Illinois State’s softball team (14-21, 6-3 MVC) dropped its last game of the three-game series against Southern Illinois (17-17, 5-6 MVC), going 2-1 on the weekend at Charlotte West Stadium in Carbondale, Ill. The Redbirds seized a program-record of 20 runs in the first game of the series.
“It was very contagious in a very positive way. We’ve gotten better as we’ve progressed in the season with our offense. We felt like we were starting to hit in a pretty good rhythm,” head coach of ISU softball, Melinda Fischer said.
Game One: ISU 20, SIU 2
The Redbirds took control in the first inning of the game against Southern Illinois by scoring five runs. Sara Bradley hit a single to plate Nichelle Harrison and Regan Romshek to give ISU an early 2-0 lead. Kelsey Turczyn came to the plate two batters later and homered to left field to extend the Redbirds’ lead to 5-0.
Romshek hit her fourth home run of the season in the second to give ISU an even larger lead, 7-0. ISU tacked on five more runs in the fourth. Stephanie Gallant singled to score two runs before Turczyn sent another Redbird home with her base hit. Kara Repp kept the runs coming in with a two-RBI double, making it 12-0.
Romshek surrendered a two-run homer in the fourth, but then the Redbirds scored eight more runs in the fifth. Jordan de los Reyes plated Harrison with a single and Gallant smashed a three-run homer to right field. Laura Canopy and Romshek both singled plating two more Redbirds.
ISU beat Southern Illinois 20-2 in the first game of the doubleheader.
Game Two: ISU 11, SIU 0
The game was scoreless until the top of the third when the Redbirds scored six runs. Canopy hit her fourth home run of the season to start the scoring. Harrison came up with a triple and scored on a double from Romshek. Gallant rocked her second three-run homer of the day over the scoreboard in right field later in the inning. Brittny Drish hit her own solo homer to give the ’Birds a 6-0 advantage.
ISU shut down the Salukis in the fifth by scoring five more runs. The bases were loaded when Romshek was walked to bring in a run and de los Reyes had a two-RBI double to left center. Gallant drove two more ’Birds home to make it 11-0 and sweep the Salukis in the doubleheader.
“We have been coming from behind quite a bit this season and finally we were able to get out in front,” Fischer said.
Game Three: ISU 4, SIU 5
The Redbirds were unable to sweep the Salukis in the three-game series, dropping the last game 5-4. ISU had a 4-3 advantage in the seventh inning, but Kelsey Gonzalez of SIU started the inning off with a single. Jayna Spivey hit the ball to fence in right center field, bringing in two runs for the Salukis.
ISU had the 1-0 lead in the first before Spivey had a three-run homer in the bottom half. Canopy helped to even the score, 3-3, with her two-run homer. Both teams lacked runs for a few innings before de los Reyes’ single started the momentum. Hoffman singled with the bases loaded to bring home pinch runner Molly Cull and give the ’Birds the 4-3 lead.
Canopy smashed her second homer of the weekend for the ’Birds while de los Reyes and Hoffman both went 2-for-3 with one RBI. Romshek threw all 6.1 innings for the Redbirds and struck four out and walked three.