Redbirds Drop Two at Drake
Nichelle Harrison went a combined 4-for-6 with two RBI and a run scored

Nichelle Harrison went a combined 4-for-6 with two RBI and a run scored

April 13, 2013

Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score | Fischer Postgame Interview

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Illinois State softball team had its season-long four-game winning streak snapped with a pair of losses at Drake, Saturday afternoon. The Redbirds fell behind early in game one and couldn't recover, falling 4-1, before surrendering a 3-0 first inning lead to lose game two, 4-3.

Nichelle Harrison and Lauren Kellar had the best days offensively for ISU (20-17, 5-5 MVC). Harrison was a combined 4-for-6 with two RBI, while Kellar put together two multi-hit performances in going 5-for-8 with a double and run scored. Elizabeth Kay's solo home run in game one tied her with Heather Stella for the program's all-time lead in RBI, with 157. The homer also tied her with Stella for most all-time in the Missouri Valley Conference, before Creighton's Amy Baker moved to 160-career RBI in the Blue Jays' second game at Indiana State.

Game One - Drake 4, Illinois State 1

The Redbirds put 13 runners on base in game one, with five hits, seven walks and a hit by pitch. However, ISU stranded 12 of those potential runs, their most in a seven-inning game this season.

After starting pitcher Taylor Baxter (LP, 12-6) worked her way out of a second-and-third, no out situation in the second, Drake capitalized on the same scenario in the third to take a 2-0 lead. Hayley Nyko drove home Lindsey Vande Wall with a sacrifice fly, before Nicole Randel plated Amy Pierce with a two-out single to make it 2-0 Bulldogs.

Kay's homer, her team-high ninth of the season, brought ISU within one in the top of the third. However, the Bulldogs added lone tallies in the third and fourth to build the three-run advantage.

The Redbirds stranded seven runs over their final three at-bats. They loaded the bases against Rebekah Schmidt (ND) in the seventh, before pinch-hitter Regan Romshek struck out to end the contest.

Baxter surrendered four runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings, striking out three and walking one. Erin Rodriguez (ND) tossed 1.1 inning of scoreless relief. Drake's Jordan Gronewold (WP, 13-7) allowed one run in 4.2 innings, before Schmidt took over to close out the victory.

Game Two - Drake 4, Illinois State 3

After a stagnant offensive display in game one, the Redbirds opened game two with three runs in the top of the first against Gronewold (ND). Harrison's two-out, two-RBI single to left scored Jhavon Hamilton and Kellar, before Shelby Music crushed a double to right that brought home Harrison and made it 3-0 Redbirds.

The Bulldogs responded quickly with three in the first against Romshek (LP, 6-9). Randel brought home Macie Silliman with a double, before Gronewold came through with a two-out, two-RBI single to even the contest at 3-3.

The Redbirds looked primed to regain the lead, loading the bases with two outs and Kay coming up. However, Schmidt (WP, 10-8) relieved Gronewold and struck out Kay out on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat. Silliman drove home a run in the second to give the Bulldogs and Schmidt all of the offense they would need the rest of the way. ISU mustered just two singles from Harrison in Schmidt's 5.1 innings. Romshek rebounded from early struggles to go the distance, allowing 10 hits and four runs (three earned).

The Redbirds will look to salvage game three of the series, Sunday at noon.

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