|Redbird softball stays perfect in MVC play, wins ninth straight|
|Written by Scott Gleeson, Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 06 April 2010 22:06|
The Indiana State softball team stockpiled four consecutive singles in the second game of Tuesday night’s Missouri Valley Conference doubleheader to put Illinois State’s undefeated conference record on the brink.
Closing to within two runs, the Sycamores had the bases loaded before the Redbirds worked their way out of the jam to leave three Indiana State runners stranded en route to a 5-4 win, the ‘Birds’ ninth consecutive victory.
The Redbirds (19-10, 7-0 MVC) topped the Sycamores, 6-3, in the first game of the afternoon in a come-from-behind brawl at Indiana State’s Price Field.
“We all understand anytime you get into the Valley, you have to bring your A-game every day to battle whoever it is,” ISU head coach Melinda Fischer said.
“We gave up a few runs [in the fourth inning of the second game] but we were able to finish it strong and hold on for the victory. In the first game, we ended up getting down, then we did a good job of battling to tie and retake the lead.”
Senior shortstop Nicki Stansell and junior third baseman Abby Olson fueled the Redbirds at the plate. Both players recorded three hits, including a home run each.
Jordan Birch (9-5) relieved Megan Warner in the first game before recording her second straight win in the following game where she struck out five.
“Jordan [Birch] did a nice job to relieve in the first game and help get us going in the second game,” Fischer said.
In the first game, Indiana State took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning off of a two-out rally. The Sycamores’ Kim Pierce belted a two-run homer out of the park to give her team a two-run lead.
The Redbirds made the last two innings of the game count, however, tying the game, 3-3, in the sixth inning and rattling off three more runs in the seventh to seal the 6-3 victory.
In the second game, it was the bat of Michelle Henderson in the top of the fourth inning that gave the Redbirds life. Henderson smacked a three-run home run over the left field fence. Stansell followed with a solo home run to cap off the five-run inning.
Indiana State mounted a comeback in the bottom of the fourth and sliced the deficit even closer in the sixth inning off a solo home run, but a scoreless seventh inning doomed the Sycamores and sent the Redbirds out of town with the sweep.
“I think we have some confidence in what we’re doing,” Fischer said. “We mentally and physically are getting it done. We have the right team chemistry.”
ISU returns home to host Evansville this weekend for a three-game series. The first game is scheduled for noon on Saturday.