Current Redbirds Defeat Program Greats in Annual Alumni Game
Caiti Kopp (left) and Megan Warner
Caiti Kopp (left) and Megan Warner

Sept. 11, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. - The current Illinois State softball team defeated a team of 16 former Redbird players 12-5 in the program's annual Alumni Game Sunday afternoon at Marian Kneer Stadium. The alumni team featured 12 players that finished their careers in the 2000s, but also former Redbirds from the 1960s, 1970s and 1990s.

The game went nine innings, with the current Redbirds using a different lineup and pitcher every three innings. Trailing 3-1 heading into the bottom of the third inning, the Redbirds put up five runs to grab a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

The highlight of the game came when Margie Wright took to the circle for the alumni team. Wright entered the game in the fourth inning, tossing two and one-third innings and allowing just two runs on four hits. Wright was a Redbird pitcher from 1970-1974, who went on to become the winningest softball coach in NCAA Division I history after six years leading ISU and 27 years at the helm of Fresno State. A Warrensburg, Ill., native, Wright recently retired from coaching with 1,454 victories, the second-highest tally in Division I history in any sport.

Lizzie Andrews (OF 2010-2012), Jordan Birch (P, 2008-2012), Jessie Buker (UT, 2005-2009), Michelle Henderson (IF, 2006-2010), Caiti Kopp (C, 2008-2012), Kara Nelson (IF, 2006-2011), Shannon Nicholson (P, 2003-2007), Abby Olson (IF, 2007-2011), Megan Warner (P, 2008-2012), Priscilla Welch-DeLaere (OF, 1993-1997) and Wright all played for the alumni team. Henderson and Olson each recorded two hits, with Henderson also driving in three runs. Birch, Nicholson and Warner pitched in addition to Wright.

Sophomore Lindsey Greene and freshman Brittny Drish led the current squad with three RBI apiece. Drish, Greene, Sara Bradley and Kaitlyn Knary each had two hits. Elizabeth Kay hit the only homerun of the game, a two-run blast that came in the aforementioned five-run third inning for the current squad.

Junior Taylor Baxter and freshmen Regan Romshek and Erin Rodriguez each threw three innings for the current Redbirds. Baxter allowed three runs and Romshek allowed two to score, while Rodriguez fired three shutout innings to go along with two strikeouts.

The Redbirds officially kick off their fall schedule Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m., against Heartland Community College at Marian Kneer Stadium.

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