Redbird Softball Wins Final Two Games at USF Tournament
Feb. 14, 2010
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Illinois State softball team recorded six hits including a home run while outscoring Canisius, 4-1, Sunday morning, but nearly doubled the hit total in the second game against Florida Gulf Coast with 11 hits at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament in Clearwater, Fla. Pitcher Chrissy Burton helped the Redbirds accomplish the second win by striking out nine of FGCU's batters.
"We have a lot of confidence in Chrissy," said head coach Melinda Fischer. "I thought she did a better job of focusing on her pitches in today's (Sunday) game. She made necessary improvements and did a great job today especially with some of the situations she was in."
In the first game, Canisius (0-3) got on the board first when Katie Medina crossed the plate after Michelle Fridey doubled to right field, but Illinios State (2-2) would answer back scoring two runs in the inning when Jhavon Hamilton tripled to right field scoring Nichelle Harrison, who singled to get on base. The second run came when Hamilton scored on a wild pitch by Caroline Main.
Canisius would not score for the rest of the game, but the Illinois State dug out erupted when Elizabeth Kay hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to secure the 4-1 win in the first game of the day.
In the second game, Florida Gulf Coast (2-1) scored four runs in the first inning when FGCU's second batter hit a two-run shot over the center field fence. The Eagles would score two more runs before Illinois State was able to get out of the inning.
However, Illinois State would score five runs on five hits in the top of the third. The Redbirds' rally got started when Hamilton struck out, but made it to first on a passed ball. Kara Nelson hit a double to right field advancing Hamilton to third base, both would score in the inning. Beth Current hit a single to the left side of the field bringing in Niki Stansell. Current and Kay crossed the plate on a FGCU error.
"Once we made adjustments to the pitcher, we did a much better job of getting the ball into play and getting timely hits," said Fischer. "I was really excited about this win. We came from behind, they really took it to us last season and it was the same pitcher that beat us last season. We were finally able to get better at bats and have better outcomes."
Both teams would score in the fifth inning, but a Caiti Kopp scored on a single by Nelson in the top of the seventh to give ISU a two-run lead.
The Illinois State softball team will compete in its second tournament of the season at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe Ariz. The Redbirds will play five games over three days (Feb. 19-21).
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