After going 3-1 at the Bluegrass Challenge last weekend, Indiana softball will head to the Hall of Fame Classic at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, from Friday to Sunday. The Hoosiers will play against five different teams in their busiest weekend of the season.
Indiana’s first matchup of the weekend will be at 2:30 p.m. Friday against the University of Houston. The Cougars lead the all-time series against the Hoosiers 2-0, with the last meeting being on Feb. 17, 2007. Houston won that game 5-3.
The Cougars are currently 13-12 and are coming off a 5-4 win against the No. 7 University of Washington on March 5. Graduate student Becca Schulte, a transfer from Louisiana State University, has been a spark for the Cougars’ offense. She has a 1.238 offensive plus swinging percentage this season along with nine home runs and 25 runs batted in this season.
To wrap up its Friday doubleheader, Indiana will play the No. 1-ranked University of Oklahoma at 7:30 p.m. Oklahoma leads the all-time series 10-2-1, with the Sooners winning the last meeting 9-3 on March 9, 2018. Indiana is looking for its first win against Oklahoma since March 17, 1984.
The Sooners have earned the top spot in the national rankings this season with a 20-0 record. In 17 of those games, they won through the forced run rule by leading by eight or more runs through seven innings. Last Friday, Oklahoma senior utility player Jocelyn Alo broke the individual NCAA career home run record with her 96th home run against the University of Hawai’i.
On Saturday, Indiana will square off against Sam Houston State University at 2:30 p.m. The Bearkats are 9-15 this season. Freshman pitcher Brailey Wasik has a 1.129 on-base plus slugging percentage, 0.333 batting average and has hit five home runs this season. Indiana leads the all-time series 5-2 and won the last meeting 7-1 on March 7, 2008.
Before Big Ten play officially begins for Indiana on March 25 against Ohio State, the Hoosiers will play their first Big Ten opponent of the season, Iowa, at 5 p.m. Saturday. The Hoosiers went 1-3 against the Hawkeyes last season, keeping two of the losses within one run. The Hawkeyes lost senior pitcher Allison Doocy from last season, who posted a 2.00 earned run average and an 11-5 record in 108.1 innings pitched.
Iowa is 13-8 this season. Sophomore infielder Denali Loecker has provided at the plate for the Hawkeyes with a 1.047 on-base plus slugging percentage and four home runs. Iowa leads the all-time series against Indiana 65-42-1.
Finally, Indiana wraps up the weekend at 10 a.m. Sunday against the University of San Diego. San Diego is 13-17 this season, but 2-1 against Big Ten teams. San Diego lost to Iowa 3-1 on Feb. 19, but it defeated Nebraska twice in a doubleheader on Tuesday.
Sophomore pitcher McKenna Braegelmann is San Diego’s ace with a 1.87 ERA, seven strikeouts and 1-0 win-loss record in 15.0 innings pitched. The Toreros and Hoosiers have met once before, a matchup that took place on February 7, 2015. Indiana won that game 4-3.
Indiana is 12-5 this season and leads the NCAA in stolen bases at 2.94 per game. Junior outfielder Tatum Hayes ranks first in the Big Ten in stolen bases with 12 this season and 15th in Division I. The Hoosiers have stolen 51 bases this season and allowed just nine to their opponents.
All Indiana softball games at the Hall of Fame Classic will be broadcast on HoosiersTV via IU Athletics.