Redbird Softball Hosting Tourney at Champion Fields
Katie Guilbault is one of 12 returners for the 'Birds.
Katie Guilbault is one of 12 returners for the 'Birds.

Sept. 9, 2005

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State softball team will play host to six teams from around the state this weekend at its annual fall tournament at Champions Fields in Normal. Participants include Illinois Central College (ICC), Parkland College, Saint Xavier, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Western Illinois and Missouri Valley Conference foe Southern Illinois-Carbondale.

"All the teams we've got coming in here this weekend are quality programs," Redbird head coach Melinda Fischer said. "ICC finished second in their region last year, Southern (SIU-C) won our conference and Parkland had just nine losses. These are all good teams, so it should be an interesting tournament."

Despite Fischer's excitement about the weekend, her team will be short-handed due an onslaught of injuries. Her team will be so young that she could field a lineup in which only two veterans would be playing positions they played last season.

"We're a little banged up from the summer," Fischer said, "and that really concerns me. There will be a lot of interchanging of positions this weekend. Some of our players may even field a position that they've never played before other than in practice.

"But it will be exciting just to see what we have," Fischer added. "We know what everyone looks like individually, and now we'll get to see how we play as a team. There are things we haven't had a chance to cover in practice yet, so our staff will learn a lot too. We've seen some good things, but we've still got a long way to go."

The Redbirds enter the tournament with 20 players on their roster, eight of whom will be competing for Illinois State for the first time. Those newcomers include Jessie Buker (Okaw Valley H.S.), Casey Gorrell (Olathe, Kan.), Amber Smith (Fairfield, Calif.), Katie Thoennes (Normal Community H.S.), Marilyn Tresenriter (Rock Falls H.S.), Jessica Wapotish (Barrington H.S.), Kelsey Warning (Fairview Heights, Ill.) and Kaprice Williams (Portage, Mich.).

Saturday, September 10
Field 1
10 a.m. Illinois State vs. ICC
Noon Saint Xavier vs. WIU
2 p.m. Parkland vs. Illinois State
4 p.m. WIU vs. Parkland
6 p.m. WIU vs. SIU-E

Field 2
10 a.m. SIU vs. Parkland
Noon SIU-E vs. SIU
2 p.m. SIU-E vs. Saint Xavier
4 p.m. ICC vs. SIU
6 p.m. Saint Xavier vs. ICC

Sunday, September 11
Field 1
10 a.m. Illinois State vs. Saint Xavier
Noon Parkland vs. Saint Xavier
2 p.m. Illinois State vs. SIU
4 p.m. SIU-E vs. Illinois State

Field 2
10 a.m. SIU vs. WIU
Noon ICC vs. WIU
2 p.m. Parkland vs. SIU-E
4 p.m. ICC vs. Parkland