|Redbird softball finishes 3-1 at Littlewood Classic in Arizona|
|Written by Emily Warner, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Monday, 21 February 2011 19:33|
This past weekend, the ISU softball team headed to Tempe, Ariz., for the Littlewood Classic where the Redbirds played four games and crossed the plate a combined 40 times while its opponents only plated 14 runs throughout the contests.
These numbers translated to a 3-1 showing for the ‘Birds with their only loss coming at the hands of nationally ranked Arizona State.
Game 1: ISU 10, Idaho State 1 (5 innings)
The Redbirds only needed the first three innings to score their 10 runs in their inaugural game of the tournament on Friday. ISU plated three in the first, five in the second and three more in the third. The Bengals managed to get their one run across in the third inning.
ISU had 10 hits as seniors Kara Nelson and Abby Olson led the ‘Birds’ offensive efforts with two hits and two RBIs apiece.
Junior pitcher Megan Warner struck out five to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Game 2: Arizona State 13, ISU 4 (6 innings)
The Sun Devils picked up a run in the first inning with a solo homer and carried the 1-0 advantage until the third inning when Olson blasted a two-run long ball. But ASU scored two more runs in their turn at bat that inning to take the 3-2 lead heading into the fourth inning.
“[ASU] has always had a reputation, and rightfully so, for being a very good offensive team,” ISU head coach Melinda Fischer said.
ISU plated two more runs in the fourth inning to regain the lead.
But the Sun Devils busted the game wide open with five runs in the fifth inning and scored a run in the sixth inning before a walk-off grand slam sealed ISU’s fate.
Junior pitcher Jordan Birch started the game for the ‘Birds before senior Chrissy Burton entered, followed by Warner, who ended up taking the loss.
“Our pitchers did a good job of containing them early…You have to be able to stay with them and be able to shut them down and we just weren’t able to do that from a pitching standpoint at all,” Fischer said.
Game 3: ISU 16, Seattle 0 (5 innings)
After plating a run in the first inning and three more in the second, the ‘Birds turned the third inning into a death sentence for Seattle as they scored 12 runs to bring ISU ahead, 16-0, and leave the Redhawks with little chance.
Junior Caiti Kopp had two home runs in the contest and the ‘Birds totaled 17 hits altogether.
Freshman Taylor Baxter picked up her second career win and shutout, only allowing two hits while striking out six and walking no one.
“I thought our offense really clicked today against Seattle and Caiti had two great at bats for us,” Fischer said.
“We got production from every part of our lineup and that was great to see. Defensively, we played very well and I thought Taylor threw a great game for us in the circle.”
Game 4: ISU vs. Iowa (Cancelled)
The two teams managed to get two innings out before the game was called due to rain. ISU defeated Iowa last weekend at the Red and Black Showcase in Athens, Ga., beating the Hawkeyes 13-4.
Game 5: ISU 10, Idaho State 0 (5 innings)
The Bengals got their chance at redemption against the Redbirds on the final day of the tournament. However, the end result was similar to their first meeting. Birch was in the circle for ISU and tallied up nine strikeouts.
Sophomore Elizabeth Kay got the ‘Birds on the board in the first inning with a two-run shot to left field. A three-run homer from Olson in the third inning gave ISU a 5-0 advantage.
The Redbirds had five players cross the plate in the fourth inning to round out ISU’s scoring and the win.
ISU will take its 7-2 record to Tampa, Fla., this weekend for the USF Fairfield Inn and Suites Tournament.
The ‘Birds will start the tournament facing off against nationally-ranked Alabama. The game is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.