Two Top-10 Teams Handle Redbirds in Tempe
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Feb. 14, 2014UW Box Score | Fischer UW Postgame Interview | OU Box Score | Fischer OU Postgame Interview
TEMPE, Ariz. - Despite scoring a season-high six runs in the second contest, the Illinois State softball team (1-5) dropped a pair of games to top-10 teams, Friday at the ASU Littlewood Classic. The Redbirds lost to No. 3 Washington, 9-1, in six innings, before falling to No. 11/7 Oklahoma, the defending national champion, 11-6.
Four of ISU's five losses this season have now come against top-10 teams, all of which made the Women's College World Series in 2013.
All in all, nine different Redbirds recorded one hit apiece. Regan Romshek hit the Redbirds' lone home run, driving in three, while Kara Repp brought home two runs with a double. Laura Canopy got on base a total of three times, and scored two runs.
Romshek, McKensie Vissering and Taylor Baxter all saw action in the circle for the Redbirds. Romshek started the game against the Huskies, while Baxter took on the Sooners. Vissering appeared in relief during both contests.
Game One - No. 3 Washington 9, Illinois State 1 (6 inn.)
A six-run third inning from the Huskies (7-0) broke open a close contest and sent ISU to its first run-rule defeat since March 12, 2012.
The Redbirds began the game's scoring with a run in the top of the first inning. Sara Bradley singled against UW starter Kaitlin Inglesby (3-0) to begin the frame, and was replaced at first by Canopy on a fielder's choice two batters later. With two outs, Canopy stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an illegal pitch to make it 1-0 ISU.
The Huskies quickly gained their first lead of the game on a two-run home run from reigning USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week Kylee Lahners in the bottom of the first inning. The score remained 2-1 until the third, when Washington busted it open.
UW sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, while scoring six runs. The first three batters all singled off of Romshek (LP, 0-3) to load the bases. Romshek was relieved by Vissering, who was called for an illegal pitch that brought home a run and made it 3-1 Washington. Lahners walked to load the bases again, before Whitney Jones drove in two with a double that made it 5-1 Huskies. Ali Aguilar brought home two more with a single, and later scored on an errant throw by Annie Heineman, making the score 8-1 UW through three innings.
Romshek reentered the contest after Vissering faced three batters, and retired six of seven batters she faced the next two innings as the score remained 8-1. The Huskies ended the game in the bottom of the sixth, however, when Inglesby singled with the bases loaded.
Game Two - No. 11/7 Oklahoma 11, Illinois State 6
Down 8-0 at one point, the Redbirds battled back to make it a game and score more runs against the Sooners (4-2) than any team had since April 14, 2013.
OU jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in the first against Baxter (LP, 1-2) on a RBI single from Leslie Miller. The Sooners added on to the advantage with five runs in the second, which came on a two-run blast from Georgia Casey and a three-run shot from Shelby Pendley. The latter chased Baxter from the contest and brought in Vissering, who allowed a two-RBI single to Lauren Chamberlain in the top of the third that made it 8-0 Sooners.
The Redbirds made it a game by tallying six runs in the third inning, more than they had scored in a single game all season. With runners on first and second, Stephanie Gallant singled to score Bradley before Romshek's towering three-run homer to left made it 8-4 OU. Four batters later, Repp came up with the bases loaded and doubled to left, scoring two and making it an 8-6 game.
Vissering was effective in relief the next 2.0 innings, limiting the Sooners to just two hits. The ISU offense could not solve Taylor Dewberry (WP, 1-0) before OU got to Vissering in the sixth, when Brittany Williams hit a three-run homer that made it 11-6 Sooners. Baxter came back in two batters later, and retired five of the final six batters she faced.
ISU continues its stay at Farrington Stadium with two more games on Saturday. The Redbirds will take on San Jose State at 10 a.m., CST, before squaring off with No. 5 Arizona State at 2:30 p.m., CST.
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