Valley Softball Earns Two Top-25 Wins
Friday, February 8, 2013

Northern Illinois 3, Illinois State 1
Illinois State 8, No. 24/22 Baylor 0

WACO, Texas – After losing for the third-straight time to open the 2013 campaign, the Illinois State softball team won its first game of the season by run-ruling No. 22/24 Baylor, 8-0, in six innings Friday evening at Baylor’s Getterman Stadium. The Redbirds fell to Northern Illinois, 3-1, earlier in the day.

Freshman Brittny Drish led the charge offensively for the Redbirds, going a combined 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Laura Canopy was only retired once in eight plate appearances, reaching base on a single, walk, error and four hit-by-pitches. In the circle, Regan Romshek turned in a solid outing against the Huskies, while Taylor Baxter retired 18-straight Lady Bears in a one-hit, six-inning shutout.

Game One – Northern Illinois 3, Illinois State 1
With the game tied 1-1, the Huskies took hold of the game with a two-run top of the sixth. Amanda Sheppard led off the frame with a single, before Romshek (LP, 0-2) retired the next two Huskies. However, three-straight singles gave NIU the lead, with Bryanna Phelan driving home pinch-runner Kristyn Barrett and Ashley Kopp pushing Murielle Vansach across home to claim the 3-1 lead. Sophia Perez (ND) entered to get the final out of the inning.

The Redbirds got on the board first with a single tally in the bottom half of the first. With two outs, Canopy was hit by a pitch before stealing second base to put herself in scoring position. Elizabeth Kay drove her home with a RBI double down the left-field line to put ISU on top 1-0. NIU responded by scoring once in the third on a two-out RBI single by Sheppard.

The Redbirds never went down in order against NIU starter Emily Norton (WP, 1-0), but stranded nine runners in the loss. ISU put runners on first and third with only one out in the second, third and fourth innings, but came up empty each time.

Romshek went 5.2 innings in her second-career start, allowing three runs, all earned, while striking out seven and issuing no walks. The Gibson City, Ill., native also went 2-for-2 at the plate, and saw a combined 17 pitches. Perez struck out three in her perfect relief stint.

Game Two – Illinois State 8, No. 22/24 Baylor 0
Baxter’s dominance in the circle and a consistent offense keyed the Redbirds’ upset over the Lady Bears. After allowing the first two batters of the game to reach on an error and hit, Baxter (WP, 1-1) did not allow another base runner the rest of the game for her first win since April 3, 2011, against Missouri State. She struck out four batters in the contest.

For the third time this season, ISU got on the board first. After Heather Stearns (LP, 0-1) retired the first four Redbirds of the game, Kay started a two-run second inning with a single. Drish laced a RBI double to left-center to score Kay, before scoring on a single from Sara Bradley the next at-bat.

After losing leads in three of their first four games, the Redbirds made sure to add insurance runs throughout the contest. A three-run fourth inning pushed the advantage to 5-0. Singles by Drish and Bradley, and an intentional walk issued to Jhavon Hamilton loaded the bases for Nichelle Harrison. Harrison drew a walk to drive in Drish, which Canopy followed with a RBI hit-by-pitch. Romshek concluded the flurry with a RBI single to plate Hamilton and make it a five-run cushion.

ISU ended the game with three more runs in the sixth inning. Hamilton led off with a double down the third-base line and scored two batters later on an error off of Canopy’s bat. Romshek followed with a single to load the bases, before a fielder’s choice from Kay led to Harrison being forced out at home. Drish continued the push with a single to score Canopy, before Bradley’s sacrifice fly to center field drove home Romshek to give the Redbirds the 8-0 win.

Drish is the only Redbird to record a hit in every game thus far, while Drish, Hamilton and Canopy have reached base every game.

The Redbirds will play their final game of the Getterman Classic Saturday afternoon against Sam Houston State. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Bradley 2, No. 13/14 Arizona 1

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Junior Madeline Lynch-Crumrine held 13th-ranked Arizona to five hits and just one run, while fellow junior Brianne Joseph drove in the tying run and scored the game-winner to help Bradley to a 2-1 victory against the Wildcats Friday during the second day of play at the Kajikawa Classic.

The victory was Bradley's first against a ranked team since the opening round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament and the Wildcats were the highest ranked opponent the Braves have beat since topping then fifth-ranked Northwestern on March 1, 2008.

Lynch-Crumrine struck out five and walked two in the complete game victory as the Wildcats stranded the tying run on third after a leadoff double to open the top of the seventh. Bradley managed just three hits off Arizona pitchers with two of the three hits coming in the two-run fifth inning.

Arizona (1-1 overall) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning on a one-out RBI single off the bat of Hallie Wilson, before Lynch-Crumrine settled down to get out of the inning without any further damage.

The Braves answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Bradley (1-1 overall) had a runner at second with two outs after a leadoff walk and a fielder's choice when Joseph tied the game with a run-scoring single to center to plate Brittany Burgess. Joseph stole second and came around to score the go-ahead run on a single by sophomore Shannon King.

Bradley threatened to break the game open in the bottom of the sixth, but had a runner thrown out at the plate and left the bases loaded as the Braves took a 2-1 lead into the seventh.

Arizona had a runner at third with two outs in the top of the seventh when Lynch-Crumrine got Wilson to ground out to end the game.

Bradley continues play at the Kajikawa Classic Saturday with a pair of games, facing Portland State at 10:30 a.m. and Indiana at 3 p.m.

No. 14/15 Florida 13, Creighton 3 (5)
Creighton 5, Oregon State 3

Drake 2, North Dakota State 1 (9)

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Drake University softball team opened the season with an extra innings win over North Dakota State, 2-1, in nine innings at the Ramada UNI-Dome Classic Friday evening.

Junior Amy Pierce was placed on second base to start the bottom of the ninth, in accordance to the NCAA international tiebreaker rule. The rule states that starting with the top of the predetermined inning and each half-inning to follow, the offensive team shall begin its turn at bat with the player scheduled to bat ninth in that half inning being placed on second base. Pierce scored two batters later when junior Cortney Wood put the ball in play to score Pierce from third.

The Bulldogs (1-0) got good pitching from junior Jordan Gronewold. Gronewold took the start for Drake, and had two stints in the circle, for a total of 5.2 innings, striking out seven and allowing just one hit. Sophomore Rebekah Schmid relieved Gronewold in the fourth inning and lasted 3.1 innings, allowing one hit, one unearned run and punching out four.

Drake had six hits, each by a different player. Pierce scored both times for the Bulldogs while sophomore Laura Brewer and Wood were responsible for the RBIs.

Pierce came home safely in the second inning, scoring on Brewer’s single, to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard first. North Dakota State (1-1) tied the game in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI groundout.

Drake returns to action tomorrow in the second day of the tournament as they will face Illinois at 11 a.m. and finishing the day with a 3 p.m. matchup with No. 1 Alabama. The Crimson Tide won the 2012 NCAA championship.

Indiana State 9, IPFW 0
Indiana State 3, Northern Colorado 2 (9)

AMES, Iowa—Sophomore pitcher Ashli Scott pitched 7.1 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits as the Indiana State softball team (2-0) defeated IPFW 9-0 in six innings before defeating Northern Colorado in dramatic fashion, 3-2, in nine innings.

"We had a great team effort today," said assistant coach Amanda Zust. "Our defense was solid behind our pitchers who threw aggressively. We were able to move the ball offensively and put some pressure on the defense. It was a fun day to be a Sycamore"

Game One
The 2013 season got off to a quick start as the Sycamores wasted little time in jumping out to a lead over the Mastodons of IPFW.

Sophomore Ashley Dickerson got a Sycamore run going in the top of the second inning with a hit by pitch followed by a walk by senior Halee Myers and another hit by pitch, this time to freshman Meredith Henriksen. Junior Shelby Wilson got the first RBI's of the season for the Sycamores off a walk to score Dickerson and junior Morgan Allee Scored Myers and Henriksen with a single to second base to make it 3-0 ISU.

In the fifth inning, Wilson led off the inning with a double but was called out for leaving early on an Allee single. Sophomore Megan Stone then kept the inning moving after an Allee stolen base with an RBI double down the right field line to score Allee. Two batters later sophomore Megan Bunting singled up the middle to score senior Mackenzine Connelly, running for Stone, to give Indiana State a 5-0 lead.

The Sycamores then put the game away in the top of the sixth inning scoring four more runs off four hits to take a 9-0 lead. IPFW was unable to score in the bottom half of the inning and the Sycamores went on to defeat the Mastodons 9-0 in the sixth inning by the 8-run rule.

Wilson and Allee each finished the game 3-3 at the plate while Stone went 2-4 with three RBI's. Scott finished the game with a six inning shutout, allowing just two hits.

Game Two
In the second game of the day against Northern Colorado, the Sycamores found themselves in an early hole as the Bears first batter led off with a double and came around to score and take a 1-0 lead. 

Northern Colorado added one more run in the top of the fifth inning when a lead off double once again came around to score to make it 2-0.

The Sycamores responded in the bottom half of the frame as Myers led off the inning with a sinlge and was advanced to second on a sacrafice bunt by freshman Meredith Henriksen. Cavin then reached on an error and advanced to second to put runners on second and third with one out. Freshman Kelsey Montgomery then got the Sycamores as she grounded out to the first baseman but let one run score. Allee then tied the game with an RBI single to score Cavin.

Defense took over for both teams, with neither team able to score in the sxith or seventh inning, forcing extra innings.

In the bottom of the ninth, under international tie break rules, Bunting advanced to third off a sacrafice bunt by Dickerson and Myers singled to first base to score Bunting and give the Sycamores a 3-2 win.

Bunting finished the game 3-4 at the plate and Myers was 2-4 with the game winning RBI. Sophomore Stephanie Fougerousse opened the game on the mound for the Sycamores getting the no-decision in her first career game as a Sycamore while Scott finished the last 3.1 innings allowing no hits with five strikeouts.

The Sycamores will continue play at the Cyclone Invitational Saturday with games against Northern Colorado and North Dakota with first pitch set for 12 p.m.

Coastal Carolina 10, Missouri State 6
Kennesaw State 12, Missouri State 8

KENNESAW, Ga. - The Missouri State softball team (0-2) rallied from behind and scored 14 runs on day one, but dropped both games on Opening Day at the Georgia Tech-Kennesaw State Invitational in Atlanta, Ga. on Friday. MSU fell to Coastal Carolina (1-0) in the opener, 10-6, and to Kennesaw State (1-0) in the night cap, 12-8.

"I was really excited how we fought all day, battling until the end in both games," said head coach Holly Hesse. "I saw a lot of great at-bats today. We put the ball in play and moved runners with clutch hits all day. I am really excited about what I saw at the plate today."

The Bears banged out 16 hits on the day with six players with two hits each. Stevie Pierce blasted the Bears first home run of the season and drove in four runs. Mary Stephens, Ciara Flau, Caitlin Chapin and Kirstin Cutter all had multi-hit days.

Game 1 - Missouri State 6, Coastal Carolina 10
It didn't take the Bears long to get runners aboard. With one out in the first, Ashley Brentz reached on a fielding error by the CCU shortstop. The next batter, Caitlin Chapin, drew a walk after working the count full. Lauren Eisenreich lined sharply out the left field and the Bears were unable to capitalize.

In the second inning, Rebecca McPherson drew a two-out walk and stole second, but the Bears were held scoreless. In the bottom half of the inning, the Chanticleers knocked Jones around, literally, lining a single off her leg to score the first run of the game. A three-run home run capped a four-run second for CCU.

The third inning saw the Bears continue to get runners aboard. With two outs, Chapin drew her second free pass of the game. The next batter, Eisenreich, also reached via base on balls. Again, MSU was stifled with runners stranded.

Missouri State finally broke through in the fifth. Leadoff hitter Stacia Boeckstiegel singled to right and advanced to second on a fielding error. Kirstin Cutter reached on an infield single, moving pinch runner Kerri Cunningham to third. Brentz flied to right field, driving in the Bears' first run of the season. Chapin singled and Eisenreich walked to load the bases. With two outs, Stevie Pierce looped a single over the shortstop to plate two runs and the Bears ended the fifth down just one run at 4-3.

The Bears rallied again in the 6th. Cutter reached on another Coastal Carolina error with one out. Brentz laced a sharp single to right, sending Cutter to third. Chapin followed and placed a slow roller in front of the plate, scoring Cutter from third to tie the game. Two batters later, freshman Mary Stephens bounced a single past third, plating two runs and giving MSU a 6-4 lead.

In its half of the sixth, Coastal pushed across six runs to regain the lead, but the Bears' fight was not over. In the seventh, Heather Duckworth singled up the middle to lead off the inning. A fielder's choice and hit batter put two aboard, but both runners were left stranded to end

Game 2 - Missouri State 8, Kennesaw State 12
Missouri State fell behind early in the second game of the day. Kennesaw State's Angie Dascoli hit a two-out grand slam. In the Bears half of the inning, Kirstin Cutter drew a leadoff walk. She moved to second on a groundout and third on an illegal pitch. Two batters later, Eisenreich drew a free pass and on the next pitch, a double steal scored MSU's first run.

KSU tacked on six runs and added another in the third to take an 11-1 lead. Again, the MSU spirit was not crushed as Kerri Cunningham started a rally with a bunt single. Cutter bounced a single over the third baseman and the Bears were in business. Both runners moved up on a passed ball and Ali Trickey walked to load the bases. Chapin grounded the ball to shortstop, but the KSU fielder booted the ball and two runs scored. Then with two outs, Stevie Pierce launched a two-run home run to left cutting the deficit to 11-5.

In the Bears' fourth, Ciara Flau picked up her first career hit with a solid single to left field to lead off. She moved to second on a Braxton Coil sacrifice bunt, but the Bears couldn't push another run across.

The fifth inning saw another first for a Bear. Trickey legged out her first hit, an infield single. Chapin walked and Eisenreich reached on a bunt single and the Bears had the bases loaded with no outs. Two batters later, Duckworth drove in a run on fielder's choice. With the bases still loaded, Flau drove another single to left scoring a second Bears' run, but Eisenreich was cut down at the plate. Pinch hitter Mary Stephens beat out a slower grounder to third, plating the third Missouri State run of the inning.

KSU added an insurance run in the seventh, but MSU's comeback attempt was halted and the Bears dropped a 12-8 decision.

The Bears will continue competition at the Kennesaw State-Georgia Tech Invitational on Saturday against host Georgia Tech at 11:00 a.m. Central. MSU will also play another game against Coastal Carolina at 3:00 p.m. Bears will wrap up the weekend with a game against Butler at 10:00 a.m.

Southern Illinois 6, Chattanooga 3
Virginia Tech 4, Southern Illinois 2

CLERMONT, Fla.-- The Southern Illinois University softball team opened the 2013 season Friday at the Dot Richardson National Collegiate Invitational.

The Salukis recorded a win against Chattanooga in their season opener at the National Training Center Softball Complex before falling to Virginia Tech.

Game One 

The Salukis topped Chattanooga 6-2 to start the afternoon. Brittney Lang was a force in the circle pitching a complete game for Southern Illinois. The senior struck out five batters in the Salukis first win of the season.

Chattanooga brought their bats out early scoring one run in the second inning and following suit in the third, taking a two-run lead over SIU. Southern answered in the fifth when Kelsey Gonzalez singled to bring inKalyn Harker for the first run of the game. Morgan Barchan repeated the series singling to bring Gonzalez around to the plate, tying the game.

Southern raked in the runs in the sixth inning to edge out the Lady Mocs. Taylor Orsburn sent a shot up the middle to kick-off the inning. The Salukis capitalized on Chattanooga errors and a late-inning double by Kaylyn Harker to pick up four more runs and lead the game 4-2.The Salukis put away their opponents quickly in the seventh inning to take the game, 4-2.

Game Two

Southern Illinois and Virginia Tech met for the first time ever Friday during the last game of opening day. The Hokies wasted no time recording their first run of the game in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead.

The third inning saw more Virginia Tech runs as the Hokies laid down two singles and a double to record three more runs, which would be their final of the game.

The Salukis struggled to drive in a run remaining scoreless until the fifth inning.Meredith Wilson led off the inning working a walk to be brought in by a Kalyn Harkersingle for the lone run of the inning. 

Southern found its rhythm in the seventh inning, challenging Virginia Tech down to the last out. SIU loaded the bases for two batters but only was able to bring in one more run, stranding the remaining runners on base. The Salukis closed out the game with two runs for a 4-2 loss.

With a 1-1 start to the season, the Salukis will be back in action tomorrow as they take on Fordham University at 12:30 p.m. CT.

UC-Santa Barbara 7, Wichita State 1
Wichita State 8, Grambling State 0 (6)

MONROE, La. - The Wichita State softball team opened the 2013 season by splitting a pair of games Friday in the Mardi Gras Classic. The Shockers fell to UC-Santa Barbara 7-1 in the day's opening game before rebounding to knock off Grambling State, 8-0, in six innings.

In the victory over Grambling State, Sloan Anderson tied a career-high with eight strikeouts and no walks. The junior from Hillsboro, Ore. struck out the first three batters of the game and allowed only two hits in her six innings of work.

Anderson got the run support she needed from the top of the lineup with the first five hitters in the Shocker lineup each notching a pair of hits. Laura Vickers two-run single to left field in the third inning scored Layne Greenlee and Melanie Jaegers to break a scoreless tie.

Hayley Temple's double to left center in the bottom of the fifth inning scored Jaegers and Vickers to extend the Shockers lead to 4-0.

After Anderson left a pair of Grambling State runners stranded at second and third to end the top of the sixth inning the Shocker's bats came alive scoring four runs to close out their first run rule victory since dropping Howard, 9-1, on Mar. 3, 2012.

In the inning Jaegers doubled to centerfield to bring home Greenlee. Following a Vickers walk, Ali Vandever singled through the left side to bring home Danika Miller and Jaegers. Temple stepped up next and delivered the game clinching single to center plating Vickers from second base for her third RBI of the game.

Against Santa Barbara the Shockers put the first notch on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first on Vickers one-out double scoring Jaegers.

Wichita State threatened again in the second inning loading the bases and prompting a Santa Barbara pitching change. The Gauchos went to staff ace Shelby Wisdom. Wisdom, the 2012 Big West Conference Freshman Pitcher of the Year and UCSB's single season record holder for wins and strikeouts, struck out Jaegers to end the threat.

Shocker starter Katie Armagost pitched well into the third inning before a close call at first base on an infield dribbler off the bat of Wisdom went the Gauchos way. UCSB score two more in the inning to take a 3-1 lead.

The Gauchos added three more in the fourth inning and one in the fifth as Wisdom continued to stifle the Shocker bats. No Shocker had more than one hit in the game.

Wichita State continues play in the Mardi Gras Classic when they take on Mississippi Valley State at 9 a.m. At 3:15 the Shockers will take on host school ULM.

No. 1 Alabama 8, UNI 1