No. 1 UIndy on 37-game winning streak
The University of Indianapolis softball team played at home on April 21 against the McKendree University Bearcats in a doubleheader. The Greyhounds won both games with final scores of 4-0 in the first game and 5-1 in the second. The victories extended the Hounds’ winning streak to 37 games.
Senior pitcher/utility player Jennifer DeMotte took the win in the first game, while Freshman pitcher/infielder Morgan Foley took the second.
The Greyhounds allowed the Bearcats to score just one run on the day, during the top of the seventh inning in game two.
UIndy hosted the Bellarmine University Knights on April 20 for a doubleheader, winning both games by the final scores of 8-3 in the first and 2-0 in the second.
In the first game, the Hounds were tied with the Knights headed into the bottom of the second, 2-2. However, the Hounds eventually pulled away with a run in the second, third and fourth innings, and three more runs in the sixth. The Knights scored just one more run in the top of the fourth.
DeMotte took the win, allowing four hits and three runs and striking out eight players.
In the second game, not as many runs were scored, but the Hounds still put up two runs in the bottom of the third, which led to another victory for their winning streak.
Foley took the win in the Hounds’ second game, allowing two hits and zero runs and striking out 14 players.
The Hounds traveled to Cedarville University on April 17 for a midweek doubleheader. The Greyhounds took two in the day, winning the first game 5-0 and the second 6-1.
DeMotte tossed her eighth shutout of the season. This was Demotte’s 19th victory, which extended her record to a perfect 19-0. Demotte fanned five and walked none, giving up only three hits on the game.
The Greyhounds put up three runs in the third and added two more insurance runs in the sixth.
Junior infielder Krysta Bradford was the first to cross the plate in the second round of the doubleheader. Bradford scored in the third inning on an RBI ground ball by freshman outfielder Erika Goodwin. Goodwin, the Greyhounds’ first-year leadoff hitter would also score two runs in the game. The Greyhounds added two runs in the fifth, and the Yellow Jackets answered in the bottom half with their only run of the day. The Greyhounds added three more in the final frame.
Foley gave up one unearned run on four hits. She tallied five k’s and walked two, earning her 21st win of the year.
These two wins stretched the No. 1 Greyhounds’ winning-streak to 33. Sophomore outfielder Casey Williamson said that she believes the addition of Foley to the pitching staff and the strong UIndy hitting squad are what make this team even better than it was last year.
“Jen had to throw a lot more games for us last year, more than she probably wanted to. I think that having two strong pitchers has definitely aided us. And we returned almost all of our hitters from last year too,” Williamson said. “Obviously, we’re a little disappointed with how far we got last year at the end of the season, but I think that with the pitching we have this year, it’s [a national championship] a little bit more accessible.”
Head Softball Coach Melissa Frost-Fisher said that she believes this is the best team she has ever coached and thinks the amount of talent she has this year is even better than the 2009 team that made its way to the national championship.
“The depth of the team, the versatility of the players, the willingness and the hunger of this team is a little bit different. They remind me of the team that went to the World Series,” Frost-Fisher said. “We are a much deeper pitching staff, we’re a much deeper hitting staff and we’re much deeper defensively than we were that year.”
UIndy hosted the Great Lakes Valley Conference opponent Kentucky Wesleyan College Panthers on April 14 for a Sunday afternoon doubleheader. The Greyhounds maintained their perfect conference record, winning both games in the match.
The first frame concluded with an 8-0 Greyhound lead, and the Panthers would not recover, taking an 11-1 loss in a game shortened by the run rule. Sophomore utility player Taylor Russell collected four RBIs in the game, three of them from a bases-clearing double in the first. Junior utility player Alexa Alfaro went deep for a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, her third home run of the year.
Game two was another offensive display by the Greyhounds, who scored 11 more runs on nine hits, three of which were home runs, two coming off the bat of Williamson. Foley took the win in game two, giving up two solo home runs for the only two runs of the ballgame.
Frost-Fisher is happy with her team’s focus and energy and especially happy that the players are staying on top.
“A lot of people want to take down No. 1, and the target has gotten bigger on our back, but that’s a good problem to have. It causes us to elevate our game and to stay at the level that we have been trying to play at,” Frost-Fisher said.
The Hounds welcomed the University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles for two in-conference games on April 13. In game one, the Screaming Eagles pushed ahead 3-0 in the first three innings, which was the biggest deficit the Greyhounds had faced all year, according to Frost-Fisher.
“They’re the ones who snapped our win streak last year. Everyone just took a deep breath and got back to our game plan. You could see them overcome the adversity of being down three runs, which is the most we’ve been down all year,” Frost-Fisher said.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Greyhounds scored three runs, two coming off of a double by senior infielder Kelsey Rummel. Rummel added a third RBI in the bottom of the sixth, with a single through the right side that scored the go-ahead run. DeMotte collected the win, allowing three runs on eight hits and striking out five players.
The momentum rolled over into the second game as the Greyhounds posted six runs in the bottom of the first. Williamson hit a three-run homer, which was followed shortly after by a two-run shot off the bat of freshman catcher/infielder Jenny Thompson. Foley threw a one-hit, no-run game, tallying eight strikeouts on the day. The Greyhounds went on to win 8-0 in a shortened game.
Williamson believes her team has all the parts to win a national championship and thinks that the team’s chemistry is what makes it special this year.
“This year’s team is a lot closer overall than last year’s team, even though we were on a 30-game win streak last year as well. We haven’t made a big deal out of it this year. Last year, we talked a little bit more about it. This year, it’s just kind of an expectation of ours to play at that level,” Williamson said.
The only way her team can lose is if it beats itself, according to Frost-Fisher. Frost-Fisher has faith her players have learned from last year and will do everything they can to make this their year.
“We’re more focused on the task at hand. We really stubbed our toe last year at the end of the season, and we talked about why we did it, how we did it, and what can we do to fix it. And it’s just been a constant reminder for us,” Frost-Fisher said.
UIndy will host GLVC opponent Saint Joseph’s College today, April 24, for a midweek doubleheader at 3 p.m.