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Sunday, May 08, 2011 | Softball
Sunday Softball Recaps (May 8)
The regular-season has wrapped up with Illinois State earning the regular-season champions title after their victory over Creighton. Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Missouri State and Bradley also earned wins today. The bracket is now set for the 2011 State Farm MVC Softball Championship that starts Thursday, May 12.
Illinois State 8, Creighton 1
OMAHA, Neb. – The Illinois State softball team claimed its first Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championship since 2006 with an 8-1 win over Creighton Sunday afternoon at the Creighton Sports Complex in Omaha, Neb. The Redbirds finished the regular season 35-16 overall and 21-5 in the MVC and will be the top seed in next week’s State Farm MVC Softball Championship.
Sophomore Lauren Kellar led the ISU offense going 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and two RBI. Junior Caiti Kopp and sophomore Jhavon Hamitlon each recored two hits and drove in a run for the Redbirds.
Junior Jordan Birch tossed a complete game, allowing just one run on three hits to earn the win inside the circle and improve her record to 17-5 on the season. The Monroe, Wash., native recorded 10 strikeouts and issued just two walks, marking the third time this season that Birch has fanned 10 or more opposing hitters.
ILS, who was held scoreless in its first 13 innings against Bluejay pitching Saturday, wasted no time getting on the board in Sunday’s rubber match. Illinois State plated a pair of runs on back-to-back, two-out RBI singles by junior Liz Andrews and Kopp to take a 2-0 lead.
Kellar extended the Redbird advantage to 3-0 in the top of the second with an RBI to shallow left. Keller hit a high fly ball to the left side that wind carried over the outstretched glove of Bluejay shortstop Liz McKewon and allowed Hamilton to score from second.
Illinois State got another two-out RBI from Hamilton in the top of the fourth, when her single to center scored Andrews from second and pushed the margin to 4-0 in favor of ISU. Creighton got on the board in the bottom of the frame, trimming the lead to 4-1. McKenna Setlik hit a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Danai Martin to tag and score from third.
The Redbirds took advantage of a pair of Creighton miscues and scored three unearned runs to cap a four-run fifth. Redshirt freshman Nichelle Harrison singled up the middle to score Kopp and later came around to score on a Bluejay error. Kellar drove in senior Kara Nelson with her sixth triple of the season and later scored on Creighton’s second error of the inning, giving Illinois State an 8-1 lead.
Neither team would score the rest of the way as Birch retired 11 of the last 12 CU hitters she faced to seal the victory and give ISU the regular-season championship.
Northern Iowa 7, Indiana State 0
The Panthers grabbed an early first inning lead as Hannah Borschel manufactured a run. Borschel singled and stole second. She would advance to third on a wild pitch, before scoring the first Panther run of the day on a passed ball.
Northern Iowa added to their total with a big number in the bottom of the second. Whitney Plein was hit by her 16th pitch of the season to lead-off the inning and quickly swiped second. Olivia Aten followed with line drive double down the left field line that scored Plein.
Allison Galvin drew a walk and stole second to put runners at second and third ahead of Mackenzie Daigh. Daigh hammered the Lindsey Beisser offering deep to right-center for a three-run home run that put UNI on top 5-0 after two.
UNI put another run on the board in the bottom of the third. Whitney Plein was hit by yet another pitch before stealing her second bag of the day. Plein would later score from second as shortstop Shelby Wilson’s throw sailed over the head of first baseman Bailey Wittenauer.
The Panthers tacked on one final run in the bottom of the sixth to go up 7-0. Rachel Gerking lined a one out double down the right field line and came home to score on a double to the gap in left-center by Whitney Plein
JamieFisher pitched a complete game shutout to earn her 20th win of the season. Fisher struck out nine Sycamore batters, giving her over 200 strikeouts on the season.
Northern Iowa improves to 32-24 (16-11) on the season, and they have won eight of their last nine heading into postseason play.
Southern Illinois 1, Drake 0
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Danielle Glosson capped off an impressive career at Charlotte West Stadium as she threw a one-hit shutout, leading the SIU softball team to a 1-0 victory over Drake Sunday.
The Salukis (35-16, 17-6 MVC) completed the regular season with the win and series victory over the Bulldogs (33-20, 19-6 MVC) and went an impressive 11-1 at home in conference action.
"I thought the kids did a great job coming out today very relax and Danielle fixed some things from yesterday that she didn't feel comfortable with and she threw a great game," Head coach Kerri Blaylock said.
Glosson's shutout is her 10th on the season, moving her up to a tie for sixth place in a single season as she also struck out four in the effort.
The Salukis struck early coming out with the lone run scored in the game in the bottom of the first off a Taylor Orsburn single to score Haley Gorman from third base.
The freshman first baseman Orsburn recorded her 48th RBI of the season and is three RBIs shy of tying the single season record of 51 held by Katie Wilson in 2010.
Gorman boasted a 2-for-3 performance including a lead off single that helped put her into scoring position early in the game.
"She (Haley) is a natural, she came through for us big time and had several big defensive plays today but all of them played well today it was definitely a team effort," Blaylock said.
Morgan Barchan and Jayna Spivey also recorded hits in the win while Glosson improved to 23-10 on the season and finished the conference season with an 11-4 record.
The Salukis will be the No. 3 seed in the MVC tournament, which begins Thursday in Springfield, Mo. They will face the winner of the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds at 6:30 p.m. at Killian Softball Stadium on the campus of Missouri State University.
"I feel like going in our kids should know what is expected," Blaylock said. "What I'm going to tell them in the locker room tonight is that we understand that we can beat anyone and know what we can do and come ready to play."
Missouri State 7, Evansville 0
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Behind another standout pitching performance and their best offensive effort in three weeks, the Missouri State Bears completed a three-game sweep of Evansville with a 7-0 victory Sunday afternoon at Killian Stadium. With their third straight win, the Bears wrapped up the regular season with a 25-23 overall mark and secured the No. 5 seed at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Softball Championship, which they will host, May 12-14.
Just one day after tossing her the first no-hitter of her Missouri State career, Natalie Rose (18-19) was once again in control against the Purple Aces Sunday. The junior right-hander limited Evansville to just two hits and three walks over 5.0 shutout innings of work to move into the Bears' top 10 for single-season victories.
Rose's effort concluded a weekend that saw her give up just one earned run on six hits in 17.0 innings against the Purple Aces.
With Rose holding the Aces in check, the Bears' offense found its rhythm by scoring all seven runs over a three-inning span to erase any doubt about the outcome. After Rose worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the second, MSU jumped on top 2-0 in the bottom half of the inning, thanks to singles from Heather Duckworth and Christa Gammon and a throwing error by UE starting pitcher Taylor Perry.
Missouri State manufactured two more runs in the third, as Jenna Schwark got on base once again to start a key rally. The senior outfielder--who led MSU's offensive charge by going 5-for-6 in Saturday's doubleheader sweep of Evansville--drew a lead-off walk, moved to second on Ashley Knehans' ground ball and advanced to third on a Stevie Pierce fly out to left. Raeven Replogle then came through with a base hit up the middle to plate Schwark with MSU's third run of the day. The Bears weren't quite done, as Replogle swiped second and came around on another Evansville error to make it a 4-0 ballgame.
MSU broke the game wide open in the fourth, scoring three times on three hits and one more costly UE miscue. Madison Hargrove and Gammon started things off with back-to-back hits, and Kirstin Cutter's fielder's choice grounder produced the first run of the frame. A wild pitch coupled with a throwing error by the Aces catcher scored Gammon and moved Cutter into scoring position. Tyler Porter capped the scoring with a base hit through the right side to make it a seven-run game.
Evansville would never seriously threaten from that point against Rose and reliever Savannah Wiggins, who closed out the victory with two solid innings. The freshman righty yielded just one hit and one walk.
Gammon's 2-for-3 day paced MSU's eight-hit attack that led to its highest single-game run total since April 17. Schwark also turned in a strong day at the plate, going 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored to cap a week in which she batted .700 over four games.
Bradley 5, Wichita State 4
PEORIA, Ill. -- Senior Brittany Fairbairn (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East/Kankakee C.C.) drove in the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh with a walk-off single to give Bradley a 5-4 comeback victory over Wichita State Sunday afternoon at Laura Bradley Park and secure a spot for the Braves in this week's State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
Bradley entered the game needing a victory against the Shockers and a Missouri State victory over Evansville Sunday afternoon to overtake the Purple Aces for the eighth and final spot in the eight-team MVC Tournament which will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Springfield, Mo.
Just moments after Missouri State's 7-0 victory against Evansville went final, Fairbairn hit a run-scoring single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to drive in the game-winning run and cap a 3-for-4 day. She finished with a triple and two RBI in the final home game of her career.
Bradley (13-40 overall, 6-19 MVC) had to rally from behind after Wichita State (20-36 overall, 12-14 MVC) scored three runs in the top of the fourth to break up a scoreless tie. Brittney Osborn highlighted the inning for the Shockers with a two-run single to chase Bradley starter Madeline Lynch-Crumrine (Sedro-Woolley, Wash./Sedro-Woolley) from the game.
Freshman Brianne Joseph (Post Falls, Idaho/Post Falls) collected the first of her two hits on the day to leadoff the fourth with a double down the left field line and moved to third on an error on the play. Senior Kate Singler (Witt, Ill./Nokomis/Heartland C.C.) drove in Joseph with a double to center field to cut the Wichita State lead to 3-1.
Jamie Hull led off the top of the fourth inning with a solo homer to push the Shocker advantage back to three runs (4-1), but Bradley answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to pull even at 4-4. Senior Denise Jilka (Eureka, Mo./Eureka) singled to open the inning and Lynch-Crumrine followed with the second of her three hits in the game. Jilka scored on a double off the bat of sophomore Heather Terry (Jones, Okla./Jones) and Joseph drove in a run from third with a suicide squeeze. Fairbairn ripped her conference-leading seventh triple of the season to drive in Terry with the tying run.
Senior Katelyn Kegley (Pekin, Ill./Pekin) nearly put the Braves in front in the sixth, but her fly ball to left was caught at the fence and the team's were tied heading into the seventh for the second consecutive game.
Lynch-Crumrine singled to open the bottom of the seventh and the Braves had runners at the corners with two outs after a Joseph single. Fairbairn, who finished the year with a .422 batting average in home games, hit a single to left to drive in Julie Sherman (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) with the game-winning run.
Junior Lindsay Hufeld (Mapleton, Ill./Limestone/Illinois Central) earned the victory in relief of Lynch-Crumrine. Hufeld struck out three and walked one in 3.2 innings of work as she improved to 4-15 on the season. Brianna Smet pitched the seventh inning for Wichita State and gave up three hits and one run in two-thirds of an inning, while dropping to 5-16 with the loss.