Big Ten title for the first time since 1994.
Though conference play did not start well for IU.
IU senior ace Tara Trainer was given an early 3-0 lead in game one following a solo home run courtesy of IU junior Annika Baez and a two-run double from IU sophomore Maddie Westmoreland.
That lead wouldn’t last for long, though, as Ohio State tagged Trainer for four runs, taking advantage of a pair of walks and an error, and spelling the end of a shaky outing for the right-hander after just two innings.
“It was just an off weekend for Tara and what's great is the rest of the pitching staff stepped up and did well,” IU Head Coach Shonda Stanton said.
IU entered the sixth inning up 6-4 with IU junior Emily Goodin cruising since entering the game in relief, but an RBI single and a two-run home run put Ohio State ahead for good, eventually defeating IU 7-6.
Game two Saturday provided the Hoosiers an opportunity to even up the series. IU clawed its way back after a rough first inning that saw Ohio State plate five runs, but the attempted comeback was too little too late as Ohio State held on for a 5-3 victory.
“A couple big hits and an error really hurt us in the first inning, and it’s tough when you spot a good ballclub five runs in the first,” Stanton said. “We need to perform better.”
The Hoosiers looked to avoid a series sweep Sunday, sending Goodin back to the pitching rubber. After falling behind 2-0 early, IU threatened with runners in scoring position multiple times but left them all stranded, losing 2-0.
IU drops to 25-9 on the season following the sweep.
“You’ve got to give Ohio State credit, they made all the plays they needed to and we didn't," Stanton said. "This is just a small bump in the road and we'll bounce back."
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