May 12, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. - In only its first Big Ten Tournament appearance since 1996, sixth-seeded Indiana fought back from an early two-run deficit in thrilling fashion to upset third-seeded Iowa, 5-4, in the eighth inning.
Behind an emotional performance from pitcher Mariagnee Bogado on both sides of the ball, the Hoosiers put together a three-run sixth inning and fought off a late Hawkeye comeback in extra innigns to earn their first-ever trip to the tournament semifinals.
After the Hawkeyes scored runs in the first and second innings to take an early 2-0 lead, freshman pitcher Brittany Weil held the Hoosiers to one hit through the end of the fifth inning.
Indiana rightfielder Lauren Hines needed only one more hit to cut the Iowa lead in half. The senior, who leads the team with 59 hits, cranked a solo home run to right center to lead off the sixth inning and put Indaina on the board. A shaky Weigle walked Rachel Terry two batters later, and then gave up a single to second base Sarah Padove.
After a wild pitch moved those runners to second and third, designated hitter Anna Olson walked on a 3-2 pitch count to load the bases. Abby Page pinch ran for Terry, and Stephanie Pellerito came into pinch for Olson. In the next at-bat, Weigle tossed another ball on a full count to cathcer Janetta Deaven, walking in the tying run from third. After being down 0-2 in the count, Bogado fouled back three-straight pitches to keep her at-bat alive then nailed a line-drive double to right centerfield. Page and Wahl scored on the play to give Indiana the 4-2 lead.
After a runner-up finish in last year's championship, Iowa was not prepared to leave this year's tournament without a win. With shortstop Stacy May on third and Erin Riemersma on second, Bogado took the circle only needing one more out to close out the win for Indiana. Bogado tossed three balls before a wild pitch that hit the dirt and got away from Deaven. May scored as the ball rolled into the fence, and Riemersma crosswed home next when Deaven chucked it over Bogado's head at the plate to tie the game at 4-all.
In the top of the eighth, Deaven slammed a lead-off double to to right erase the memory of her error in the last inning. Weil downed the next two batters on swinging strikes, but third base Jennilee Huddleston cranked another double down the right-field line to score Deaven. After Hines was intentionally walked to put two on with two out, Weil earned her 13th K of the day, outting centerfielder Kim Richards at the plate with a swinging strike.
Bogado didn't make the same mistake twice. She did not surrender an inch for another Iowa comeback, stricking out two more Hawkeyes to end the game. Despite having more hits, a pitcher with more strikeouts and fewer errors, the Hawkeyes couldn't overcome the late Indiana surge.
Indiana will take on second-seeded Michigan on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Northwestern's Sharon J. Drysdale Field. In the teams' previous two meetings, Michigan claimed victories with 22 combined strikeouts from hurlers Jennie Ritter and Lorilyn Wilson.