IU softball fell to 7-9 after getting swept by the No. 25 Michigan Wolverines during a weekend series in Bloomington.
IU senior second baseman Grayson Radcliffe started off scoring during the first game in the bottom of the first with an RBI double that sent senior left fielder Gabbi Jenkins home for a 1-0 lead. Michigan tied it up in the top of the third when senior shortstop Natalia Rodriguez scored on a pass ball error committed by senior catcher Bella Norton.
IU senior pitcher Emily Goodin had a great outing throughout the game with eight strikeouts. However, Michigan found a rhythm during the top of the seventh. Rodriguez, along with junior center fielder Lexie Blair and sophomore second baseman Julia Jimenez, hit RBIs to give a commanding 5-1 lead. Then, senior first baseman Lou Allan hit a two-run home run to make it 7-1.
Despite efforts from sophomore utility player Desiree Dufek, freshman shortstop Brooke Benson and freshman right fielder Aaliyah Andrews' single, the Hoosiers couldn’t rally any runs, and lost the first game 7-1.
After three scoreless innings in the second game, the Hoosiers started off with scoring during the fourth, when senior second baseman Grayson Radcliffe hit a solo home run.
Michigan responded with a solo home run off of IU junior pitcher Natalie Foor from junior catcher Hannah Carson to tie it at the top of the sixth. After an uneventful 1.5 innings, the game went into extra innings. Michigan finally sealed the game during the top of the ninth, when Lexie Blair and Hannah Carson hit RBIs to win it 3-1.
The Wolverines rallied early in the third game during the top of the second with a two-run home run from Jimenez, followed by RBIs from freshman left fielder Sierra Kersten, Carson, sophomore defensive player Lauren Esman and Allan to take a strong 7-0 lead.
Bella Norton ended the scoreless streak for IU, as she hit a one run RBI to make it 7-1. However, this was the only run the Hoosiers scored, as Natalia Rodriguez hit another RBI during the top of the seventh to make it 8-1.
The fourth and final game had another offensive showing from Michigan. Goodin gave up two home runs to Blair and Carson, alongside RBIs to fifth-year Haley Hoogenraad and Kersten. The Wolverines won the last game 4-0.
“At the end of the day, we need to take care of ourselves,” head coach Shonda Stanton said. “I think we made the moment bigger than it needed to be. We had bases loaded at certain scenarios and didn't clutch up. Even though Michigan is ranked, we need to capitalize on those opportunities.”
Despite the lopsided scores throughout the games, many IU players had positive performances this weekend. Radcliffe had a home run, Jenkins and Benson had strong defensive plays and the pitching rotation of Goodin, Foor and freshmen Amber Linton and Macy Montgomery pitched great innings.
“I’m proud of this team,” Stanton said. “Brooke Benson has found herself in a regular everyday starting role, Amber Linton has had some quality starts this weekend and Gabbi Jenkins is four stolen bases away from holding the career record at IU.”
IU will travel to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes for a four-game series from April 2-4 in Iowa City, Iowa. All games will be aired on Big Ten Network Plus.