Indiana Daily Student

Indiana softball back on road to face Big Ten opponent Penn State

<p>Freshman pitcher Brianna Copeland throws a pitch against Western Illinois University March 5, 2022. Indiana will face Penn State in a three-game road series this weekend.</p>

Freshman pitcher Brianna Copeland throws a pitch against Western Illinois University March 5, 2022. Indiana will face Penn State in a three-game road series this weekend.

Indiana softball is ready for another weekend of Big Ten play as it prepares to face Penn State in University Park, Pennsylvania. The Hoosiers come into the series with a 22-10 and a 5-4 record in Big Ten play. 

Indiana is fresh off a sweep of Rutgers to improve its conference record over the 0.500 mark, with the wins lifting the team’s home record at Andy Mohr Field to 8-0 this season. The Hoosiers were scheduled to play a doubleheader against Purdue on Wednesday, but the contest was postponed due to inclement weather.

Penn State has shown improvement from last season. Following their 7-34 mark in the 2021 season, the Nittany Lions come into the weekend series against the Hoosiers with a 23-15 record and a 5-4 record in Big Ten play. 

Pitching has been the backbone of Penn State’s success, as the team’s outcomes have relied heavily on play on the mound and tough defense. In the Nittany Lions’ 23 wins, an opponent scored more than two runs only once, meaning producing offense may prove challenging for the Hoosiers.

Senior pitcher Bailey Parshall is the ace Penn State relies on to shut down opposing offenses. The lefty has thrown 134 innings this season, holding a 13-6 record with a 1.57 earned runs average and an opposing batting average of .186.

In contrast, the Hoosiers share a team batting average of .313 and average 5.96 runs per game. Junior utility player Cora Bassett continues to lead the Hoosiers at the plate, as her marks of .929 slugging percentage, 1.474 on-base plus slugging and 45 individual runs scored all rank first in the Big Ten. Bassett’s .455 batting average and 14 doubles each rank second in the conference.

Along with Bassett’s stellar play, the youth on Indiana’s roster has been flourishing. The Hoosiers have won three consecutive Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards. Freshman infielder and pitcher Brianna Copeland took home the honor in back-to-back weeks, then freshman outfielder Taylor Minnick earned her first award of the season following her strong performance in the Rutgers series.

Indiana has dominated Penn State in recent history, winning 10 of the previous 11 contests. The Hoosiers lead the all-time series 44-28. 

The series opener will start at 6 p.m. Friday. The second game of the series will be played at 3 p.m. Saturday and the series finale will take place at noon Sunday.

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

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