Illinois State’s softball team (17-24, 9-5 MVC) split a doubleheader at Bradley University (19-24, 10-7 MVC), going scoreless in the first game and coming out with 11 runs in the second.
Game One- Bradley 1, ISU 0
Laura Canopy led off the first inning for the Redbirds and was hit by a pitch. Nichelle Harrison and Regan Romshek both grounded out and Canopy advanced to third before Jordan de los Reyes was walked. The two ’Birds were left on base as Sara Bradley was thrown out as well.
Bradley was unable to score any runs in the bottom of the first and game one remained scoreless until Bradley got some hits in the bottom of the sixth and scored one run, leading the Redbirds 1-0. The Braves took the win as the Redbirds did not score in the seventh.
Game Two- ISU 11, Bradley 2
The Redbirds gained some momentum in game two and started off the first inning with one run. Canopy had a leadoff walk but was thrown out at second when Harrison reached on a bunt. Romshek got to first on an error from the shortstop, advancing Harrison to second. Harrison scored on Bradley’s fly out to right field to give the Redbirds a 1-0 advantage. With Taylor Baxter in the circle, she induced a fly out on her first batter and struck out her second and fourth to retire the side.
Kara Repp started out the second inning with a single to center field before Kolby Hoffman fouled out at first. Canopy took first base when she was hit by a pitch and Romshek smashed the ball to right center for a double to score Canopy and Repp. ISU extended its lead to 3-0. The Redbirds protected the plate again and Baxter struck out another in the bottom of the second.
The Redbirds ran into a double play in the third and were unable to score, but the Braves picked up a run in the bottom of the half to tighten the gap, 3-1, ISU.
ISU had a short top of the fourth, sending just four batters to the plate. Bradley earned another run in the bottom of the fourth inning with a home run making it 3-2, ISU.
Both teams could not score in the fifth, but ISU tacked on four more runs in the sixth, igniting its offense. Stephanie Gallant singled through the right side to score Romshek before Molly Cull scored on Brittny Drish’s single. Bradley scored when Hoffman smacked the ball to left center and Gallant sprinted home on a sacrifice fly from Canopy extending the lead to 7-2.
The Redbirds flame remained high in the top of the seventh adding another four runs to the board. Lindsey Greene and de los Reyes scored off of a wild pitch and a walk, respectively, after the Redbirds had the bases loaded up. Another wild pitch sent Bradley home before Harrison reached on an error sending Gallant home and giving ISU an 11-2 advantage. The Braves could not score in the bottom half and ISU won the second contest.
The ’Birds will stay in Normal this weekend as they host Evansville in a three-game series, Friday and Saturday. The game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Friday.