The Redbirds (24-19, 9-6 MVC) enter Wednesday's twin bill tied
for fourth in the Valley standings, just a half-game back of
Creighton. ISU took two of three games from Drake last weekend at
Marian Kneer Stadium, winning the first contests, 3-2 and 7-0,
before dropping an 11-inning affair 5-4 in Sunday's series finale.
Senior pitcher Jordan Birch went 1-1 in the circle with 23
strikeouts around just one walk in 18 innings, including a
career-high 11 innings in Sunday's matchup. Fellow senior Megan
Warner earned her third shutout of the season in Saturday's
nightcap, scattering six hits without issuing a free pass.
Elizabeth Kay led the Illinois State offense in the series, going
5 for 11 with three runs scored, two doubles and two RBIs, including
a 3-for-3 effort in game two.
Sophomore Laura Canopy has been the Redbirds' top hitter this season
and enters Wednesday's games with a .333 average, including a .467
mark in league games. Junior Jhavon Hamilton owns a .324 average and
has been the squad's top power threat with seven homers and 24 RBIs.
Junior Lauren Kellar has reached base safely in her last 12 games
and bolsters the ISU lineup with a .284 average and two triples.
In the circle, Birch leads Illinois State's pitching staff with a
14-12 record and 1.83 ERA, the second-best mark in the league. The
Monroe, Wash., native leads the Valley with 157 strikeouts and is
holding opposing hitters to a .215 batting average in her 149.0
innings of work. Warner is currently 9-6 with a 3.59 ERA and has
fanned 37 opposing hitters in 95.2 innings. In league contests,
Warner is 3-1 with a 1.41 ERA and two shutouts.
(15-24, 2-12 MVC) split a conference doubleheader with Bradley,
after rain forced a cancellation of Saturday's games, in its last
Valley series. The Sycamores captured game one of Sunday's double
dip 2-1 in eight innings, before falling 4-2 in the nightcap.
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Indiana State's other league win came two weekends ago in
Carbondale, when the Sycamores defeated Southern Illinois
Indiana State was picked 10th in the MVC Preseason Coaches'
Poll and is currently in that position in the league standings, a
half-game back of Wichita State. The Sycamores are led by first-year
head coach Shane Bouman.
As a team, Indiana State is hitting just .234, but
four players boast averages over .300. Hailey Tinsman owns a
team-best .346 mark with six doubles, and Megan Stone is hitting
.343 and leads the team with 15 stolen bases. Shelby Wilson and Alex
Baumgart have posted averages of .321 and .311, respectively, and
Wilson leads the squad with 18 RBIs.
In the circle, reigning MVC
Pitcher of the Week Lindsey Beisser leads the Sycamore staff with an
8-14 record and 1.86 ERA. Beisser is holding opponents to a .205
batting average and has notched 139 strikeouts in 150 1-3 innings. Ashli Scott, Indiana State's second starter, is 5-8 in the circle
with a 2.80 ERA in 75 innings.
Illinois State and Indiana State have met 85 times in series
history, with the Redbirds holding a 72-13 advantage. Illinois State
swept the three-game set with the Sycamores last season and combined
to hit 13 home runs in the series. The Redbirds have won 31 of the
last 34 meetings.
news release received
from Dustin Hall, athletics
communications, Illinois State University]