Redbird Softball Begins 2010 Season at USF Tournament

Feb. 10, 2010


 ILLINOIS STATE AT USF WILSON-DEMARINI TOURNAMENT | CLEARWATER, FLA.
 Dates  Friday, Feb. 12 - Sunday, Feb. 14
 Location
 Clearwater, Fla.
 Friday
 vs. East Carolina(11:30 a.m. CST)
 at USF (5 p.m. CST)
 Saturday
 vs. Florida Gulf Coast (11:30 a.m. CST)
 vs. Long Island(2 p.m. CST)
 Sunday
 vs. Florida (10: 30a.m. CST)
 Radio  Play Audio WJBC.com (Kyle Anderson| Play-by-Play)
 Webcast  Video GoUSFBulls.com ($9.95 for entire tournament)
 Tournament Info
 Tournament Central

NORMAL, Ill.-The 2010 Illinois State softball team will begin its quest for the program's seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament Friday when it starts play at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament in Clearwater, Fla. ISU will begin the tournament with games Friday against East Carolina (11:30 a.m. CST) and tournament host South Florida (5 p.m. CST), followed by Saturday matchups against Florida Gulf Coast (11:30 a.m. CST) and Long Island (2 p.m. CST). The Redbirds will wrap up the tournament at 10:30 a.m. CST Sunday against Florida.


All five of Illinois State's games this weekend can be heard live on WJBC.com, as Kyle Anderson will provide live play-by-play for Redbird fans. Information on how to view a live Webcast of each game will be available on GoRedbirds.com.


Illinois State will begin its 46th season of collegiate softball (28th season at the NCAA Division I level) Friday when it starts play at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament. The Redbirds are coming off of a 24-26 overall record in 2009, which included a fifth-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 12-11 league mark.


Despite a strong conference performance in 2009, Illinois State failed to make the NCAA Tournament last season. With a schedule that includes six teams that were named to the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Preseason Poll, the Redbirds will look to get the winning momentum going early and often this weekend in Clearwater, Fla.


The Redbirds were picked fifth in the preseason Missouri Valley Conference Coaches' Poll, and junior Abby Olson earned preseason All-Valley honors.
"Every time we get an opportunity I want the team to improve and learn something about themselves individually and ourselves as a team," said head coach Melinda Fischer. "If they play hard and take care of business, then things should go our way."


ISU returns 12 letterwinners from its 2009 squad, a number that includes six of its nine starters. Chief among those returnees is junior Kara Nelson, who was named to the ASA National Player of the Year Watch List prior to the start of the 2009 season. Nelson led The Valley in both batting average (.401) and triples (7) in 2008.


This weekend's tournament in Clearwater, Fla., marks the fourth-straight year that Illinois State has opened its season in Florida. The Redbirds have begun a season in the Sunshine State in eight of the last nine years.


"Horton Field House allows us to do a lot of things inside when we experience poor weather, but nothing is the same as being on a field outside," said Fischer. "We will have to transition quickly from indoor practice to playing outdoors to be successful."


ISU will compete against East Carolina for the first time in team history.


GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.

MULTIMEDIA COVERAGE

Multimedia coverage for the Illinois State softball team's season-opening games at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament in Clearwater, Fla., Friday through Sunday has been announced.

All five of the Redbirds' games at the tournament will be broadcast live on WJBC.com, with Kyle Anderson providing live play-by-play for Redbird fans. Below is a schedule of when each live radio broadcast will begin on WJBC.com:

LIVE RADIO SCHEDULE
Friday
Play Audio 11:30 a.m. CST - vs. East Carolina
Play Audio 5 p.m. CST - at USF (tournament host)

Saturday
Play Audio 11:30a.m. CST - vs. Florida Gulf Coast
Play Audio 2 p.m. CST - vs. Long Island

Sunday
Play Audio 10:30 a.m. CST - vs. Florida

A live Webcast of all of Illinois State's games at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament is available to purchase from GoUSFBulls.com, the official Web site of the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament. Access to the live Webcast for all five games costs $9.95.

Illinois State will open its 2010 season at 11:30 a.m. CST Friday against East Carolina in the 2010 USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament in Clearwater, Fla.