Indiana Daily Student

Explosive performance from Cora Bassett sparks Indiana softball in weekend sweep

<p>Junior catcher Desiree Dufek hits the ball against Western Illinois on March 5, 2022. IU swept the weekend tournament winning all four games.</p>

Junior catcher Desiree Dufek hits the ball against Western Illinois on March 5, 2022. IU swept the weekend tournament winning all four games.

Indiana softball took part in the Hoosier Classic in Bloomington this weekend, sweeping its four contests against Valparaiso University and Western Illinois University. Junior transfer Cora Bassett played a big role in doing so, managing nine hits in twelve plate appearances, earning six RBIs and crushing two home runs.

Indiana’s weekend started Friday afternoon against Valparaiso, and Indiana found itself down early. Down 2-0 in the first inning, Bassett got herself on base and was later brought home off a Grayson Radcliffe single. This was one of four times Bassett made her way around the bases for a run in the game, and her three stolen bases set her teammates up to bring her home from scoring positions. 

“I hope as a leadoff I can start the game off strong for everyone and get that spark started,” Bassett said of her hitting success. “I’m just happy I can do whatever I can for this team.”

Going 3-3 from the plate and drawing a walk, Bassett’s RBI single in the 6th inning gave the Hoosiers a 6-4 lead they wouldn’t look back on. Bassett came around to score again, and Brittany Ford added a 2-run home run to give Indiana the deciding score of 9-4.

The second game Friday against Western Illinois proved to be more of the same. Bassett hit 2-2, drew a walk and knocked in two runs in the 5th inning in a 7-1 Indiana win.

Related: [Indiana softball goes undefeated at Hoosier Classic]

Another matchup against WIU on Saturday morning may have been Bassett’s best of both the weekend and the season. 

From the leadoff position, she crushed a first-inning home run to deep center field to give Indiana a 1-0 start just a few pitches in. In her next plate appearance, with Kinsey Mitchell on base, Bassett did it again in the same spot and with the same power. The two home runs were the sole hits for Indiana the entire game, but they proved to be enough as Indiana held on for a 3-1 win.

“I don’t really ever think about hitting a home run when I’m at the plate,” Bassett said. “I mean if it happens, it happens, and it was awesome.”

Bassett capped off her stellar weekend by going 2-4 from the plate and scoring a run in a 9-0 win over Valparaiso. She set season highs in several categories both offensively and defensively, as her glove proved to be just as effective as her bat.

“She sets the tone at the top of the lineup and did a great job going yard and swiping bags,” Indiana head coach Shonda Stanton said. “For her it’s just a mindset, and that’s what I want the rest of our hitters to learn.”

After the weekend, Bassett is up to 17 hits in 38 plate appearances for a batting average of .447 on the season. She has 10 RBIs, five doubles, five home runs, seven stolen bases and only three strikeouts. 

Through 13 games Bassett leads the team in on-base plus slugging (1.506), runs scored (17), hits (17), doubles (5), home runs (5), slugging percentage (.974%), walks drawn (8) and batting average among those over the threshold of two plate appearances per game (.447).

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