During an action-packed Big Ten Tournament this past weekend, the Northwestern Wildcats took down the Indiana Hoosiers in the championship game 2-1. Although there is the agony of defeat for Indiana — who was just three outs away from the program’s first title heading into the bottom of the seventh inning — it cannot last long as Team 50 is heading to Knoxville, Tennessee for the team’s first NCAA Tournament since 2011.
Four Hoosiers made the Big Ten All-Tournament Team. Brianna Copeland was the highlight for the Hoosiers as she hit two home runs and pitched for 17 innings with eight strikeouts. Sarah Stone also had two homers on three hits in the weekend. Taylor Minnick hit a two-run home run in the 5-3 win over No. 3 Minnesota, and Cora Bassett rounded out the Hoosiers on the All-Tournament Team as she had three RBIs in the tournament.
The Hoosiers did enough damage in the regular season to earn an NCAA bid and after tournament play finished with a 42-16 record heading to the NCAA Tournament. The Big Ten earned three at-large bids alongside the automatic qualifier that Northwestern had to make the tourney. Nebraska and Minnesota are the other Big Ten schools.
The University of Tennessee is the host for the Hoosiers’ regional tournament from May 19-21 where Indiana is coming in as the No. 2 seed in the region. Indiana will be taking on No. 3 seed Louisville on Friday.
This will be a rematch between the Cardinals and the Hoosiers as the two teams saw each other on April 11 at Andy Mohr Field where Indiana won 10-5.
Louisville is currently on a four-game losing streak as the Cardinals got swept by ACC opponent and the No. 3 team in the country Florida State, and then lost in the ACC Tournament to Virginia Tech. Prior to the recent woes the Cardinals were 10-1 since the defeat to Indiana with the lone loss coming from the No. 1 team in the country, Oklahoma, where the Cardinals fell 10-1.
It is double elimination play in the regional round as the winner of this game will take on the winner of No. 1 seed Tennessee and No. 4 seed Northern Kentucky. The Volunteers are the fourth overall seed in the entire tournament and Northern Kentucky finished the year with a 23-30 record.
Team 50 was projected to finish 10th in the Big Ten this season, and now is a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. To say the least, the Hoosiers have defied the odds as they look to continue this special season.