Hoosiers complete sweep of Purdue to end regular season
May 14, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Hoosiers (37-16, 17-3 Big Ten) completed the regular season on Saturday with a 4-0 victory over in-state rival Purdue (30-18-2, 8-9-1 Big Ten) at the IU Softball Field. The Hoosiers finish the regular season in second place in the Big Ten Conference, its highest finish since winning the conference title in 1994.
"One of our goals this season was to win a Big Ten championship, unfortunately we came up one game short of that," Indiana head coach Michelle Gardner said. "But we have a had a great regular season and now it is on to the postseason and that is something that I know we are all looking forward to."
The Hoosiers now must wait for the NCAA Tournament Selection Show that airs on ESPNU at 10:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. The Hoosiers will find out which of the 16 regional sites they will be sent to with games to be played May 19-22. It is expected to be the first postseason appearance for the Hoosiers since 2006 and the seventh appearance all-time.
Once again, the story of the game was the dominant pitching of senior left-handed pitcher Morgan Melloh (32-15). She tossed her 13th shutout of the season, surrendering just four hits and two walks to go with seven strikeouts. Those seven strikeouts gives her 221 in Big Ten play this season, setting a new conference record for strikeouts in a season in Big Ten play.
The Hoosiers took the lead early thanks to another Purdue miscue in the field. With runners at first and second in the bottom of the first inning, Purdue pitcher Suzie Rzegocki uncorked a wild pitch that allowed both runners to move up one base. But the ball got so far away from the catcher that both runners looked to take a second base, which forced the Purdue catcher to make a throw to Rzegocki covering the plate. But the throw went over Rzegocki's head and into the Purdue dugout, allowing both runners to score and make it a 2-0 IU lead.
It was the heart of the IU lineup that did more damage in the bottom of the third inning when senior Sara Olson drew a two-out walk. That allowed Amanda Wagner to step in and crush a two-run home run to center field to make it 4-0 in favor of the Hoosiers.
That was all the breathing room that Melloh would need in the circle, as she allowed just three base runners the rest of the game and preserve the win on Senior Day.
Senior Kelsey Stander also had a great day at the plate, beating out a pair of infield singles for her fourth multi-hit game of the season. Sophomore Breanna Saucedo also extended her active hit streak to eight games with a single in the fourth inning.
Indiana also gains a full point in the Smithville Crimson & Gold Cup to take a 10-8 lead with 2 points remaining (men's and women's track and field).