Day Six on Curaçao Features Community Service, Final Game Competition
Head coach Melinda Fischer receiving a plaque from the Curacao Softball Association
Head coach Melinda Fischer receiving a plaque from the Curacao Softball Association

Nov. 22, 2012

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WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - The Illinois State softball team concluded the competition portion of its week-long trip to Curaçao with a 6-3 victory over a junior baseball team, as well as an intrasquad scrimmage, Thursday evening at Sabana Ball Park. The team also spent the day performing community service, painting classrooms and offices at a school for children with special needs on Curaçao.

"This trip is about so much more than softball, and I think everybody will realize that when they talk with our girls about the experience and what they got out of it," head coach Melinda Fischer said. "Painting a special needs school was an amazing experience, and I think it's one that they will have memories off for a long time."

ISU moved to 7-0 on its trip with the 6-3 win over a junior baseball team. The Redbirds' opponent consisted of boys ages 15-17, who had never played softball before in a competitive setting. They brought in adult male fastpitch softball pitchers from the island to do the pitching.

"I think our girls were made aware of very early of the quickness and strength of the young players," Fischer said. "Speed down the line, speed getting to plays that normally wouldn't be made against us and quickness of release and throw to pick people off."

Early scoring has been a theme for the Redbirds this trip, with Thursday's game being no exception. ISU scored twice in the first inning, as Lauren Kellar crossed home on a wild pitch before Stephanie Gallant drove home Jhavon Hamilton with a single. Shelby Music led off the second inning with a walk, and later came home on a sacrifice fly from Kellar to put ISU up 3-0.

After a scoreless third inning, the Redbirds tacked on two more in the fourth on RBIs from Regan Romshek, who also started the game in the circle, and Hayley Marlier. Brittny Drish scored on an error in the sixth inning to round out ISU's scoring.

After the game, Julius O. Hellburg, Secretary General of the Curaçao Softball Association, presented Fischer with a plaque, while thanking her for spending the week in Willemstad.

"I feel that this softball federation is really trying to get back on track, and really have their players make a commitment to international fastpitch competition," Fischer said. "With teams like us coming over and showing how the game has developed, and continues to, was huge. The people are great. They are friendly, it's a really laid back atmosphere, and we appreciate everything they have done for us."

A four-inning intrasquad scrimmage followed, with the red team defeating the white team 7-2. Laura Canopy, Elizabeth Kay and Drish all drove home runs for the victors, while Molly Cull had an RBI double and Hamilton hit a solo homer for the white team. Taylor Baxter threw for the victorious red team, while Erin Rodriguez was in the circle for the white team.

The Redbirds will spend one more off day on Curaçao before departing for home Saturday morning. Be sure to follow along on Twitter with @ISU_Softball for off day and travel exploits.

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