Indiana softball lost its weekend series 1-2 against Penn State on the road, but its offense saw signs of improvement as it gained familiarity against its Big Ten foe.
The Hoosiers’ offense struggled the most during the first game and was unable to respond to the Nittany Lions’ six runs in the opener aside from a complete game pitched by Penn State senior Bailey Parshall. Indiana didn’t get a runner on base until the top of the fourth inning, when freshman first basewoman Briana Copeland hit a single to left field. Copeland and graduate student third basewoman Grayson Radcliffe were the only two batters that could get on base during the first game of the series. Indiana was shutout 6-0.
In the second game on Saturday, Indiana rejuvenated its offense and produced 11 runs against Penn State. Freshman left fielder Taylor Minnick hit a two-run home run in the top of the first inning and senior designated hitter Brittany Ford hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning to provide the necessary support.
Copeland scored on a wild pitch and Minnick also hit an RBI groundout in the top of the second inning to drive in two runs. Sophomore second basewoman Cora Bassett hit a two-run RBI in the top of the seventh to extend the lead and secure the win. The Hoosiers tied the series at 1-1 with a 11-5 win over the Nittany Lions.
Although Indiana couldn’t clinch the series victory in the finale on Sunday, its offense kept the game close under pressure. With the Hoosiers down 8-3 in the top of the fifth inning, sophomore shortstop Brooke Benson hit a solo home run. Radcliffe followed Benson’s effort with an RBI groundout to cut the deficit to 8-5.
Bassett hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning, but the comeback stopped there for Indiana. Penn State closed out the series with an 8-6 win and a 2-1 series victory.
Indiana heads back to Bloomington this week to take on the No. 25 University of Notre Dame at 5 p.m. Tuesday and then the University of Louisiana at Lafayette at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Andy Mohr Field. Indiana will then compete with No. 8 Northwestern for a three-game Big Ten weekend series in Bloomington starting this Friday.