With the sun shining and the weather finally feeling like spring, the Redbirds won their final two games of the three-game series against the Indiana State Sycamores. The Redbirds beat the Sycamores, 4-3 in game two and 8-7 in game three.
“Both the games that we won were really nail bitters and came down to the very end. It shows that we can finish the game and we can come back at the very end get the job done,” senior pitcher Taylor Baxter said.
“When you have a weekend like this where there’s a lot of offense going, you just have to keep believing that you can do it,” head coach Melinda Fischer said.
Game One: ISU 8, Indiana State 12
With Regan Romshek in the circle for the ’Birds in the first inning, Indiana State scored four runs. The Sycamores’ Morgan Allee rocked the first pitch of the game out of the park. Indiana State kept its momentum going and scored another run in the fourth inning and the Redbirds scored their first run in the bottom of the fourth.
Kara Repp singled to bring home Sara Bradley and brought the score to 6-1. The Redbirds also scored two more runs in the fifth to cut the deficit in half to 6-3. Laura Canopy had a leadoff walk and scored on a single by Jordan de los Reyes. Stephanie Gallant came up to the plate later in the frame and had a RBI single that plated Reyes.
The Sycamores’ offense did not stop and they scored two runs in the sixth, extending their lead to 8-3, but the ’Birds responded and tied the game up, 8-8. Indiana State committed an error at first base, which allowed one runner to score before de los Reyes smashed a grand slam to tie it up.
Both of the teams were unable to score, which advanced them into extra innings. Indiana State had two, two-run homers to make the score 12-8, and ISU was unable to plate any more Redbirds.
Game Two: ISU 4, Indiana State 3
In the bottom of the first the Redbirds took the lead when de los Reyes singled and sent Nichelle Harrison home, making it 1-0.
The Sycamores scored two in the second and another in the fifth, taking the lead 3-1. Brittny Drish led off the fifth with a solo home run and then Repp singled. When Canopy stepped up to the plate she hit a home run and gave ISU the lead, 4-3.
Taylor Baxter shut down the Sycamores in the final two innings and the Redbirds claimed victory in game two.
Game Three: ISU 8, Indiana State 7
To open the final game against Indiana State, Baxter was in the circle and Laura Canopy had a leadoff home run to give the Redbirds a 1-0 advantage. With two outs in the top of the second, Indiana State’s Shelby Wilson had a two-run homer to put the Sycamores on top, 2-1. Rylee Holland stole home plate where she collided with Brittny Drish and would have been called out, but the ball fell out of Drish’s mitt and the Sycamores led the ’Birds in the third, 3-1.
Hoffman stepped up to the plate for a solo home run to cut ISU’s deficit in half, 4-2. After Harrison was on base, she stole third and the ball got away from the Indiana State third baseman which allowed her to plate giving the Redbirds another run, 4-3.
The Redbirds’ offense kept producing as Sara Bradley smashed a home run to give the ’Birds back the lead, 5-4. The Sycamores kept on their toes and scored two runs on a wild pitch to put them ahead, 6-5. Romshek replaced Baxter in the top of the fifth and allowed an RBI single by Wilson to extend the Sycamores lead, 7-5.
Later, Gallant sent Knary home from third as ISU trailed by one, 7-6. Baxter reentered the game to keep the Sycamores scoreless for the remainder of the game.
“It’s nice to have a defense behind me that I can rely on,” Baxter said.
Canopy’s single put ISU back on top, 8-7 where the Redbirds would stay and earn another victory over Indiana State.
The Redbirds will face University of Illinois in the annual strike out cancer game, Wednesday at 5 p.m.