Redbirds Defeat Sycamores, 12-4; Game Two Postponed
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April 17, 2013Box Score | Fischer Postgame Interview
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State softball team scored runs in their final five at-bats, breaking open a close game for a 12-4, six-inning victory over Indiana State, Wednesday afternoon at Marian Kneer Stadium. The victory was originally game one of a doubleheader, but game two was postponed due to inclement weather conditions.
Laura Canopy bounced back from a one-hit series at Drake last weekend with a 3-for-3 performance for the Redbirds (22-17, 7-5 Missouri Valley Conference), adding three RBI, a walk and a run. Nichelle Harrison picked up a season-high three RBI, while Sara Bradley added two. Bradley, Lauren Kellar and Elizabeth Kay registered two hits apiece, while Jhavon Hamilton extended her on-base streak to 18 games with a triple and a walk.
Taylor Baxter (WP, 13-6) kept the Indiana State (14-28, 3-13 MVC) offense at bay, allowing four runs (two earned) in 4.1 innings. Sophia Perez (SV, 5) relieved Baxter in the top of the fifth with two runners on in a two-run game, but struck out all five batters she faced. The dominating performance moved her into sole possession of the all-time single-season saves mark, with five.
Indiana State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning on an unearned run, but the Redbirds answered with two tallies in the bottom of the second to get the lead back at 2-1. Bradley came around to score from second base when Kolby Hoffman tripled to center field. Hoffman then scored as the relay throw from the outfield got past third base and went into the ISU dugout, giving the Redbirds the lead.
Bradley singled to right field to score Kay from third in the bottom of the third inning to extend the Redbird lead to 3-1. The Redbirds broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning with three runs to widen the advantage to 6-2. Canopy drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI double into the gap in left center field, before Harrison followed with a two-run single through the right side of the infield to plate Canopy and Shelby Music.
The Sycamores threatened in the top of the fifth inning, scoring two runs and forcing Baxter out of the game with two runners on and just one out. Perez came in and ended the threat, as she recorded a pair of strikeouts to preserve a 6-4 lead after four innings. Canopy drove in two more runs in the bottom half of the inning to start a four-run frame for ISU as the lead widened to 10-4 after five innings.
The game ended in the bottom of the sixth inning, as the Redbirds put two runs on the board to invoke the run rule with a score of 12-4. Kellar drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI single and later scored the game-winner, when she came home on a Harrison walk with the bases loaded.
Game two will be made up as part of a doubleheader at Indiana State, Thursday, April 25, beginning at 1 p.m., CST. Next up for the Redbirds is a three-game set at Wichita State, Saturday and Sunday, followed by a doubleheader at Creighton Monday.
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