Redbirds Put on Clinic, Then Win Two More in Curaçao
Erin Rodriguez
Erin Rodriguez

@ISURedbirds

Nov. 21, 2012

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WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - The Illinois State softball team put on a clinic for natives before playing two more games on day five of their week-long journey to Curaçao. The Redbirds moved to 6-0 on the trip, defeating the Santa Rosa Angels, 11-0, and an all-star team of consisting of players from different Curaçaoan squads, 7-2.

The clinic put players and coaches through rotations of strength and conditioning, injury prevention, hitting, fielding, catching and pitching. While a lot of natural talent and ability exists on the island, inconsistent fundamentals hinder those skills from being harnessed, according to head coach Melinda Fischer.

"They are very quick and fast," Fischer said of the Curaçaoan players she has seen. "They have some of the strongest arms I have seen with no technique. They have some great defensive talent, and I think the offensive talent is starting to develop."

Following the clinic, the Redbirds took control of game one against Santa Rosa early, scoring 10 runs in the game's first two innings. Kara Repp, Elizabeth Kay, Brittny Drish, Kelsey Turczyn and Hayley Marlier all drove in Redbirds in the six-run first, while Regan Romshek, Drish and Molly Cull picked up RBIs in the second. Cull added a solo home run in the fourth to give ISU its 11-0 final margin of victory.

Erin Rodriguez started in the circle for Illinois State. She pitched four perfect innings, striking out five.

The all-star game provided the Redbirds with one of their toughest tests of the trip. ISU opened the scoring when Kay drove home Jhavon Hamilton with a triple in the top of the first. The all-star team responded, however, scoring once in the bottom half of the inning to even the game.

The Redbirds slowly built a lead from there, scoring once more in the second and third. Kolby Hoffman drove home Rodriguez with a RBI fielder's choice in the second, while Romshek scored on an error in the third. ISU tacked on two in the fourth on Stephanie Gallant's two-out, two-RBI double, before adding two more runs in the fifth, with Lindsey Greene and Repp coming home.

Taylor Baxter pitched all five innings before the game was called due to the time, striking out seven while walking two. However, Fischer was not pleased with the defense behind Baxter, as the Redbirds committed six errors.

"I thought we started out okay, but I think we took ourselves out of what we take pride in, which is being fundamentally sound defensively," Fischer said. "Sometimes those things happen, but you control that. We have to be able to correct that and move on in the course of a game."

The Redbirds will conclude the softball portion of its trip Thursday, with a game against junior baseball team and an intrasquad scrimmage. They will also spend a portion of their day painting two elementary school classrooms. Consistent internet connection permitting, both games will be streamed on the WJBC/COUNTRY Financial Illinois State Radio Network.

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