ISU Softball Beats No. 22 Baylor, Falls to Northern Illinois
Brittny Drish

Brittny Drish

Feb. 8, 2013

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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, 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.

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