Admission is free for the entire regular season at Marian Kneer Softball Stadium.
ISU opened play at the NFCA Leadoff Classic by splitting against the Wolverines and Pride, staying at .500 in 2013
Lindsey Greene and Brittny Drish led the way for the Redbirds with three RBI each
The alumni team features players from four different decades, including three hall of famers
After one season of tutoring the Illinois State pitchers as a student assistant coach under the guidance of former pitching coach Bill Kennedy, former All-American Shannon Nicholson enters her fifth season as the Redbird softball program's pitching coach. Nicholson is the 16th assistant coach in Illinois State softball history.
One of the most prolific pitchers to ever emerge from the Illinois State softball program, Nicholson first joined the ISU coaching ranks during the 2008 season as a student assistant coach, where she assisted Kennedy in all aspects of coaching the Redbird pitchers.
Nicholson oversaw the development of Jordan Birch and Megan Warner, with the former being named First Team All-MVC in 2012 and Second Team All-Mideast Region in 2011. Birch went 25-14 with a 1.59 ERA in 2012, setting an ISU single-season record with 37 starts. Birch's 2012 campaign also ranks second all-time in wins (25), shutouts (13), and complete games (29), third for innings pitched (238.1) and fourth for strikeouts (233). Warner also earned two Second Team All-MVC selections under Nicholson's tutelage.
Nicholson, who completed her illustrious four-year ISU career with 62 wins following the 2007 season - the fourth-most all-time in school history - graduated in December 2007 and completed her master's degree in kinesiology and recreation with a concentration in sport management.
The year 2007 was a banner year for Nicholson, as she became just the second female student-athlete in ISU history to be named the Illinois State Female Student-Athlete and Female Athlete of the Year in the same academic year. She was also selected to the 2007 Easton All-America Second Team - just the second Redbird pitcher all-time to earn Easton Second-Team All-America status. She led the team in earned-run average (1.53) and wins (21), and was picked to the All-MVC First Team for the first time in her career.
A consistent performer throughout her Redbird pitching career, Nicholson recorded at least 15 wins in the circle for ISU in each of her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She ranks fourth all-time for career wins (62), third in opponent batting average (.244), third in career appearances (135) and is tied for fifth in career strikeouts with 362.
Nicholson took her collegiate pitching prowess to the sport's highest level, as she began her professional softball career in summer 2008 as a member of the Arkon Racers in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, joining former ISU teammate Stacy Birk, who was member of the Philadelphia Force. Nicholson was the sixth Redbird softball player all-time to play professionally.