Redbird Softball to Play Eight Fall Exhibitions
Melinda Fischer
Melinda Fischer

Sept. 4, 2012

NORMAL, Ill. - The road to defending its 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title begins now for the Illinois State softball team, as the squad prepares to play a total of eight exhibition games in its fall schedule. Two games will be at home, another four will be at Champion Fields as part of the State Farm Illinois Collegiate Softball Championship and the last two will be at the Corn Crib against the National Pro Fastpitch All-Stars.

The fall slate unofficially begins Sunday, Sept. 9 with the Alumni Game at Marian Kneer Stadium. The 2012-13 Redbirds will take on a team made up of 14 former ISU greats, ranging from recently graduated players Jordan Birch, Lizzie Andrews, Kara Nelson, Caiti Kopp, Megan Warner and Abby Olson to Karen Wilkening and Margie Wright, who played for the Redbirds from 1968-1970 and 1970-1974, respectively. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Redbirds then welcome Heartland Community College and Lakeland Community College to Marian Kneer Stadium on consecutive Wednesdays, Sept. 12 and Sept. 19, respectively. The game against the Hawks will begin at 6 p.m., while the Redbirds and Lakers will square off at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23 will be the Parents Day Game, although it is not officially counted as part of the fall schedule.

Then, the Redbirds will participate in the State Farm Illinois Collegiate Softball Championship on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30 at Champion Fields in Normal. Twelve softball teams from across the state will participate in the tournament, with ISU taking on Illinois-Springfield at noon and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at 5 p.m., on the first day of competition. The teams will be shifted to bracket play for two more games on Sunday. More information is to come about the event in the coming weeks.

Lastly, ISU will welcome a team of all-stars from the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league to the Corn Crib in Normal on Sunday, Oct. 7. The two squads will play a double-header, with game times of 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. This is the third-straight year that a team of representatives from all four NPF teams (Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Carolina Diamonds and USSSA Pride) have traveled the country playing against college opponents. This year's tour makes 21 stops across 16 states in a 40-day span. The Back to School Tour is sponsored by USSSA, with the support of Major League Baseball.

The Redbird softball program is coming off its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011 with an overall 37-23 overall record and an 18-8 mark in the MVC. The 2013 Redbirds will feature National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Mideast Region First Team selection and All-Valley Second Team honoree Jhavon Hamilton as well as All-Valley Second Team choices Laura Canopy and Lauren Kellar. Melinda Fischer returns for her 28th season at the helm of Redbird softball.

Date Opponent Location Time
Sunday, Sept. 9 Alumni Game Marian Kneer Stadium 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 12 Heartland Community College Marian Kneer Stadium 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 19 Lakeland Community College Marian Kneer Stadium 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 29

State Farm Illinois Collegiate Softball Championship

vs. Illinois Springfield
vs. Southern Illinois Edwardsville

Champion Fields
(Normal, Ill.)

12 p.m.
5 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 30

State Farm Illinois Collegiate Softball Championship
vs. TBA

Champion Fields
(Normal, Ill.)
Sunday, Oct. 7 vs. National Pro Fastpitch All-Stars

Corn Crib
(Normal, Ill.)

3 p.m.
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