Indiana softball returned to action this weekend, hosting its home opening series, the Hoosier Classic. University of Wisconsin Green Bay, Purdue University Fort Wayne, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and the University of Wisconsin were all in Bloomington this weekend to compete in the Hoosier Classic alongside Indiana.
The Hoosiers finished 3-1 this weekend, their second consecutive weekend tournament with a winning record.
Saturday, March 4
In its first game of the weekend, Team 50 defeated Wisconsin Green Bay (7-8) by a score of 3-0. With junior pitcher Macy Montgomery starting in the circle for the Hoosiers, the offense was able to get out to an early lead. Sophomore infielder Brianna Copeland hit an RBI triple to the outfield wall, driving in senior outfielder Tatum Hayes, who was in to pinch run for freshman second baseman Taryn Kern.
In the scoreless second inning, each team had an opportunity to put runs on the board, but both were unable to seize it. Wisconsin Green Bay had runners on the corners with two outs after an error was committed by Kern, but a pop-out to sophomore first basemen Sarah Stone ended the half inning.
When the Hoosiers came up to bat in the bottom of the second, freshman catcher Avery Parker doubled after freshman third baseman Paige Hanson lost the ball in the sun. Sophomore outfielder Kinsey Mitchell doubled to left field and the Hoosiers found themselves with runners at second and third with only one out. Junior infielder Brooke Benson reached after being walked, loading the bases for Indiana. Senior utility player Cora Bassett reached base on a fielder’s choice as graduate pitcher Brit Baneck threw Parker out at home for the second out of the inning. Kern came up to bat and struck out, ending the inning.
In the third inning, Copeland continued her hot day at the plate with a mammoth home run off the scoreboard in left field, extending the lead to 2-0.
Although no runs were scored in the fourth or fifth inning, Indiana added an insurance run when Benson hit an RBI single to drive in Mitchell.
Sunday, March 5
Coming off a win in the home opener against Wisconsin Green Bay, Indiana softball returned to Andy Mohr Field on Sunday with a doubleheader and an opportunity to get its record back to a .500.
The Hoosiers faced off against Wisconsin (10-6) with sophomore pitcher Heather Johnson starting in the circle for the Hoosiers. Although no runs were given up in the first inning, Wisconsin had opportunities. With runners on second and third with no outs, the Badgers seemed primed to put a couple of runs on the scoreboard in the first inning but were unable to after a double play from Johnson and a groundout.
Indiana’s offense got off to a promising start in the bottom of the first inning as sophomore outfielder Taylor Minnick hit an RBI single up the middle, driving in senior utility player Cora Bassett. Senior outfielder Tatum Hayes came in to pinch run for Minnick but was doubled off after sophomore infielder Brianna Copeland lined out to sophomore shortstop Ellie Hubbard.
After giving up a single and a double, junior pitcher Macy Montgomery relieved Johnson in the circle for the Hoosiers. The Badgers added their first run in the top of the second inning as redshirt junior catcher Christana Angelopulos doubled to right field, driving in freshman second baseman Rylie Crane.
With the Hoosiers unable to score in the bottom of the second, Wisconsin scored six runs in the top of the third, making an Indiana comeback seem unlikely. The Badgers then tacked on another four runs in the top of the fourth inning and one more in the top of the fifth, giving them a 12-1 run-rule victory over Indiana. Montgomery was credited with the loss for the Hoosiers, her third of the 2023 campaign.
Immediately following the loss, Indiana faced off against Purdue University Fort Wayne (5-15) in the second game of the doubleheader. Johnson started in the circle for the Hoosiers for the second time of the day. The Mastodons got out to an early 1-0 lead as an RBI single from senior infielder Taryn Jenkins drove in freshman utility player Grace Hollopeter. The Hoosiers got out of the inning with a flyout and a lineout. Just as it did against Wisconsin, Indiana was able to put runs on the board, this time three instead of one. Sophomore first baseman Sarah Stone was able to give the Hoosiers a 3-1 lead with one swing of the bat, hitting a three-run home run to left field to drive in Kern and Bassett.
After a scoreless second inning, Indiana put the game out of reach in the bottom of the third inning, scoring seven runs. RBI singles from Parker and Mitchell allowed the Hoosiers to score the first two runs in the inning, and Parker scored the third run via a wild pitch. Kern then doubled to right field, driving in Benson and Mitchell, giving the Hoosiers an 8-1 lead. Indiana scored its final two runs as a wild pitch allowed Bassett to score and Minnick hit an RBI double to drive in Kern for the seventh run of the inning.
With the fourth and fifth innings ending scoreless, Indiana held an 11-1 lead and ended the game due to the run rule. The Hoosiers split the doubleheader, giving them a 2-1 record heading into the final game of the Hoosier Classic.
Monday, March 6
In the final game of the Hoosier Classic, Indiana softball faced off against IUPUI (3-12) for the first time since March 23, 2003.
The Jaguars got off to a quick start as freshman infielder Kennedy Cowan launched a leadoff home run in the first inning off Montgomery, who started in the circle for the Hoosiers. The Hoosiers were also able to get off to a fast offensive start, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning after a two-RBI single from Stone. Indiana added a run in the second inning as Bassett hit an RBI triple, giving the Hoosiers a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Hoosiers put up three runs as Mitchell hit an RBI single, driving in Stone and junior outfielder Aaliyah Andrews. After Mitchell got into a rundown, freshman outfielder Elle Smith was able to score for the Hoosiers, giving them a 6-1 lead.
IUPUI was able to add a run in the top of the fifth inning as graduate student Jaida Speth hit an RBI double, driving in Keyes and cutting the deficit to 6-2. In the bottom of the inning, Indiana added a run after Smith stole third and scored on a throwing error from junior catcher Kayla Freiberg.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Indiana scored three runs after Bassett hit an RBI double, driving in Benson. A two-run home run from Kern ended the contest, giving Indiana a 10-2 victory over IUPUI.
The Hoosiers now stand at 9-9 on the season and look to get above .500 at the Lipscomb Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee, beginning on Friday, March 10.