Illinois State's Megan Warner led the Redbirds back into first place in the league standings by tossing a no-hitter in game one of Saturday's doubleheader against Southern Illinois. Warner out-dueled Danielle Glosson for the 1-0 win. Illinois State followed with an 11-2 statement in game two to earn the series win and a half-game lead in the conference standings. In other action, Drake swept Missouri State to move to 9-4 in MVC play and into third place. Creighton swept UNI and Bradley swept Indiana State, while Evansville and Wichita State split a pair.
Illinois State 1, Southern Illinois 0
Illinois State 11, Southern Illinois 0
CARBONDALE, Ill. - In Saturday's first game, Megan Warner threw a no-hitter and led the Illinois State softball team to a doubleheader sweep over Southern Illinois Saturday afternoon at the Charlotte West Field in Carbondale, Ill. ISU won the first game by one run, 1-0, before topping SIU, 11-2, in the second game. The no-hitter was the first of Warner's collegiate career and it was the first time a Redbird pitcher has thrown a no-hitter since pitching coach Shannon Nicholson accomplished the feat against Wright State on March 12, 2005.
Illinois State had numerous big hits in Saturday's double header coming from several Redbird batters. In the first game, Abby Olson hit a double to drive in the game-winning run, while Elizabeth Kay hit a three-run shot in the second game. Also in the second game, Kara Nelson recorded back-to-back triples and drove in a run with each hit.
In the circle, Warner and Jordan Birch each grabbed wins Saturday. Warner improved her record to 10-6, while Birch struck out seven SIU batters in ISU's second game and moved her record to 12-6 on the season.
Game One Recap: Illinois State 1, Southern Illinois 0
The first contest between ISU (24-13, 12-2 MVC) and SIU (27-15, 12-3 MVC) was a pitcher's duel between Warner and Danielle Glosson. Warner struck out seven Saluki batters and recorded four assists, while Glosson retired 10 Redbird batters.
Nelson walked in the first and reached second on a sacrifice bunt by Jhavon Hamilton, but the junior second baseman was left stranded at second to end the inning.
In the fourth with one out, Kay reached first on a single to left field. Michelle Henderson stepped into the batter's box and hit a deep shot to left field. Henderson's hit appeared to be a home run until SIU's Mallory Duran made a leaping catch to rob the homer from the senior first baseman.
Hamilton singled with a slap hit over the shortstop and was driven in on a double to the left center field gap by Olson in the top of the sixth. Kay was walked by Glosson to put runners on first and second, but ISU would end the inning without scoring anymore runs.
Only one Saluki batter reached base on an error by Warner. The loss was the second shutout of the season for the Salukis.
Game Two Recap: Illinois State 11, Southern Illinois 2
Southern Illinois' Haley Gorman singled to right field to start things off for the Salukis in the second game. Gorman tried to steal second, but was thrown out by Brianna Lizen for the first SIU out. With two outs in the first, Alicia Garza hit single to right field. Garza attempted to steal second, but was thrown out by Lizen for the third out of the inning. Garza was a perfect 15-for-15 in stolen base attempts this season until Saturday's game. It was the first time since 2008 that Garza had been caught stealing.
The Redbirds' offense came to life in the third inning when ISU scored four runs on three hits and one Saluki error. Nelson started the two-out rally when she was walked and quickly stole second. Hamilton stepped into the batter's box and hit a single to the right side of the infield and scored Nelson from second. The Salukis walked Olson, which brought up Kay, who hit a three-run shot over the left field fence. The home run was the seventh of Kay's career.
Illinois State continued to push runs across in the fourth when Shelby Music scored on a wild pitch by Alex Peters.
ISU got back on the board again in the sixth when Nelson hit a triple to right center field and scored Lauren Kellar, who was standing on first after reaching on a Saluki error. Nelson crossed the plate on a wild pitch by Glosson increasing ISU's lead by seven runs.
Still in the sixth, Hamilton was walked and moved to second on a single by Olson. Illinois State loaded the bases after Glosson walked Henderson. Niki Stansell knocked a single to shallow right center field and pushed across Hamilton and Olson to lengthen the Redbirds' lead by nine.
After going scoreless for the first 12 innings of Saturday's doubleheader, SIU got on the board in the sixth when Katie Wilson hit a double off of the left field wall and drove in two Saluki runs.
In the seventh, Nelson hit a stand-up triple to the right center field wall and drove in Kellar, just as she did in the sixth. Olson hit a grounder down the third base line and drove Nelson in for the second run of the inning.
Southern Illinois would not score any runs in the seventh giving ISU the doubleheader sweep.
Illinois State will return to the field Sunday for the series finale against Southern Illinois. The game is slated to being at noon.
Creighton 8, UNI 2
Creighton 4, UNI 3
OMAHA, Neb. -- Amy Baker homered twice and drove in four runs as the Creighton Softball team opened a weekend series against Northern Iowa with an 8-2 win on Saturday afternoon at the CU Sports Complex. An Omaha native, Baker now has eight round-trippers in her last 10 games and her 11 homers this year are a Bluejay freshman record.
After a great defensive play by Ashley Frutos kept UNI off the scoreboard in the top of the first, the Bluejays didn't waste any time going to work. Following a walk to Michelle Koch to open the bottom of the first inning, Renae Sinkler battled through a 10-pitch at-bat to push her 16th homer of the season out to right-center. Three pitches later, Baker went deep for her 10th homer of the season.
Both homers tied school records. Sinkler's round-tripper tied CU's single-season mark prevously held by TJ Eadus in 2007. Baker's blast tied the Creighton freshman record for single-season homers, previously set by Lauren (Flores) Cisneros in 2003.
UNI scored a pair of two-out runs in the third inning. Megan Machovec walked with two outs and motored to third on Mackenzie Daigh's single that followed. Both women would score on Jen Larsen's single to left, trimming CU's lead to 3-2.
Creighton put the Panthers away with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Koch singled to end Larsen's day in the circle. Eranne Daugharthy came on to pitch and allowed a bunt single to Sinkler. Baker then hit her second homer of the day, a high fly ball over the left-field foul pole that plated three more runs. Christa Ruf drove home CU's final tally of the frame with a single up the middle to score Kari Sakamoto, who had come on to pinch-run for Lauren Larson.
The final Bluejay run of the game came in the bottom of the sixth inning, when pinch-hitter Danai Martin was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on Sinkler's triple down the left-field line.
Sinkler finished the game a double shy of the cycle, going 3-for-3 with a walk and three RBI. Baker, with her two homers, as well as Ruf each joined Sinkler with multiple hits in game one.
Tara Oltman (18-9) threw a complete game in the circle for Creighton, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out six.
Larsen (11-6) was tagged with the loss. She yielded four runs in four-plus innings of work. Daigh and Lindsay Callanan combined for four of UNI's five hits in the contest.
OMAHA, Neb. -- The Creighton softball team stretched its Missouri Valley Conference winning streak to five with a 4-3 win over Northern Iowa, completing a doubleheader sweep of the Panthers on Saturday at the CU Sports Complex. Creighton won the first game of the twinbill 8-2.
With the sweep, Creighton is now 22-18 on the campaign and 7-5 in MVC action. UNI dropped to 20-19 overall and is 7-7 in league play.
Creighton dented the scoreboard first with two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Christa Ruf singled and moved to second on a bunt by Jessi Jadlowski. After a walk to Michelle Koch, Renae Sinkler's foul out in the right-field corner advanced runners to second and third. Ruf would dive in under the tag on a wild pitch by UNI starter Melissa Tillett to give CU the 1-0 lead. Amy Baker made it 2-0 with a single that landed in front of centerfielder Megan Machovec, scoring Koch.
Bluejay ace Tara Oltman replaced CU starter Kylie Hovinga to start the fifth inning, and UNI's Kim Wachholder and Eranne Daugharthy both greeted her with singles. After consecutive pop outs to third, Oltman loaded the bases when she hit ninth-place hitter Hannah Borschel. Machovec then beat out an infield single, scoring Wachholder, before Mackenzie Daigh popped to second to end the Panther threat.
Creighton responded with two insurance runs to create some breathing room for Oltman. With two outs, Sinkler singled down the third-base line. Walks by Baker and Michelle Graner loaded the bases, and Lauren Larson ripped a liner to center that landed inches in front of a diving Machovec, plating two.
UNI answered back in the top of the sixth. Jen Larsen reached second on an error to start the inning and would score when Livi Abney laced a ground-rule double to right-center. Oltman then locked horns with Wachholder in an intense 13-pitch at-bat that ended with a walk. Oltman would buckle down though, retiring the next three Panthers to maintain the 4-2 lead.
Oltman fended off UNI's final challenge in the seventh, but not before a major scare. After striking out Borschel to open the inning, Machovec would single down the third-base line and go to second on a throwing error. Daigh would rip a double down the right-field line, scoring Machovec to make it 4-3. Daigh moved to third on a groundout by Larsen for the second out. Abney then was hit a pitch to put runners at the corners and courtesy runner Samantha Waters stole second, but the eventual tying and go-ahead runs were stranded when Wachholder fanned on a 1-2 pitch up in the zone to end the game.
Hovinga (3-4) was perfect through three innings and allowed just one hit in four innings to pick up the win. She struck out six batters, one shy of her season-high. Oltman needed 83 pitches to earn her second save of the season with three innings of relief.
Tillett (4-12) was saddled with the defeat. She allowed seven hits, three walks and hit two batters to go along with four wild pitches in 102 pitches. Machovec led the Panther offense with three of her team's seven hits.
Creighton and UNI will conclude their series on Sunday with a noon game at the CU Sports Complex.
Drake 3, Missouri State 1
Drake 8, Missouri State 0
DES MOINES, IOWA - The Drake University softball team swept a Missouri Valley Conference doubleheader against Missouri State, Saturday, winning the opener, 3-1, and taking the second game, 8-0, in five innings.
The Bulldogs won both games behind timely hitting and dominant pitching from junior aces Brynne Dordel (Chanhassen, Minn.) and Jenna DeLong (Dalton Gardens, Idaho).
Dordel opened game one with six shutout innings before allowing a pinch-hit home run to Missouri State's Stevie Pierce. The junior had allowed just three hits prior to the seventh and finished the game to earn her 14th win of the season.
DeLong topped her teammate with a five-inning, one hit effort in game two. The junior faced the minimum in the second, third and fifth innings and struck out eight in the complete-game shutout victory. The win put DeLong at 14-6 on the season.
Offensively, freshman Macie Silliman (Winterset, Iowa) extended her season-best five-game hitting streak with a single in game one and her first-career home run in game two. Silliman is batting .533 (8-14) with four RBI, four runs scored and five stolen bases and has raised her season batting average from .241 to .301 over the last five games.
Joining Silliman with home runs was DeLong, who slammed her first of the season in the third inning of game two. Freshman Lindsey Vande Wall (Prairie City, Iowa) hit her ninth homer of the season in game one, tying her with senior Elena Leon (West Des Moines, Iowa) for the team lead.
Junior Erin Mollohan (Tinley Park, Ill.) slapped two doubles to up her season total to a team-best 15.
Drake improved to 28-11 overall, 9-4 in the MVC. The Bulldogs and Missouri State will play game three Sunday at noon.
Bradley 5, Indiana State 2 (9)
Bradley 12, Indiana State 2 (5)
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Bradley needed extra innings to take the series opener against Indiana State, topping the Sycamores 5-2 in nine innings and the Braves made quick work of the Sycamores in the nightcap with a 12-2, five-inning win as BU swept a doubleheader Saturday at Price Field.
Sophomore Jackie Roth (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) highlighted the day, going 6-for-7 at the plate with four runs scored and two RBI as she helped Bradley improve to 15-23 overall and 5-10 in Missouri Valley Conference play.
The Braves had to rally to force extra innings in the opening game after falling behind 2-0. Senior Amanda Clack (Hillsboro, Mo./Hillsboro) opened the top of the fourth inning with a single and stole second. She moved to third on a groundout and later scored on a two-out single by Roth to pull Bradley to within one run at 2-1.
With the Braves still trailing 2-1 in the top of the seventh, Roth got things started with a one-out single to left and moved to third on a double off the bat of senior Lauren Meister (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) . Bradley loaded the bases when pinch hitter Alison Kresl (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) was hit by a pitch and Roth tied the score at 2-2 when she scored on an RBI groundout by freshman Taylor Cox (Loveland, Colo./Andover [Kan.]).
Junior pitcher Katie Dennis (Gilbert, Ariz./Mesquite) retired the Sycamores in order in the seventh to force extra innings. Dennis, who entered the game in the third inning trailing 2-0, scattered three hits over seven innings and retired the final 10 batters she faced after surrendering a one-out single in the sixth.
Bradley pushed three runs across in the top of the ninth inning to take the opener 5-2. Roth opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. She then stole home for what proved to be the game-winning run and put the Braves ahead 3-2. Senior Lindsay Watkins (Hopedale, Ill./Olympia/Parkland) followed with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. Senior Janay Mitchell (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South) plated Watkins from second with a double to left and Mitchell came around to score when senior Jacqueline Vitale (Indian Head Park, Ill./Lyons Township) reached on an error as the Braves took a 5-2 lead.
Dennis picked up the victory to even her record at 5-5. She struck out two and walked one in seven innings in relief. Lindsey Beisser took the loss for Indiana State to fall to 5-3 on the year. Beisser struck out 10 and walked just one in nine complete innings, but gave up 11 hits and five runs (four earned).
In the nightcap, Bradley struck for seven runs in the top of the second inning and cruised to a 12-2, five inning win. Clack got things started for the Braves in the second when she reached on an error to open the inning. Junior Brittany Fairbairn (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East/Kankakee) drove in Clack with her team-leading third triple of the year and Fairbairn scored on a single by sophomore Julie Sherman (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg).
Bradley had runners at second and third after a Roth single and double steal before Watkins drove in a run when she reached on a fielder's choice bunt. Cox added another run with a bunt single and Mitchell made the score 5-0 with an RBI single up the middle. The Braves added two more runs when Clack singled to score Mitchell and Cox as BU pushed its lead to 7-0.
Indiana State (15-25 overall, 1-14 MVC) pushed one run across in the bottom of the second inning. The Sycamores loaded the bases with back-to-back singles and a two-out walk, before Alyssa Doyle drew a two-out, bases loaded walk to cut BU's advantage to 7-1. Indiana State would not push another run across and left the bases loaded in the second.
The Braves struck for another run in the third inning. Sherman singled and moved to second on a groundout. She stole third and scored on a throwing error on the play to give Bradley an 8-1 lead.
The Sycamores answered with a single run in the bottom of the third inning when Beisser hit a one-out homer to cut BU's lead to 8-2.
Bradley put the finishing touches on the doubleheader sweep with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. Fairbairn led things off with a walk and later scored on a one-out single by Roth. Meister followed with a single and junior Lauren Kelly (Lawrence, Kan./Lawrence) drove in another run with a pinch-hit double to right. Cox had a run-scoring single to left and Mitchell capped the scoring with an RBI groundout to give BU a 12-2 advantage.
Clack picked up the victory in the circle for the Braves, pitching 2.2 innings in relief of Bradley starter Brandi Ore (Versailles, Ky./Paul Laurence Dunbar) to improve to 8-6. Indiana State had just one player reach base against Clack, when Kim Pierce reached on an error in the fourth inning. Meagan McCurdy suffered the loss for the Sycamores, giving up eight hits and 10 runs (six earned) in 4.1 innings to fall to 6-14 on the year.
Bradley and Indiana State close out the three-game series Sunday with a single game at 11 a.m. (CDT) in Terre Haute, Ind.
Evansville 3, Wichita State 1
Wichita State 7, Evansville 3
EVANSVILLE, Ind.-The University of Evansville softball team was able to jump ahead early in day one versus Wichita State, but after closing the deal 3-1 in the first contest, the Shockers (15-23, 5-9) came back with three runs in the seventh and eighth to take game two 7-4 over the Aces (13-23, 6-10) on Saturday at James and Dorothy Cooper Stadium
Evansville 3, Wichita State 1
UE got the weekend started in the second inning with Kelci Alsip singling down the left field line. After Alsip moved up to second on a groundout, Brianna Villanueva doubled to right to bring in the first run. With Villanueva on third from a passed ball, Halie Malone hit a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Aces ahead 2-0.
The home team continued with its offense in the third with Jen Stahlhut collecting one of her two hits in game one with a single up the middle. Amy Gaertner then posted a hit to advance Stahlhut to third before Stahlhut stole home to bring in the final UE run.
WSU got its run in the fourth inning after a sacrifice fly in foul territory brought in the lone runner and end the scoring at 3-1.
Kendall Kautz (10-8) earned the win after going the distance and giving up five hits with one walk and one strikeout. Brianna Smet (1-5) took the loss after pitching 2.1 innings and giving up all three runs with two earned runs while striking out two and walking one.
Wichita State 7, Evansville 4
The Shockers started game two with aggressive bats, as the first two batters each earned a hit. A double from Kiersten Dixon brought in the visitors' first run and first lead. UE answered in the second as Villanueva and Tamara Robey scored from a Malone single and Shocker error to put UE at 2-1.
After four scoreless innings, WSU's bats came alive, as the Shockers scored three runs off of five hits to earn their first lead at 4-2. The Aces counteracted in the bottom of the inning with two runs off of three hits, as Gaertner, Alicia Betancur and Krista Price all counted for hits. Gaertner singled before Betancur doubled to let Gaertner go to third. Price brought those two in from her hit to tie the game for extra innings.
WSU's offensive became too much for the Aces in the eighth, as three more hits plus three runs ended the game at 7-4 in favor of the Shockers.
WSU's Kasha Kolb (9-13) posted the win after going 6.1 innings with seven hits and eight strikeouts. All of UE's pitching staff saw time in the circle, but Maggie Little (0-3) would get the loss after giving up two hits and two runs in relief for starter Jen McKee, who struck out four and gave up one run, and Kautz. Elizabeth Grover closed out the game with two hits and a run.
The teams ended game two with a combined 25 hits, as nine batters earned multiple hits in the contest, including WSU's Jamie Hull and UE's Jamie Lindauer recording three each.
The Aces and Shockers will close out the series on Sunday with a noon first pitch at Cooper Stadium.
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