The Illinois State softball team won its fourth-straight Missouri Valley Conference double-header in a three-game series against Loyola over the weekend, going 2-1. The Redbirds fell to the Ramblers on Sunday 3-1 in Chicago.
“I thought we had a lot of contributions from a lot of different people. That’s always important as you continue to progress through the season,” ISU head coach Melinda Fischer said.
Game One: ISU 3, Loyola 0
The Redbirds opened up the first game of the three game series with Regan Romshek in the circle. Romshek retired the first batters she faced. Both teams remained scoreless until the fourth inning.
Romshek tripled to the fence in right center to lead off the fourth. Jordan de los Reyes doubled to left to plate Romshek before Sara Bradley hit her seventh home run of the season to give ISU a 3-0 lead.
The Redbirds kept their lead and Romshek protected, only allowing Ramblers on first and second. Kolby Hoffman dove and caught a sinking line drive to end the fifth inning. Romshek retired the last six batters of the game for her third-career shutout.
Game Two: ISU 12, Loyola 1
In game two the Redbirds sailed by the Loyola Ramblers 12-1 in a run-rule victory. De los Reyes came up in the first inning with a double that sent home Laura Canopy from second. Bradley hit a sacrifice fly to left with runners on second and third, plating Nichelle Harrison. Then, Stephanie Gallant hit a RBI single on two outs that scored de los Reyes to give the ’Birds a 3-0 lead.
Taylor Baxter was in the circle for ISU and allowed one runner on base in the first three innings. Canopy sent Repp home with a single, before de los Reyes walked with the bases loaded to make it 5-0, Redbirds.
In the fifth, Hoffman, Canopy and Romshek had RBIs to give the ’Birds three more runs, 8-0, before Loyola’s Katy LaCivita hit a solo homer, making it 8-1.
Gallant, Brittny Drish and Annie Heineman loaded the bases and scored one after Canopy was walked. Harrison then smashed the ball to right center for a double, giving the Redbirds a 12-1 lead.
Baxter induced grounders to get the final three outs of the game.
“I thought Taylor and Regan both pitched extremely well and did a good job keeping them [Loyola] off base and giving us an opportunity to get back in and score,” Fischer said.
Game Three: Loyola 3, ISU 1
Romshek started it off for the Redbirds with a homer in the first inning, giving ISU a 1-0 lead, but the Ramblers answered with a single to send Lauren Moore home.
Bradley fielded a bunt but threw it wide of first base to let another one of the Ramblers score in the second inning. Both teams remained scoreless until Loyola tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth, 3-1.
The Redbirds loaded the bases in the sixth but could not plate any of the runners. ISU had another opportunity in the seventh with runners on first and second, but de los Reyes flew out and the Loyola claimed the victory.
ISU will play Bradley in a doubleheader on Wednesday at Laura Bradley Park. The first game is scheduled for 2 p.m.