The Indiana Hoosiers traveled down to Nashville this weekend for the Lipscomb Tournament to face opponents Evansville, Lipscomb, and Akron. Indiana took advantage of this great opportunity to add some cushion to its record, going 5-0 on the weekend, now 14-9 on the season.
Part of Indiana’s success this past weekend is due to its explosive offense. The Hoosiers’ “next 60 feet” mindset has put them at the top of the Big Ten in bases stolen, completing the steal 54 out of 63 times. They are also within the top three in RBIs.
“I can’t be any prouder. This group finds ways, different kids up and down the lineup stepping up,” head coach Shonda Stanton said. “We’re doing a good job offensively and that’s going to be the key for us going into Big Ten play.”
The Hoosiers’ first game against Evansville was the teams only real challenge throughout the weekend. Indiana struck early, scoring two runs in the first inning due to a few free passes, a Sarah Stone ground out advancing runners on base, and an Avery Parker RBI walk.
Evansville would answer at the top of the third, but its two runs would be it for the rest of the game. Pitcher Brianna Copeland was too efficient on the mound with nine strikeouts for Evansville to put up any numbers. Copeland won another game making her 4-0 on the season from the circle.
To round out the game Copeland scored off multiple errors from the Evansville fielders and Taryn Kern would bring home Cora Bassett on an RBI double to center field, giving a final score of 5-2.
The second game of the day against Lipscomb was significantly more dominant.
Indiana started the game with a home run derby from Bassett followed by another from Taylor Minnick. Minnick went 3-for-3 up to bat, adding on one run, three RBIs, a double and a home run. Taryn Kern put up a two-run home run in the top of the third, marking Indiana’s third of the day and Kern’s third of the season. Abby Meeks gave the Hoosiers a fourth home run later on in the game.
Lipscomb was liking Macy Montgomery, getting three hits and two runs but after Heather Johnson came in to pitch Lipscomb only got two hits and one run. Johnson tacked on her fourth win of the season on the mound, putting her at 4-6 on the season.
Indiana’s offense produced 10 runs and 10 RBIs against Lipscomb and tied for the second most home runs in a game this season. Indiana finished the game 11-3.
The next day was more of the same from the Hoosiers, facing Evansville and Lipscomb again.
Early leads were the key for Indiana for both games. The Hoosiers utilized that momentum for the entirety of both games. Throughout the day more notable performances came from Copeland, Kern, Stone in addition to Aaliyah Andrews, who had a two-run home run, and Avery Parker who hit her first career home run.
Johnson got another win in the circle against Evansville, further improving to 5-6 on the season. Copeland also got another win against Lipscomb, undefeated in the circle so far this season.
On Saturday alone Indiana totaled nine stolen bases, 13 hits and 12 RBIs against Evansville, winning 13-1 and 10 hits and 10 RBIs against Lipscomb winning 10-0.
On the final day Indiana came out a little slow against Akron. Copeland was the savior of the game, getting the ball rolling with a home run in the fourth. In addition, she had seven strikeouts and got her sixth win of the season. Bassett and Kern both brought runners home and Avery Parker hit her second career home run in the bottom of the sixth to give Indiana its final score of 5-0.
Although it is spring break, Indiana is not done yet. The Hoosiers have two games during the week on Monday against Western Kentucky and Belmont on Tuesday. They head to Memphis this weekend to face Memphis and Northeastern State.