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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

sports softball

Indiana softball falls in NCAA tournament regional to close its season

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Indiana softball's 2024 season came to an end May 18 as the team fell to Missouri in the NCAA tournament regional. After repeatedly showing its toughness to come back in games and keep their heads high throughout the season, the Hoosiers had no gas left when they arrived in Columbia, Missouri.  

Heading into the season, head coach Shonda Stanton emphasized how Team 51 wanted to take a step further and prove why it shouldn’t be underestimated. Last season, the Hoosiers left the regional final in a heartbreaking 7-3 loss to the University of Tennessee after winning two games against the University of Louisville to cap off a historic season. Stanton and the seniors wanted revenge this year and to show the program deserved to be in these games.  

“We want to get into supers,” Stanton said before the season. “Because once you get to supers, anything can happen in terms of a Women’s College World Series, so we've got some lofty goals with this group. We’re hungry and we got talent to show.” 

However, Indiana ultimately fell short of their postseason goals. 

The Hoosiers made it to the postseason but fell to Washington in the first game of the regional, putting them in a must-win situation. 

They played Missouri on Saturday but looked a step behind the Tigers during the game.   

Missouri was the first to strike in the top of the first inning when they scored two unearned runs. Junior pitcher and utility player Brianna Copeland was in the circle for the first two innings, with sophomore pitcher Sophie Kleiman following suit in the last five. Both threw a pair of strikeouts, but Copeland had one error while Kleiman had three. The self-inflicted mistakes cost the Hoosiers runs that could have been avoided.  

The Hoosier defense, though, was strong — particularly the infield, which made critical plays to get out of sticky innings.  

There was no action on the scoreboard until the top of the sixth inning when the Tigers scored an unearned run. In the top of the seventh, Missouri was back at it, scoring two more runs to make it a 5-0 lead headed into the final inning. 

The only answer the Hoosiers had left was a solo home run by junior infielder Sarah Stone, making it her 10th on the season.  

Indiana ended its NCAA tournament run in Columbia with a 5-1 loss. The Hoosiers finished the 2024 season with an overall record of 40-20, a similar ending to the season as last year when they lost in the regional final.  

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

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