Indiana Daily Student

Indiana softball puts winning streak on line, set to play in-state foes

<p>Freshman infielder Taryn Kern hits the ball March 25, 2023, at Andy Mohr Field in Bloomington, Indiana against Maryland. Indiana hosts Butler on Tuesday.</p>

Freshman infielder Taryn Kern hits the ball March 25, 2023, at Andy Mohr Field in Bloomington, Indiana against Maryland. Indiana hosts Butler on Tuesday.

Fresh off another sweep, this time against then-ranked No. 22 Maryland, Indiana softball is back in action for a trio of midweek games. Team 50, now 22-9 on the season and winners of 15 straight, host Butler University on Tuesday for a game before traveling to West Lafayette, Indiana, for a doubleheader against rival Purdue on Wednesday. 

No. 24 Indiana recently climbed into the latest D1Softball rankings for the first time since 2018 following its first 3-0 start to conference play in seven seasons. 

The Bulldogs are riding an eight-game win streak of their own into the midweek clash at Andy Mohr Field, where Indiana is 6-1 this season. Butler is 12-18 overall but is atop the Big East Standings with a perfect 6-0 conference record following a three-game sweep of Providence College. 

The Bulldogs are led at the plate by redshirt sophomores Kaylee Gross and Paige Dorsett, who each boast a .345 batting average. The two have combined for 50 hits, 10 doubles, 30 runs and 27 runs batted in. 

On the mound, senior Mackenzie Griman has a 3.36 ERA in 15 appearances. Griman has pitched a team-high nine complete games in the 13 games she has started and has amassed 83.1 innings so far in 2023. 

Indiana is led by sophomore Brianna Copeland on the mound, who is a perfect 10-0 with a 2.08 ERA. In 70 innings pitched, Copeland has recorded 70 strikeouts. 

The Hoosiers lead the all-time series against the Bulldogs 11-3, although the most recent meeting was in 2018, a 7-2 Indiana victory. The schools were supposed to play in 2020, but the season got shut down due to COVID-19. 

Purdue, on the other hand, is winless in conference play after getting swept in its first Big Ten series by Nebraska despite keeping all three games within a three-run margin. The Boilermakers are 15-16 overall and are just 1-6 in their last seven games. 

Purdue is led by sophomore utility player Tyrina Jones, who is hitting .368 with 39 hits, 6 home runs, 24 RBIs, and seven stolen bases in as many tries. In the circle, senior pitcher Mo Wimpee has a 2.92 ERA in 50.1 innings pitched and is 4-4 in 18 appearances. 

The all-time margin between the bitter rivals is razor-thin, with Purdue holding a slight 41-40 edge over Indiana. The teams met in late April last season in Bloomington for a doubleheader, which Indiana swept by the scores of 6-3 and 7-4

First pitch against the Bulldogs is set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, whereas the doubleheader against Purdue is set to begin at 3 p.m., with the second game slated for approximately 5:30 p.m. The game against Butler will be televised on B1G+, while both games against the Boilermakers will be on Big Ten Network. 

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

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