IU softball improved its record to .500 after finishing with a 3-2 record this weekend in the Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, Arizona.
The team beat the University of South Dakota twice and Boise State University once, and it lost to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and No. 4 University of Arizona.
IU head coach Shonda Stanton said she believes her team is right where it should be.
“This is the point of the season where we thought we would be a bit more challenged early on,” Stanton said.
A four-run sixth inning for SIUE brought a 4-1 IU loss in its first game Friday. SIUE loaded the bases in the first inning before IU recorded an out, but a double play helped IU escape without allowing a run.
In the second, junior Annika Baez gave IU the lead with a single and a RBI. Senior Emily Goodin didn’t allow another hit until the sixth, when SIUE scored two on a single and two more on a home run three batters later.
Redshirt senior Josie Wood led IU in the second game of the doubleheader against South Dakota. After a rough start to the season, Wood bounced back to throw all seven innings in IU’s 5-1 victory. It was Wood’s first complete game since 2016.
IU’s offensive production started early with a double by senior Bella Norton that brought in senior Gabbi Jenkins. In the second, Baez hit a solo home run to put IU up 2-0.
The Hoosiers would add two in the fourth and one in the fifth. South Dakota would score its only run in the top of the seventh.
IU’s games against South Dakota were the first two games against South Dakota in program history.
Against Boise State on Saturday, IU continued to score early, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Baez added her third RBI of the weekend in the third, and sophomore Hannah Davis singled home IU’s fifth and final run of the game in the fifth inning.
Goodin continued to pitch well for the Hoosiers, striking out five while only giving up four hits in her 10th straight complete game.
IU beat Boise State 5-0 to improve its record to .500 for the first time this season.
IU won its third straight game Saturday in the rematch against South Dakota with a 9-0 run-rule victory.
Baez, an Arizona native, hit a three-run home run in the third. She finished her weekend with six RBIs. Later in the inning, senior Katie Lacefield added a two-run home run of her own, and two runs in the fifth secured the run-rule victory for IU.
Wood returned to the circle for her second win of the weekend over South Dakota. Wood pitched four scoreless innings before sophomore Taylor Askland replaced her and finished the game.
“Josie was a huge bright spot,” Stanton said. “For her to come out and get two wins, get a shutout win, that was big. We’re going to need that backup for Goodin.”
By the end of the weekend, Wood brought her ERA down from 16.33 to 5.76.
The team played its last game of the weekend Sunday against Arizona and lost 6-1. The Hoosiers only had one hit off the Wildcats’ senior pitcher Alyssa Denham and sophomore Marissa Schuld.
Goodin pitched all six innings for IU. She ran into trouble in the third when Arizona scored four runs off four hits.
“They’re a top five ballclub for a reason,” Stanton said. “They just play so clean.”