Redbirds Split Against SJSU and No. 5 ASU on Day Two in Tempe
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Feb. 15, 2014SJSU Box Score | Fischer SJSU Postgame Interview | ASU Box Score | Fischer ASU Postgame Interview
TEMPE, Ariz. - A stellar offensive performance against San Jose State preceded a dominant pitching performance by No. 5 Arizona State, as the Illinois State softball team (2-6) split two games at the ASU Littlewood Classic, Saturday. The Redbirds run-ruled the Spartans, 11-3, before falling to the Sun Devils, 4-2.
The Redbirds' offense was balanced throughout the two games, as five players tallied multiple hits on the day. Sara Bradley went a combined 3-for-7 with a home run, three runs and three RBI, while Laura Canopy also scored three times, while going 2-for-6.
In the circle, Regan Romshek started against SJSU, earning her first win of the season, and appeared in relief versus ASU. She threw a combined 6.2 innings and allowed three runs. Taylor Baxter's lone appearance was against the Sun Devils, against whom she was effective early before suffering the loss.
Game One - Illinois State 11, San Jose State 3 (5 inn.)
The Redbirds tallied a season-high 11 runs and 11 hits against the Spartans (7-2), all of which were singles, and utilized two five-run innings to emerge victorious.
ISU surrendered the first two runs of the game in the top of the third, but bounced back with five in the bottom half of the inning. Brittny Drish and Kara Repp singled to start the inning, and advanced to third and second, respectively, after the SJSU leftfielder misplayed Repp's hit. Drish scored on a wild pitch, before a single from Bradley scored Repp to tie the game at 2-2. Nichelle Harrison walked and Canopy singled to load the bases for Stephanie Gallant, who hit a sacrifice fly to center that drove home Bradley and gave ISU its first lead of the game, 3-2. Two batters later, Kolby Hoffman plated Harrison with a single, before Jordan de los Reyes brought in Canopy on a fielder's choice to round out the inning's scoring and make it 5-2 Redbirds.
After Romshek (WP, 1-3) kept the Spartans off the scoreboard in the top half of the fourth, ISU again scored five runs in the bottom of the inning. Repp, Bradley and Harrison all singled to begin the frame and load the bases again. Repp was forced out at home on a fielder's choice off the bat of Canopy, before Bradley scored on an error, as the SJSU first baseman misplayed a grounder off the bat of Gallant. Romshek and Hoffman then each walked with the bases loaded to bring home two more, before de los Reyes rounded out the scoring with a single to deep left center field that scored two and made it 10-2 Illinois State.
The Spartans stayed alive in the top of the fifth with a solo home run from Jessie Meyer. ISU clinched the run-rule victory in its next at bat, however, when Canopy scored from first with two outs on a high pop up that was dropped by the SJSU second baseman.
Game Two - No. 5 Arizona State 4, Illinois State 2
The Redbirds were able to grab an advantage over the 2013 Women's College World Series participants, but could not hold on.
ISU's lone runs came in the top of the third inning. ASU starter Dallas Escobedo (WP, 5-0) entered the game having only allowed one run all season, and showed why by retiring eight-straight Redbirds before walking Repp with two outs. One batter later, Bradley crushed a 2-2 pitch over the fence in left field for her first home run since the 2012 season, which gave the Redbirds a 2-0 lead.
Baxter (LP, 1-3) took advantage of the blast by keeping the potent Sun Devil offense at bay. She retired the first 11 batters of the game, thanks to three strike outs and diving catches from Harrison in center field and Kelsey Turczyn in left.
ASU would get to her in the fifth, however, scoring four runs to gain a lead it wouldn't relinquish. After Baxter walked the first two batters of the inning, Nikki Girard delivered a two-RBI double two batters later to even the contest. Pinch-hitter Sierra Rodriguez singled, forcing the Redbirds to bring in Romshek (ND) out of the bullpen. She walked Cheyenne Coyle to load the bases for Alix Johnson, whose double plated two and gave the Sun Devils a 4-2 cushion.
ISU mustered just two hits against Escobedo, who struck out 11.
The Redbirds conclude their stay at the ASU Littlewood Classic, Sunday, against SIUE at 10 a.m., CST.
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