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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports softball

Indiana softball records two shutouts during Troy Invitational, goes 4-1 on the weekend


Indiana softball competed in its second tournament of the season Feb. 16–18 at the Troy Invitational in Troy, Alabama. Team 51 went 4-1, defeating Florida A&M University and Troy University twice while falling to Gardner-Webb University.  

Junior pitcher and utility player Brianna Copeland opened the Hoosiers’ matchup with Florida A&M on Feb. 16 by hitting a two-run home run to go up 2-0. The Hoosiers stayed dominant throughout the game, led by senior pitcher Macy Montgomery's dominant pitching performance throwing for a career-high 10 strikeouts.  

Five different Hoosiers recorded an RBI in the win, defeating the Rattlers 8-0 in six innings. 

Later in the day, the Hoosiers took on Troy. Indiana scored six of its eight runs in the third inning.  

Freshman utility player Alex Cooper had the first stolen base of her career, stealing home in the third inning. In that same inning, junior infielder Sarah Stone hit an RBI single and freshman infielder Tristian Thompson hit an RBI double to make the score 7-0 in the third. 

Copeland took to the pitcher's circle, striking out six batters and allowing only four hits in five innings of work. The Hoosiers defeated the Trojans 8-1. 

The Hoosiers had another doubleheader Feb. 17, opening the day against Gardner-Webb. Even though Indiana struck first with an RBI from junior outfielder Taylor Minnick in the bottom of the first, Gardner-Webb followed and used two three-run innings in the second and fourth to take a commanding 6-1 lead. 

Indiana tried to fight back in the fourth inning by scoring three runs to make it 6-4, but Gardner-Webb shut it down with another run in the top of the seventh inning to close the game. Sophomore pitcher Sophie Kleiman notched seven strikeouts for the Hoosiers.  

Ultimately, the Hoosiers fell 7-4 to give themselves their second season loss.  

Part two of the doubleheader was against Troy for the second time of the weekend. The Trojans took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Stone got the Hoosiers on the board with an RBI single in the top of the third to tie the game.   

It was all about defense on display for the next three innings as Kleiman and Copeland split the pitching duties. Copeland closed out in the circle, allowing zero hits and throwing 17 strikes out of 21 pitches. 

But it was Minnick who came up clutch late in the game with an RBI single to right field to score the game-winning run as senior shortstop Brooke Benson crossed home plate to give the Hoosiers a 2-1 win over the Trojans.  

The final game for the Hoosiers in Troy took place Feb. 18 against Florida A&M once again. The Rattlers were still looking for their first win of the season, but the Hoosiers came out on fire. 

Minnick and Stone each recorded an RBI to give the Hoosiers a 2-0 lead in the first inning. After that, the Hoosiers didn’t stop. Sophomore outfielder Cassidy Kettleman added to the lead with an RBI double in the top of the second inning. In the top of the third, Benson hit an RBI double to give the Hoosiers a 6-0 lead.  

In the top of the fourth inning, sophomore infielder Chloe Geijer extended the lead further with a home run to give the Hoosiers an 8-0 advantage. Geijer’s homerun was one of the four runs the Hoosiers put on the board in the fourth inning. 

To close out the game, Cooper made her collegiate debut in the circle by not allowing a hit to seal the 12-0 run-rule win for the Hoosiers. 

Copeland was a crucial part of the Hoosier's success over the weekend, going 3-0 and throwing 14 strikeouts while only allowing seven hits in 11 1/3 innings of work and holding opposing batters to a .175 batting average.  

Copeland was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week according to a release Monday afternoon.  

Finishing the tournament 4-1 now with an overall record of 8-2, Indiana dropped out of the D1 Softball Top 25 rankings this week. 

Team 51 is set to head west Friday through Sunday at the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, Arizona. The Hoosiers will face No. 17 University of Arizona, Drake University, Central Michigan University and Marshall University.  

Follow reporters Dalton James (@DaltonMJames) and Sam Elster (@samelster1) for updates throughout the Indiana softball season.

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