The Indiana softball team finished 1-2 over the weekend, losing against Illinois in its last series at Andy Mohr Field.
The Hoosiers lost the first game to the Fighting Illini on Friday 6-4. Senior designated player Brittany Ford put the Hoosiers on board first with one run batted in for a 1-0 during the bottom of the first inning. Junior pinch runner Tatum Hayes scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the second inning to extend the Hoosiers’ lead to 2-0.
Illinois freshman catcher and designated player Paige Berkmeyer hit a sacrifice fly ball to cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the third inning. Ford responded for Indiana with a two-run home run. She extended the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“Britt has been such a bright spot,” head coach Shonda Stanton said Friday. “It’s been fun to watch her grow into her role with this team.”
In the top of the sixth inning, Illinois junior right fielder Kelley Ryono hit a two-run RBI to cut Indiana’s lead to 4-3. In the same inning, Illinois senior Kailee Powell hit a double to tie the game and force extra innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, Ryono hit an RBI single to give the Illinis their first lead at 5-4. Ryono scored the final run of the night and secured the win in the series opener.
Indiana celebrated its senior day on Saturday, as the team honored Ford, senior second baseman Juvia Davis, senior pitcher Natalie Foor, senior pitcher Taylor Askland and graduate student third baseman Grayson Radcliffe before the game. The Hoosiers were shut out 2-0 after Ryono hit a two-run double in the top of the first inning for the Illini.
“We competed really hard today, but we just weren’t able to answer in the circle.” Stanton said on Saturday.
Indiana won the last game of the series on Sunday 3-2. After seven scoreless innings, the game went into extra innings.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Indiana sophomore first baseman and pinch hitter Grace Lorsung bunted and secured a run that was later negated due to an issue with the lineup. Lorsung illegally substituted for freshman first baseman Brianna Copeland and the umpires were not made aware of the change.
“We didn’t enter Grace, that’s on us as a coaching staff,” Stanton said. “Those two runs scored should’ve been the nail in the coffin.”
In the top of the 11th inning, Illinois scored two runs from a two-run RBI double from Powell.
In the bottom of the 11th inning, Ford hit a three-run RBI double to win the game in her final at-bat at Andy Mohr Field.
“There’s no other way I would’ve rather ended my career here at IU,” Ford said. “I didn’t know if it was out, so I just started running.”
Indiana will play at Nebraska for its final three-game weekend series of the regular season before the Big Ten Tournament from May 12-14 in East Lansing, Michigan.