|ISU softball takes series 2-1 over Drake|
|Written by Tawni Ricketts, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Sunday, 15 April 2012 16:16|
The Illinois State softball team went 2-for-3 in a weekend campaign against Missouri Valley Conference foe Drake.
After winning both games during Saturday’s doubleheader, the ’Birds were unable to complete the series sweep on Sunday in an 11-inning contest against the Bulldogs.
“I don’t think this team ever gives up,” ISU head coach Melinda Fischer said. “They totally believe that they’re in it until the game is over … they’ll never just give it to somebody. Overall, we just need to score. You have to have key hits in key situations.”
ISU 4, Drake 5
After pitching through a career-high of 11 full innings, senior Jordan Birch received the loss on Sunday.
Offense did not appear until the fourth inning for the Redbirds, as they obtained just one base runner and no runs in the first three innings, compared to Drake’s two runs that were scored in the second inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Liz Andrews sent the ball soaring over the center field wall for her fourth home run of the season to decrease ISU’s deficit to 2-1.
In the top of the sixth inning, Drake scored again on an RBI single to increase its lead to 3-1.
ISU answered to Drake’s offense in the seventh inning, as Jhavon Hamilton cleared the right field fence for a two-run homer to tie the score at 3-3.
“When Kelsey Turczyn came in, we all had confidence she was going to get on base,” Hamilton said. “She’s been clutch a lot of times when she’s came in to pinch hit, so all I knew was I had to put the bat on the ball to get her in.”
The teams remained tied until the top of the ninth inning when a Drake RBI single put the Bulldogs in the lead again with a 4-3 score.
In the bottom half of the inning, Andrews hit an RBI single to right field, allowing Hamilton, who reached on a line-drive single, to score and tie the game up again at 4-4.
In the top of the 11th inning, Drake singled to drive in another run to put the Bulldogs ahead 5-4. ISU was unable to answer in the bottom half of the inning, thus securing the win for the Bulldogs.
ISU 3, Drake 2
Birch earned the win in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader with 11 strikeouts and no walks issued.
Drake took the lead in the first inning with a home run over the left field wall, but ISU tied the score in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Laura Canopy hit a double to drive in Lauren Kellar.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, ISU drove in two more runs. Nichelle Harrison scored on a DU throwing error, followed by an RBI hit from Hamilton to allow Lindsey Greene to cross home, putting ISU ahead 3-1.
Despite another solo home run hit by the Bulldogs, Drake could not take the lead and fell to the Redbirds 3-2.
ISU 7, Drake 0
In the first game of the series ISU came out ahead, scoring four runs in the first inning. Elizabeth Kay hit an RBI double to drive in Kellar, while Harrison followed up with another double, clearing the bases and increasing ISU’s lead to four.
In the bottom of the third inning, Kay hit another double to drive in Andrews, before scoring to put ISU ahead 6-0.
Kay continued her offensive momentum into the fifth inning with a leadoff single. Harrison then hit a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing Kay to reach home plate and secure the ISU victory, 7-0.