Indiana Daily Student

Indiana softball to commence Big Ten play in weekend series at Ohio State

<p>Junior outfielder Cora Basset rounds the bases after hitting her first of two home runs against Western Illinois March 5, 2022. IU will play at 4 p.m. on Friday in Columbus, Ohio. </p>

Junior outfielder Cora Basset rounds the bases after hitting her first of two home runs against Western Illinois March 5, 2022. IU will play at 4 p.m. on Friday in Columbus, Ohio.

Indiana softball starts conference play this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, against Ohio State. The Hoosiers come into the weekend at 16-6 overall while the Buckeyes stand at 18-5 overall.

Indiana is coming off a 4-1 record in the Hall of Fame Classic this past weekend in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Hoosiers won against the University of Houston 8-5, Sam Houston State University 2-0, Big Ten foe Iowa 8-4 and the University of San Diego 5-0. Their only loss came against No. 1 Oklahoma 15-1.

The victory over Sam Houston State marked the 700th win in Indiana coach Shonda Stanton’s career. Now at 702 overall wins, 560 of those came in her 18 seasons at Marshall University, making her the coach with the most wins in Marshall history.

Stellar pitching and clutch hitting led the way in the Hoosiers’ Hall of Fame Classic victories. Sophomore pitcher Macy Montgomery and freshman pitcher Heather Johnson carried the pitching staff to a dominant showing, including two shutouts. As for clutch hitting, Indiana rallied to come back in its games against Houston and Iowa, never losing determination.

“Every person just stepped up and passed the bat,” Stanton said about the comeback against Iowa. “I couldn’t be any more proud to be able to be so resilient.” 

Indiana’s resilience and grit from last weekend may need to return to its best form this weekend. Ohio State is a tough conference opponent led by this past week’s Big Ten Player of the Week, junior designated player Sam Hackenbracht. 

The Buckeyes have faced off with two mutual opponents of Indiana this season, defeating Ohio University 6-1 and the University of Louisville 8-5. The Hoosiers beat Ohio 7-5 on March 11, but lost to Louisville twice this season.

The series between Indiana and Ohio State includes three games this weekend. The first two contests will be held as a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. Friday. The third contest will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday. 

Indiana leads the all-time series against Ohio State 67-49-1. The two teams played a four-game series in Bloomington last season, with the Hoosiers securing three wins.

Indiana graduate student infielder Grayson Radcliffe sustained an undisclosed injury against Sam Houston State and did not play the rest of the weekend in Oklahoma City. Stanton said Radcliffe’s injury is day-to-day and her chance of playing is questionable for the upcoming weekend series. Radcliffe serves as the team captain.

Indiana still holds the top spot in stolen bases per game in NCAA Division I. The Hoosiers grab 2.73 bags per game, and have 60 collective stolen bases through 22 games.

All three games this weekend will be available to watch on Big Ten Network+.

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