Indiana softball finished 3-2 this weekend in the University of North Carolina Greensboro Invitational, one weekend after going 0-5 at the ESPN Invitational.
The Hoosiers struggled on both sides of the ball in Clearwater, Florida Feb. 16-19, and just never looked like they were in any of those five games. This weekend though, was a different story as Indiana had improved performances from their offense and pitching.
Indiana won its first game of the weekend, an 11-0 run-rule victory over the University of Delaware. The Hoosiers played two games on Saturday, the first being a close 6-4 victory over Delaware, and the second being a close 6-5 loss against the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
Indiana played two games on their final day in Greensboro, getting shutout in a 5-0 loss against the University of Connecticut and a 17-2 run-rule victory against UNCG.
Here are three things that stood out for the Hoosiers in Greensboro:
Fast Offensive Starts
In four of their five games this weekend, Indiana scored multiple runs in the first inning. The only exception was the 5-0 loss against UConn.
The Hoosiers came out victorious in three of those four games, with the Saturday matchup against UNCG being the only loss when scoring in the first inning. Indiana scored three runs in the first inning against UNCG on Saturday but was unable to hang on throughout the game, losing 6-5.
A Tale of Two Teams
Indiana looked like two different teams this weekend. In their three victories, the Hoosiers were able to get the offense going early, but in their two losses, they were just not the same team. Against UNCG on Saturday, the offense got going early, scoring three runs in the first inning, but UNCG hit four home runs en route to a 6-5 victory.
During the 5-0 loss against UConn on Sunday, the Indiana offense could not get any runs across the plate although they did have their fair share of opportunities, going 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
Pitching Staff Rebounded
Following a rough weekend in Clearwater where the Hoosiers gave up 33 earned runs, the pitching staff was able to rebound this weekend, giving up only 12 earned runs.
Junior pitcher Macy Montgomery and sophomore pitcher Heather Johnson were the two headlining the rebound as they gave up four earned runs a piece this weekend, with Montgomery pitching 10 2/3 innings and Johnson pitching 10 1/3 innings.
During Preseason media day, Montgomery spoke about head coach Shonda Stanton encouraging her to be a pitch-to-contact pitcher and trusting her defense.
“Being okay with using my groundball and my off-speed, for ground balls and pop-ups,” Montgomery said. “Knowing my defense has got my back.”
With giving up four earned runs, facing 43 batters, and only striking out three of them, Montgomery relied on her defense, exactly what Coach Stanton has encouraged her to do.
Indiana is back in action in Bloomington on Friday, March 3, hosting the three-day Hoosier Classic.