March in Indiana always leads to unpredictable weather and once again that was the case on a sunny yet cold Tuesday evening where the Indiana squad got rolling, extending its win streak to 16 in a row with the 9-1 beatdown of the Butler Bulldogs in five innings.
Brianna Copeland got the start in the circle which is her third start in four games. Copeland would pitch for three innings where she continued to be undefeated on the season (11-0). Her four strikeouts moved her to ninth in the Big Ten with 74 total.
The Hoosiers continued to let the bats fly early as Taylor Minnick hit an RBI single in the right field gap to send Cora Bassett and Tatum Hayes home to put the Hoosiers up 2-0 on just the third at bat of the game.
Copeland, Avery Parker and Brooke Benson would all record RBI singles putting Indiana up 5-0 after just one inning.
“We got hitters in the lineup…it makes it easy to score runs,” Indiana head coach Shonda Stanton said.
A quick three up three down inning by Butler had Taryn Kern up at the plate to do Taryn Kern things in the second inning.
The three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week continues to make her case for Freshman of the Year as she sent one over the fences to lead off the second inning. Kern now has 12 home runs on the season and 36 RBIs which both lead the Big Ten.
“That’s pretty big time,” Stanton said of Kern’s home run and recent play.
Indiana would keep Butler off the board for a third consecutive inning yet the offense slowed down a bit as IU held onto a 6-0 lead heading into the fourth.
Macy Montgomery would take over at the circle where some early struggles led to a bases loaded situation after two walks and a hit. Montgomery would stay composed with only giving up one run on a sacrifice fly and closing out the inning with a strikeout as the Hoosiers led 6-1.
The Hoosiers’ final time at bat was enough to put the Bulldogs out of reach even against the Big East Pitcher of the Week Mackenzie Griman.
Copeland and Parker both added another RBI to their hitting day. Copeland, Parker and Minnick would all finish with two RBIs. A little bit of chaos to close the fourth had pinch runner Elle Smith stealing home for the final run of the day.
Sophie Kleiman would close out the game at the circle making only her 11th appearance this year.
“We wanted to give everybody a little bit of work,” Stanton said of using three pitchers in the game.
Indiana is just two wins away from tying the most consecutive games won in Hoosier history at 18 (a record set in 1983) when the team travels to Purdue for a double-header on Wednesday to continue Big Ten play.