The Illinois State softball team (25-27, 17-8 MVC) concluded its regular season with three losses to Missouri Valley Conference champion, Wichita State (34-20, 21-6 MVC). The Redbirds did not score more than four runs in any of the three games.
“They [Wichita State] have some explosive bats,” head coach Melinda Fischer said. “We’ve got to be better defensively and from a pitching perspective as well.”
Game One- ISU 3, WSU 7
The Redbirds and the Shockers remained scoreless for the first two innings of the game, until Wichita hit a solo home run. Brittny Drish responded with a solo homer of her own to tie up the game, 1-1.
Jordan de los Reyes hit a home run in the bottom of the fourth to send Regan Romshek home. De los Reyes’ homer gave the Redbirds a 3-1 lead. The ’Birds were unable to score with the bases in the fifth and the Shockers rallied in the sixth.
Wichita State had three hits and another home run to cut ISU’s lead to one, 3-2. The Shockers came up with five runs in the seventh. A three-run homer gave WSU a 5-3 lead, before adding two more runs to take the game 7-3.
Game Two- ISU 3, WSU 12
The Shockers brought the momentum from game one into game two. In the top of the second WSU scored five runs, to gain a 5-0 advantage.
ISU loaded up the bases in the third, but was unable to gain any runs. The Redbirds earned runs in the bottom of the fifth when Stephanie Gallant smashed a two-run homer over the right field wall to put them within three runs, 5-2. Drish was plated when Laura Canopy grounded out to give the ’Birds another run, 5-3.
The Shockers scored the final seven runs of the game to beat the Redbirds in game two, 12-3.
Game Three- ISU 4, WSU 10
Wichita State kept its offense going in game three by scoring the first three runs of the game. A two-run homer by Brittany Fortner gave the Shockers the initial lead before another home run was hit by Cacy Williams to add the third run on the board.
Kolby Hoffman stepped up for the ’Birds and hit a solo home run. Canopy scored later in the frame on a RBI groundout from Romshek to bring ISU within one. Gallant led off the fourth with a homer to right field to tie the score, 3-3.
The Shockers sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth inning and scored six runs. They also scored another run in the seventh to make it a 10-3 game. Hoffman cracked a home run in the seventh to give the Redbirds another run, but it was not enough to come from behind and the Shockers beat the Redbirds 10-4.