Redbirds Drop Two in Getterman Classic to Open Season
Jhavon Hamilton reached base five times in the two games
Jhavon Hamilton reached base five times in the two games

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Feb. 7, 2013

WACO, Texas - The Illinois State softball team opened its 2013 campaign with a pair of losses, 8-6 to Sam Houston State and 5-0 to No. 22/24 Baylor, Thursday, at the Getterman Classic. The Redbirds stranded a combined 19 runners during the two games, and were held scoreless for the last 10 innings of action.

Stephanie Gallant led the Redbirds offensively, going a combined 2-for-5 with three RBI, one run and two walks. Jhavon Hamilton also reached base five times, drawing two walks in each contest and singling in the game against Baylor.

Game One - Sam Houston State 8, Illinois State 6

Despite outhitting the Bearkats 11-9 and holding two separates leads, the Redbirds dropped their first game of the season. ISU held a 6-4 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. However, the Bearkats put up four runs to grab an 8-6 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Alyssa Coggins, Jessica Slater and Tori Benavidez all reached base to begin the frame against Taylor Baxter (LP, 0-1). Sarah Allison then singled to score Coggins, with Hamilton throwing out Slater at home for the first out of the inning. Sophia Perez came on in relief to face Hillary Adams, whose two-run homer in the first inning tied the game at 2-2. Adams put the seventh pitch she saw from Perez over the left-center field fence to put the Bearkats on top, 8-6.

Illinois State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on a two-out, two-RBI triple from Gallant in the top of the first. The Bearkats responded with four unanswered tallies, the first two on Adams' homer and the second two in the bottom of the second. Coggins hit a one-out single and later scored on a wild pitch. Benavidez later scored on an illegal pitch from Baxter, a problem all game for her, to give the Bearkats a 4-2 advantage.

ISU fought back with four-straight runs of their own to take a 6-4 lead. Laura Canopy walked to lead off the third inning, later scoring on a RBI double by Sara Bradley. Two batters later, Kara Repp brought home Bradley and Gallant with a two-out, two-RBI single to cap off a three-run third inning. The Redbirds added another run on a RBI walk from Gallant in the fourth, before being held scoreless the rest of the way.

Game Two - No. 22/24 Baylor 5, Illinois State 0

Another first-inning two-run homer put the Redbirds in an early hole against the Lady Bears. Linsey Hays took a 1-2 Regan Romshek (LP, 0-1) pitch over the left-center field fence to give BU a 2-0 advantage.

The homer gave 2011 All-American Whitney Canion an early lead to work with in the circle. Canion, making her first start since early last season due to a torn ACL, held the Redbirds scoreless for 5.0 innings while striking out eight. ISU was able to get two runners on base three times against the lefty, but couldn't push any of them across the plate.

Baylor tacked on to the lead with single tallies in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to seal the win. Sara Smith scored on an error by Repp in the fourth, Jordan Strickland plated pinch-runner Justine Young with a triple to left in the fifth and Kaitlyn Thumann drove home Smith with a double in the sixth to round out the scoring.

Romshek was solid in her collegiate debut, throwing 5.1 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) while striking out three and walking one. Erin Rodriguez also made her debut in the circle, throwing a perfect 0.2 innings.

Illinois State plays two more times Friday. The Redbirds will take on Northern Illinois at 11 a.m., before a rematch with the Lady Bears at 4 p.m.

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