ISU Softball Tops Creighton in Five, 8-0
April 29, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - With just two hits by the Redbirds in the game, the Illinois State softball team (32-20, 17-7 MVC) swept its final game of a three-game series against Missouri Valley Conference rival Creighton (26-22-1, 14-9 MVC) Sunday at Marian Kneer Stadium, 8-0.
Jordan Birch recorded her second win of the series, improving her season record to 20-12. The 20 wins are the most single season victories for the senior pitcher in her Redbird career. Birch faced 21 Bluejays and struck out five, walking just one CU batter.
In the batter's box, Nichelle Harrison was 1-of-2 with a three-run homer in the fourth to give ISU a 3-0 lead. Harrison ended the game with four RBI and scored two runs for ISU. Lizzie Andrews was 1-of-3 with an RBI and crossed home plate twice. Jhavon Hamilton and Caiti Kopp each had an RBI in the win.
After two scoreless innings, Creighton threatened in the third loading the bases with no outs and the heart of the lineup due at the plate. Birch walked the leadoff batter and allowed two singles to load the bases for the Bluejays, but with three-straight strikeouts Birch got herself out of the jam.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Andrews reached first on a CU error to start the inning, but the Bluejays got back-to-back outs. Kopp was patient at the plate and walked to put runners on first and second. With two outs and a 1-0 count, Harrison hit her first-career home run over the right field wall to give ISU a three-run advantage. The homer marked the first hit for the Redbirds in the final game of the series.
ISU kept the offensive attack going in the fifth, as a single to the gap in right center field by Andrews drove in Hamilton, who was at third after getting on as the leadoff batter. Elizabeth Kay was hit by a pitch and Laura Canopy walked to load the bases for ISU. Kopp reached on a Bluejay error and scored Andrews from third. Creighton's pitching staff struggled, as it walked in three Redbird runs, including a walk off walk that Hamilton drew. Illinois State scored five runs in the fifth to end the game, 8-0.
Illinois State will travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, for its final series of the regular season against Northern Iowa. The three-game series will get underway Saturday, May 7, beginning at noon.
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