An underlying theme throughout IU softball's recent losing skid has been its inability to drive in runs in crucial situations.
A Tuesday night trip to Louisville, Kentucky, to battle the University of Louisville presented IU an opportunity to put its offensive woes behind it and get back to its winning ways.
Louisville set the tone early in the bottom of the first, sending IU senior Tara Trainer’s first pitch over the right-center field wall. In the top of the second inning, IU would get that run back with a run-scoring triple from sophomore Taylor Lambert, tying the game at one run apiece.
The tie wouldn’t last for long, though, as Trainer’s recent struggles to locate pitches came back to haunt her. After an IU error and a base hit put two base runners on, the senior left a pitch up and over the heart of the plate that Louisville’s Taylor Roby scorched to left field for a 3-run home run.
IU sophomore Grayson Radcliffe tried to jump-start a comeback effort in the fourth inning, hitting a solo shot to the opposite field and cutting the deficit to two. But it was the final run IU would score all day.
After loading the bases with no outs in the top of the sixth, IU looked primed for a big inning. However, a double play and poor base running allowed Louisville to escape the jam and added to IU’s tally of runners stranded.
The Cardinals tacked on an insurance run late in the sixth inning before putting the final touches on a 5-2 victory over the Hoosiers.
A total of eight base runners were left on base throughout the game for IU.
Following Tuesday’s loss, IU’s season record falls to 25-10, and its losing skid extends to four games.
IU returns home Friday night to play its conference home opener against Michigan State.
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