Redbirds Beat Minnesota Twice, Increase Winning Streak to Four
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Feb. 16, 2013Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score | Fischer Game One Interview | Fischer Game Two Interview
TEMPE, Ariz. - A pair of three-run innings fueled two wins for the Illinois State softball team (4-3) over Minnesota, 5-1 and 3-1, Friday afternoon at Arizona State's Littlewood Classic. A three-run first inning put the Redbirds ahead for good in game one, while a three-run sixth brought ISU back from down 1-0 to secure its fourth-straight win.
Taylor Baxter and Regan Romshek each allowed only one solo home run, with Romshek striking out a career-high 12 in a complete game win in game two. The 12 strikeouts are the most for a Redbird freshman since Jordan Birch struck out 13 on April 1, 2009.
Brittny Drish led ISU offensively with three RBI. Drish tallied a hit in each game, including a two-RBI game-winning double in the night cap, to extend her season and career-opening hitting streak to seven games.
Illinois State 5, Minnesota 1
Hamilton led off the bottom of the first with a walk before Laura Canopy reached on an error by the Minnesota shortstop. Hamilton and Canopy each stole a base, before Romshek's infield single loaded the bases. Elizabeth Kay and Drish followed with back-to-back RBI singles, driving home Hamilton and Canopy. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Sara Bradley drove home Kay to put the Redbirds on top, 3-0.
ISU put just one on base the next two innings before pushing across two more in the fourth inning. With one away, Kara Repp reached on an error before Nichelle Harrison and Lauren Kellar singled to load the bases. Hamilton plated Repp and Harrison with a single for her first two RBI of the season, giving the Redbirds a 5-0 lead.
Baxter (WP, 2-1) turned in her second-straight quality start, extending her scoreless innings streak to 10.1 before surrendering a solo home run to Paige Palkovich in the fifth inning. Baxter went 5.0 innings, allowing one run on seven hits, with one strikeout and no walks.
Kaitlyn Richardson reached with a single to start the top of the sixth, leading the Redbirds to replace Baxter with Sophia Perez (ND). Perez recorded the final six outs of the game, four of them on strikeouts, to improve her scoreless innings streak to 6.2.
Kay led a balanced offensive attack by going 2-for-3. Every ISU starter reached base at least once, with six recording hits.
Illinois State 3, Minnesota 1
Romshek (WP, 2-2) didn't have complete command early in game two, but she limited the Golden Gophers to just one run before the ISU offense awoke. The freshman worked out of a second-and-third jam in the first inning and a bases loaded situation in second, walking three in the first two frames. However, she got stronger as the game went on, recording the final six outs of the contest on strikeouts. Romshek went the distance, allowing one run on six hits, while walking four.
Down 1-0 heading into the sixth inning thanks to a solo home run from Erika Smyth in the fifth, the Illinois State offense had mustered just two base runners all game. Hamilton started the rally with a walk, before Canopy reached on an infield single. Kay singled to drive home Hamilton and even the game, before Stephanie Gallant singled to load the bases for Drish. The freshman pounded a 1-0 pitch off of the left field wall, bringing home Canopy and Kay to put the Redbirds up for good.
The Illinois State defense did not commit an error in either game, making it three-straight perfect defensive efforts.
ISU continues play in the Littlewood Classic with two more games on Saturday. The Redbirds will take on Michigan State at 11:30 a.m., CST, before playing third-ranked Arizona State at 6:15 p.m., CST.
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