Redbirds Power Past Miami (OH), Fall to No. 13 Louisville
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March 10, 2013MU Box Score | UofL Box Score | Fischer Postgame Interview
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Illinois State softball team (13-12) split its final two games at Louisville's Red & Black Classic Sunday afternoon, beating Miami (Ohio), 16-1 in six innings, before losing to No. 13 Louisville, 9-3. The 2-2 weekend concludes a stretch of 25-straight games away from Marian Kneer Stadium to open the 2013 season, as ISU will host Bradley to begin Missouri Valley Conference play next weekend.
The Redbird offense was led by Elizabeth Kay, who reached base in all nine of her plate appearances, going a combined 4-for-4, with three RBI and five walks. The first five batters in the ISU line-up - Jhavon Hamilton, Lauren Kellar, Laura Canopy, Kay and Shelby Music - combined to go 17-for-33, with 12 runs scored and 10 RBIs.
Regan Romshek and Taylor Baxter started against the RedHawks and Cardinals, respectively, with Romshek earning her first win since Feb. 24. The freshman also hit a grand slam for her first-career home run.
Illinois State 16, Miami (Ohio) 1
The Redbirds slugged a season-high 17 hits against the RedHawks (2-13) en route to scoring 16 or more runs for the third time this season. ISU scored twice in each of the first two innings, before scoring four times in the third. An eight-run sixth inning broke the game open, and led ISU to its fourth run-rule victory of the season.
Kay and Music got the Redbirds on the board with RBI singles off Miami starter Jenna Modic (LP, 0-1) in the first inning. In the second, Hamilton scored on an error off the bat of Canopy, before Music came through again to drive home Canopy and give ISU a 4-1 lead. In the fourth, Kolby Hoffman and Kellar picked up RBIs, before Music drove home two more with two outs to make it 8-1 Redbirds.
After two scoreless innings, ISU sent 11 batters to the plate in the eight-run sixth. With Romshek on third and Kara Repp on second, Hamilton singled to score Romshek. After Kellar fouled out for the second out of the inning, five-straight Redbirds reached to extend the at-bat. Canopy singled to score Repp, before Kay tied a career-high with her third walk to load the bases. Erin Rodriguez and Kelsey Turczyn each followed with their first RBI of the season, as Rodriguez walked and Turczyn singled through the left side. That set the stage for Romshek, who took a 3-1 pitch over the fence in left center for ISU's third grand slam of the season.
After allowing a run in the bottom of the first inning, Romshek (WP, 4-6) tossed five scoreless innings for her fourth complete game of the season. She surrendered six hits, while striking out three and walking no one.
Music's three hits and four RBIs are both career-highs. She now ranks third on the team with 13 RBIs, after entering her senior season with seven in her career.
No. 13 Louisville 9, Illinois State 3
The Redbirds fell to 3-7 against ranked teams this season in the loss to the Cardinals (20-3). Alicja Wolny hit a two-out solo home run against Baxter (LP, 7-4) in the first inning to put the Cardinals up 1-0 early. ISU tied the game with a two-out RBI single from Nichelle Harrison in the top of the third against Louisville starter Caralisa Connell (WP, 12-2), but two runs in the bottom of the third for Louisville put them ahead for good. Reigning national player of the week Katie Keller led off the third with a triple to left center, and came home to score when the throw to third was too high. Later in the inning, Kayla Soles picked up a two-out RBI single to make it 3-1 Louisville.
ISU halved the deficit with a lone tally in the fifth inning. Canopy doubled down the third base line with two outs, before Kay and Canopy traded places on a double off the fence in left, bringing ISU within one at 3-2. However, the Cardinals scored the game's next six runs to pull away.
Sophia Perez (ND) relieved Baxter in the fourth inning, before surrendering two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth. Maggie Ruckenbrod and Hannah Kiyohara picked up RBIs in the fifth before Perez loaded the bases with one out in the sixth. Erin Rodriguez came on and allowed a double to Ruckenbrod that cleared the bases, before Ruckenbrod scored two batters later on a single from Kiyohara to make it 9-2 Cardinals.
The Redbirds scored once in the seventh on a RBI single by Kay that brought home Hamilton. However, Rachel LeCoq (SV, 2), who entered the contest before the fifth inning, shut the door to earn her second save of the season.
Next up for ISU is Missouri Valley Conference play, as the Redbirds welcome in-state rival Bradley to Marian Kneer Stadium for two games on Saturday, March 16, and one on Sunday, March 17. The double-header is slated for 12 p.m., and 2 p.m., CST start times, with Sunday's contest slated to begin at 12 p.m.
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