Illinois State Splits Double Dip with Evansville
April 7, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State and Evansville split Saturday's doubleheader, but the Purple Aces claimed the series, as the Redbirds posted a 4-0 victory in the first game before falling, 4-3, in game two at Marian Kneer Stadium.
After dropping the series, ISU falls to 22-17 overall and 7-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while Evansville now owns an 11-23 season record and a 3-9 league mark.
In game one, the Redbirds posted their first base hit of the contest in the bottom of the third when Nichelle Harrison singled to left field. Harrison was forced out at second base on a fielder's choice by Kara Repp, but Repp eventually scored when Jhavon Hamilton belted her fifth home run of the season over the wall in right-center field to give Illinois State a 2-0 lead.
Megan Warner kept Evansville at bay and earned her second shutout of the season. The senior pitcher improved her record to 8-5 overall after only allowing five hits over seven innings. She didn't record a single strikeout, but did manage to escape a bases loaded, no-out situation in the top of the fifth inning. Sarah Patterson took the loss for Evansville and dropped to 6-11 on the season.
In the bottom of the fifth, ISU added to its lead after Hamilton reached first base on a bunt single. She scored on the next at bat, as Lauren Kellar ripped a triple to center field. Kellar also scored for a 4-0 ISU lead, on a wild pitch by Patterson.
Evansville drew first blood in the nightcap with a run in the top of the first inning, but Hamilton led off for Illinois State and proceeded to launch a tape-measure shot down the right field line. Laura Canopy added a two-out single to drive home Kellar, who walked earlier in the frame, to give the Redbirds a 2-1 lead.
The Purple Aces retook the lead in the top of the second with a two-run inning, but the Redbirds added another run in the bottom half of the frame to force a 3-3 tie. ISU tied the score after Lindsey Greene singled home Harrison.
The score remained tied until the top of the seventh inning when Amy Gaertner singled home Tamara Robey with two outs. The Redbirds threatened in their final at bat, as Lizzie Andrews led off the inning with a double. Following a base on balls to Canopy, Caiti Kopp flied out to right field which allowed Andrews to tag up and advance to third.
With runners on first and third and only one out, Harrison popped out to second base. ISU pinch hitter Kelsey Turczyn walked to force the bases loaded, but Greene hit into a fielder's choice and Canopy was forced out at third base to end the game. Jordan Birch took her second loss of the series and her overall record fell to 13-10. She pitched all seven innings, but surrendered 10 hits and four runs, two of which were earned.
The Redbirds left 12 runners on base in the second game and Hamilton led the way for ISU on the day with four hits, including a pair of home runs.
Illinois State will continue its homestand Tuesday when the Redbirds host in-state rival DePaul at Marian Kneer Stadium. That game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.