Indiana softball improved to 9-4 on the season after going undefeated against Valparaiso University and Western Illinois University at the Hoosier Classic this weekend in Bloomington.
The series was the first played at Andy Mohr Field this season and the first games open to the public since March 10, 2020.
“This is literally what I’ve dreamed about since I came here,” junior second baseman Cora Bassett said. “This was very surreal.”
Bassett transferred from Purdue over the 2021 offseason, and she’s been extremely productive with the Hoosiers this season. Up until the Hoosier Classic, Bassett had four RBIs and three home runs, as well as a .308 batting average in her first nine games.
Indiana defeated Valparaiso in the first game of the series 9-4 on Friday. Valparaiso scored two runs in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead, and it would be the only lead the Beacons had all game and for the entire series.
In the bottom half of the first inning, graduate student third baseman Grayson Radcliffe hit an RBI single for the first run of the game. The Hoosiers scored three runs in the second inning, and senior designated hitter Brittany Ford hit a home run to right center in the sixth inning to bring in two runs, putting the Hoosiers up 9-4.
In the second game against Valparaiso on Saturday, junior second baseman Cora Bassett and Radcliffe each both hit a single, advanced on passed balls and were in place to score on a single to center by Brianna Copeland to give Indiana an early 2-0 lead in the first inning.
The Hoosiers scored six runs in the third inning, including a bases-clearing RBI double from junior right fielder Desiree Dufek to score three runs. Freshman pitcher Brianna Copeland hit a home run in the fourth to put the Hoosiers up 9-0, securing the victory and the sweep against Valparaiso.
Western Illinois (3-12)
Bassett led off the first game against Western Illinois on Friday with a double to center field, followed by a single from Ford to drive Bassett in and put the Hoosiers up 1-0 in the first inning. Junior left fielder Tatum Hayes singled and stole second base, putting herself in scoring position as freshman center fielder Kinsey Mitchell came up to bat. Mitchell singled to score Hayes and put the Hoosiers up 2-0 for another early lead.
Indiana broke the game open with three runs in the fourth inning and went on to beat Western Illinois 7-1.
Bassett hit two home runs in the first two innings of the second game, both to center field, to drive in all of Indiana’s runs for the day.
“She sets the tone at the top of the lineup,” head coach Shonda Stanton said. “You know she is going to hit the ball hard every time she swings the bat.”
Brianna Copeland pitched six innings and recorded two strikeouts for the Hoosiers and got the 3-1 win against the Leathernecks.
Indiana will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, from March 11 to 13 to take on Central Michigan University, Ohio University, University of Louisville and Eastern Kentucky University.