Wins Over UC Davis, No. 14 USF, Conclude NFCA Leadoff Classic
Follow @ISURedbirds Tweet #ISUATH
Feb. 24, 2013UC Davis Box Score | South Florida Box Score
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Taylor Baxter and Regan Romshek combined to allow just six hits and one unearned run in 15.0 innings, as the Illinois State softball team (8-8) wrapped up play at the NFCA Leadoff Classic with a 2-1, eight-inning win over UC Davis and a 7-0 victory over No. 14/17 South Florida, Sunday morning at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
Baxter threw all eight innings in the win over the Aggies, scattering five hits and allowing just one unearned run in the first inning. Romshek held the Bulls, a 2012 Women's College World Series Participant, without a hit through 4.2 innings on her way to a one-hit shutout.
Laura Canopy led the Redbirds offensively, going a combined 4-for-6 with five RBI. Canopy drove home 11 runs overall on the weekend on her way to being named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. She now has a team-leading 13 RBI this season. Nichelle Harrison picked up another hit and two walks, as she hit .471 over the weekend and now leads the squad with an overall .347 average.
Illinois State 2, UC Davis 1 (8 inn.)
For the fifth time in as many games, the Redbirds erased a deficit, overcoming a UC Davis (6-9) run in the top of the first with one in the third and the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Using international tiebreaker rules, Jhavon Hamilton began the eighth inning at second base. She advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Canopy, before scampering home on a wild pitch from the arm of Jessica Thweatt (LP, 1-5) to give ISU their first victory of the day.
Before the dramatic finish, the Aggies threatened to break the tie by also advancing a runner to third with one out in the top of the eighth. However, Baxter (WP, 4-2) induced a pop out and tap out to end the frame and turn it back over to the ISU offense.
ISU fell behind in the top of the first inning for the third time in the tournament, as Chandler Wagner reached on an error by Brittny Drish to lead off the game. After advancing to second on a groundout, Wagner scored on a RBI single by Krista Bava to make it 1-0 Aggies early.
Bava's hit would be the last one Baxter allowed for the next 5.1 innings. In the meantime, ISU evened the contest when Canopy tripled to right center field with two outs, scoring Kolby Hoffman from third.
Baxter continued to cruise until the seventh inning, when she gave up three singles to load the bases with just one out. However, a 3-2-4 double play ended the threat, as Canopy threw home to Elizabeth Kay, who completed the play to Hoffman covering first.
Baxter matched a career-high with the 8.0 innings pitched. She scattered just five hits, striking out two and walking one.
Illinois State 7, No. 14 South Florida 0
After two scoreless innings to start the contest, a four-run ISU third inning put the Redbirds in control and chased USF starter Lindsey Richardson (LP, 3-3). Drish walked to lead off the inning, before Lauren Kellar beat out a bunt single and Hamilton walked to load the bases with one out. Canopy doubled through the left side of the infield to make it 2-0, before Shelby Music singled to left to score Hamilton and Canopy and make it 4-0 ISU.
That was more than enough offense for Romshek (WP, 3-5), who retired the first 10 batters of the game. The freshman threw her first-career shutout, allowing just one hit and three walks, while striking out three.
ISU added on to the lead with two runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth. Canopy delivered again with the bases loaded, singling up the middle to score Kellar and Hoffman in the fourth. Hoffman's two-out RBI single in the fifth drove home Sara Bradley to round out the scoring and give the Redbirds a 7-0 lead.
The victory was the second over a ranked team this season for the Redbirds, who won at No. 22 Baylor, 8-0 in six innings, back on Feb. 8.
The Redbirds travel to Florida again next weekend to take part in the Disney Citrus Classic, March 1-3. Georgetown, LIU Brooklyn, Texas A&M, James Madison and a rematch with Louisiana-Lafayette awaits ISU in Orlando.
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.