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Saturday, May 25
The Indiana Daily Student

sports softball

Indiana softball powers past opponents at Lady Bison Classic

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Indiana softball played a perfect weekend, going 5-0 in the Lady Bison Classic in Nashville, Tennessee, to improve to 14-9 overall, using the momentum they gained after going 3-1 in the Hoosier Classic last weekend. 

The Hoosiers throttled Lipscomb University, University of Evansville and Akron University, outscoring the three schools 44-6 in the five games played. Team 50 defeated the Bisons and Purple Aces twice, once on Friday and once on Saturday, before closing out the weekend Sunday with a shutout win over the Zips to extend the winning streak to seven games. 

“We’re doing a good job offensively, and that’s going to be the key for us heading into Big Ten play,” head coach Shonda Stanton said after the series concluded on Sunday. 

Team 50 nearly doubled its home run count in this tournament alone, pounding 11 home runs to bring the season total up to 23. 

In the first game on Friday, the Hoosiers didn’t leave the yard once but capitalized on mistakes from Evansville to win 5-2. The Purple Aces committed five errors in the field that led to Indiana scoring two unearned runs to take the lead. The game was tied at two runs apiece in the third, but Indiana scored one run in the third, fourth and fifth innings to pull away. 

Indiana followed that up with a much more convincing win against the host, Lipscomb, in the second game on Friday. The Hoosiers won 11-3 in a game decided by the run rule and was halted after the minimum of five innings.  

Four Hoosiers clobbered home runs, including two of the first three batters in the top of the first inning. Senior utility player Cora Bassett and sophomore outfielder Taylor Minnick went yard to get Indiana out to a quick 2-0 lead. Freshman infielder Taryn Kern hit her first of three home runs on the weekend in the third inning, and senior outfielder Abby Meeks hit one of her own in the fourth to continue the clinic. 

The bats did not cool down at all on Saturday, as Team 50 won convincingly in both rematches against the Purple Aces and Bisons. Against Evansville, Indiana again got on the board via the long ball in the first inning, this time a three-run homer from sophomore utility player Sarah Stone. Kern also had a three-run shot in the fifth, her second home run of the weekend, to extend Indiana’s lead to 13-0 and cap off an eight-run inning. Evansville got a run in the bottom of the fifth, but it was not enough to allow the game to continue. 

The second game against the Bisons looked a lot like the first. Indiana won 10-0 in a game that was called after six innings.  

Junior Aaliyah Andrews hit one over the fence in the second inning to put Team 50 up 4-0, and a few batters later Kern again went deep, her third dinger in as many games. Freshman catcher Avery Parker hit her first home run of the weekend in the third to make it 7-0, as Indiana would add three more runs to cap off the penultimate game of the weekend. 

In the final game of the weekend on Sunday, the Hoosiers put together their second consecutive shutout, this time over Akron by a final score of 5-0. It was a slow start offensively for the first time, as no runs were scored through the first three innings.  

However, sophomore infielder Brianna Copeland broke the deadlock with a solo shot to right-center in the fourth. Parker hit her second home run of the weekend in the sixth to tack onto the lead. By that point, the game was essentially done and dusted with the Hoosiers up by five runs, and they got the final three outs to finish off a 5-0 win and a 5-0 weekend. 

Kern’s three home runs put her in the team lead with five, with Bassett, Minnick and Stone all within two of the freshman. 

It’s a quick turnaround for Indiana, as next up is a pair of road midweek games on Monday and Tuesday against Western Kentucky University and Belmont University, respectively. First pitch against the Hilltoppers is scheduled for 7 p.m. 

Follow reporters Austin Platt (@AustinPlatter) and Dalton James (@djames1824) for updates throughout the Softball season.

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