Seventh Inning Rally Falls Short, as ISU Loses to SIU, 11-10
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March 29, 2013Box Score | Fischer Postgame Interview
NORMAL, Ill. - Playing their first game in 19 days, the Illinois State softball team started and finished strong against Southern Illinois, outscoring the Salukis 9-0 combined in the first and seventh innings. However, the Redbirds were outscored 11-1 during the rest of the game, and fell to the Salukis, 11-10, in Friday's Missouri Valley Conference- and home-opener at Marian Kneer Stadium.
Trailing 11-4 heading into the seventh inning, the Redbirds (13-13, 0-1 MVC) scored six runs to pull within one and had the winning run at the plate on four separate occasions. Laura Canopy hit a three-run homer, Stephanie Gallant hit a pinch-hit RBI double, Shelby Music scored on a passed ball and Kolby Hoffman hit a sacrifice fly to make it 11-10. However, Katie Bertelsen (SV, 1) induced a fly out to center from Lauren Kellar with runners on first and second to end the contest and give the Salukis (13-15, 1-4 MVC) their first conference win of the season.
The top five hitters in the ISU lineup combined for 10 of the Redbirds' 12 hits, led by Canopy's 3-for-4, five-RBI, two-run performance. Jhavon Hamilton, Elizabeth Kay and Shelby Music all recorded two-hit games in ISU's fourth double-digit offensive output of the season.
The Redbirds got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, Canopy plated Hamilton with a double before Music drove home Canopy and Kay with a double of her own. After the Salukis scored once in the second to make it 3-1, ISU extended the lead back to three on another RBI single from Canopy.
From there, however, the Salukis scored 10-straight runs to take control of the game. Jayna Spivey hit a three-run home run off ISU starter Taylor Baxter (LP, 7-5) in the top of the third to even the game at 4-4. SIU then added five more in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach.
Baxter walked Michelle Bradley to lead off the inning, and was removed in favor of Regan Romshek (ND). Romshek surrendered a two-run home run to the first batter she saw, Kalyn Harker, that gave SIU the lead for good. Romshek surrendered three more runs in the inning, and six overall in her 2.1 innings of work, allowing single tallies in the fifth and sixth.
Freshman Erin Rodriguez (ND) was effective in relief after replacing Romshek in the sixth inning, throwing 1.2 scoreless innings and allowing just one hit.
The 11 runs given up ties for the most allowed by ISU this season, with the other time coming in a 10-inning loss vs. No. 15 Michigan, Feb. 22.
The series between the Redbirds and Salukis concludes Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at noon.
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