Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fife Makes A Move; Hoosier Superstar Softball Pitcher

Fife Makes A Move; Hoosier Superstar Softball Pitcher

Dane Fife is moving up by heading out. He’s leaving IPFW for an assistant basketball coaching job at Michigan State, and it’s a no-brainer move.

Fife did as well as anyone on the planet could do at IPFW, a former Division II program that has struggled since moving to Division I status. When he took the job, IPFW wasn’t in a conference, had zero chance of making a postseason tournament and played a brutal road-heavy schedule designed to make money, not victories. Still, his six-year record was 82-97.

The Mastodons had winning records the last two seasons, including 18-12 this past season. That’s their best ever at the Division I level. That was more than enough to position the 31-year-old Fife for another, higher-profile job.

He’d pursued several head coaching jobs in recent years, but those didn’t work out. An assistant under Tom Izzo, is just as good, if not better. He’ll get to work at a perennial Big Ten power while learning from one of the best coaches in the business. He’s back in his home state and, if things work out as expected, in a few years he’ll be positioned to land another, better head coaching job.

Fife first gained fame in the state of Indiana by coming to IU to play for then-coach Bob Knight. Fife’s feisty, defense-first approach made him one of the more colorful playes in Hoosier history. He was a huge part of their surprising 2002 national title-game run.

If Fife could recruit and win at IPFW, imagine what he’ll do at a program with the resources and tradition at Michigan Stae.

Yes, he’s going to have a major impact.


Have you heard of Morgan Melloh? It’s time you did. Why? She’s Indiana’s dominant softball pitcher who just set a school single-season record for strikeouts.

Mellow struck out 14 Ball State hitters in a 3-0 IU victory on Wednesday. That gives her 375 strikeouts for the year, breaking the mark of 370 set by Amy Unterbrink in 1986.

Melloh allowed just two hits and recorded her ninth shutout of the season to improve to 23-14.

She is a big reason why the Hoosiers (28-15) have won eight straight games and are 13-1 at home.

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