ISU Tops UNI and Remains Undefeated in Valley Play
April 2, 2010
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Kara Nelson led the Illinois State softball team over Missouri Valley Conference rival Northern Iowa Friday, 9-1, at the Robinson-Dresser Sports Complex. With the victory, the Redbirds increased their win streak to five games and are the only undefeated team left in Valley play. Nelson was 4-for-4 at the plate, including a home run. It was Nelson's second-perfect performance at the plate this season.
Illinois State (15-10, 3-0MVC) continued its stellar performance at the plate against Northern Iowa (16-12, 4-1 MVC) recording 17 hits in the game, which were the most hits allowed by the Panther pitching staff this season.
Megan Warner faced 19 batters in five innings and struck out seven Panthers while allowing only two hits. The Milan, Ill., native improved her record to 7-4.
Nelson singled up the middle to start the game for the Redbirds and moved to third on a fielder's choice hit by Jhavon Hamilton, who was safe in the play. Nelson and Hamilton crossed the plate on a single by Abby Olson. Elizabeth Kay stepped into the batter's box and singled up the middle and moved Olson to third. Kay stole second to put runners in scoring position for Niki Stansell. The senior shortstop doubled to center field and drove in Olson and Kay. The Redbirds scored four runs on five hits in the first.
The sole Panther run came in the first inning when Livi Abney singled up the middle and drove in Mackenzie Daigh.
Illinois State was scoreless until the fifth inning when they opened a five-run rally on five hits. Michelle Henderson led off the inning with a solo shot over the left field fence. Stansell singled to left field and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Shelby Music continued the hitting streak with a grounder up the middle to put two Redbirds on base. Lauren Kellar recorded her first hit of the game and drove in Stansell. Nelson stepped into the batter's box and sent a three-run homer over the center field fence for her fourth hit of the game and gave the Redbirds an eight-run lead.
Illinois State has defeated three Valley opponents in five-innings to start conference play.
The Redbirds will return to the field Saturday for a doubleheader against the Panthers beginning at noon.
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