Monday, March 26, 2012
Sports News

ISU softball uses homers to take 2 from Wichita State

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[March 26, 2012]  NORMAL -- Jordan Birch recorded the 500th strikeout of her career as the Illinois State softball team (17-13, 4-1 MVC) defeated Missouri Valley Conference rival Wichita State (7-22, 0-5 MVC) Saturday afternoon at Marian Kneer Stadium. The Redbirds won the first game 3-0 and came from behind in the second game for a 5-3 win.

In the circle, Birch recorded a one-hitter in the first game, sitting down 11 Shocker batters, and she came in as a relief pitcher in the second game to take the win and improve to 10-8 on the season.

Laura Canopy was 4 of 6 from the batter's box in the doubleheader and scored a run. Elizabeth Kay was 2 of 3 in the first game with a two-run homer, while Jhavon Hamilton recorded an RBI in the game. In the second game, Caiti Kopp was 2 of 2 at the plate and recorded two RBIs. Kelsey Turczyn hit a solo homer over the center field wall and Lauren Kellar had a two-run shot both in the bottom of the sixth to secure the Redbird win.

Game 1 recap: Illinois State 3, Wichita State 0

Stephanie Gallant singled up the middle to lead off the third inning and moved over to third off a successful sacrifice bunt by Kolby Hoffman. Gallant scored after Hamilton hit a deep sacrifice fly to center field, pushing across ISU's first run of the game for a 1-0 lead.


ISU left two runners on in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth, as Lizzie Andrews walked and made it to third on a single through the right side by Canopy, who advanced to second on the WSU throw to third. The Redbirds couldn't push the runs across and headed into the fifth inning with their one-run lead.

After being shut down by Birch through the first four innings, Wichita State got some offense going in the fifth, as Erin Carney reached first after being hit by a pitch and moved to second on a single to the left side by Melanie Jaegers, but the Shockers weren't able to score and left two runners on base to end the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Kellar recorded a leadoff double with a blooper to shallow left field. With no outs and Kellar in scoring position, Kay stepped into the batter's box and sent a ball over the left field wall to increase ISU's lead to 3-0. Canopy and pinch hitter Sara Bradley hit back-to-back singles up the middle to put runners on first and second with one out, but the Redbirds couldn't get the runners to touch the plate. The Shockers weren't able to put any runs on the board in their final attempt, and ISU won the first game 3-0.

Game 2 recap: Illinois State 5, Wichita State 3

In the top of the first, WSU's Sydney Stuever got on base off a Redbird error and scored early for the Shockers off a double to right center by Carney. With two outs in ISU's half of the inning, Kay hit a double off the right-field wall, as Andrews drew a walk to put runners on first and second, but Andrews got picked off at first to end the inning.

[to top of second column]

Wichita State kept the offense going early in the game, when Brianne Bond and Sammie Shook each walked to put runners on first and second. With one out, Stuever hit a double to score Bond and move runners into scoring position to take a two-run lead, 2-0. In the bottom half of the second, Canopy hit a leadoff triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kopp to cut WSU's lead to one, 2-1.

Andrews and Canopy hit back-to-back singles with two outs in the bottom of the third, as Kopp recorded her second RBI of the game and kept the two-out rally going with a single that drove in Andrews from second to tie the game at 2-2.

After three scoreless innings for the Shockers, Carney hit a leadoff homer over the left-center field wall to give WSU a slight advantage over ISU, 3-2, in the top of the sixth.

Illinois State's bats came to life in the bottom of the sixth, as pinch hitter Turczyn crushed a leadoff homer to dead center field, tying the game at 3-3. With two outs and a runner on first, Kellar hit a shot over the right field wall to give ISU its first lead of the game, 5-3. WSU wasn't able to produce any more runs, and ISU topped the Shockers by two, 5-3, in the comeback victory.

Illinois State was to be back on the diamond Sunday in the final game of a three-game series against Wichita State. The game was slated to begin at noon.


Game 1 box score

Game 2 box score

[Text from file received from Illinois State]

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