Fischer Wins 900th at ISU, as Redbirds Sweep Doubleheader
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April 11, 2013Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score | Fischer Postgame Interview
NORMAL, Ill. - Melinda Fischer won her 900th game as Illinois State softball (20-15, 5-3 MVC) head coach, as the Redbirds swept Bradley, 5-0 and 8-3, in a doubleheader, Thursday evening at Marian Kneer Stadium. The victories extend ISU's winning streak to four, tied for the longest this season.
Fischer secured the milestone with the game one victory. Since taking over as Redbird head coach in 1986, Fischer has become the winningest coach in Illinois State athletics and Missouri Valley Conference softball history, accumulating a record of 901-606-4 in her 28 seasons leading the softball program. Combined with her two seasons coaching Eastern Illinois, the 2010 NFCA Hall of Fame Inductee became the 20th coach in Division I softball history to earn her 900th-career victory last season.
Laura Canopy led the charge offensively for the Redbirds, going a combined 5-for-6 with two home runs, three RBI, and four runs scored. Jhavon Hamilton and Shelby Music added three RBI apiece as well, with Hamilton belting her second home run in the past three games.
Taylor Baxter and Regan Romshek limited the Braves, who entered with a MVC-best .291 batting average, to three runs in the two contests. Baxter recorded her fourth shutout of the season in game one, while Romshek surrendered three runs in 6.1 innings to earn the game two win.
Game One - Illinois State 5, Bradley 0
Music's two-out, bases loaded single in the first inning gave the Redbirds and Baxter (WP, 12-5) all the offense they would need, as the senior laced a line drive to center that scored Lauren Kellar and Canopy to make it 2-0 ISU. Canopy's two-run blast to right center in the third made it 4-0 ISU, before Hamilton plated Nichelle Harrison with a double in the fourth to round out the scoring.
Baxter scattered six hits over 7.0 innings, tying a season-high with five strikeouts. She has thrown three complete games in her last four starts, two of them shutouts. The Redbird defense behind her was solid, recording two double plays and no errors for the fourth time in the last five games.
Game Two - Illinois State 8, Bradley 3
Canopy's solo home run, her team-best eighth and MVC-high 36th RBI of the season, opened game two's scoring in the bottom of the third inning. Bradley answered with Kathryn Spenn's first-career home run off Romshek (WP, 6-8) in the fourth to tie the game at 1-1, before the game was decided in a pivotal fifth inning.
Bradley loaded the bases with three-straight singles to begin the inning. However, Romshek induced a pop out, fielder's choice and ground out to get out of the jam unscathed and turn it over to the ISU offense.
The Redbirds sent 12 batters to the plate in the seven-run inning. Harrison led off with a bunt single before Hamilton's two-run homer broke the tie and put ISU on top for good. Kay, Music, Romshek and Harrison all added RBI throughout the remainder of the inning, as the Redbirds took an 8-1 advantage into the sixth. Romshek surrendered two runs in the seventh inning, before Sophia Perez (ND) entered to record the final two outs of the contest.
The Redbirds have now won six of their last seven games. They'll look to continue the hot streak at Drake this weekend, with a three-game series Saturday, April 13-Sunday, April 14.
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