|Redbirds go 2-3 to open season|
|Written by Kristi Demonbreun, Sports Editor|
|Sunday, 10 February 2013 16:37|
The Illinois State women’s softball team opened its season in Waco, Texas at the Getterman Classic this weekend. The Redbirds lost the first three matches and won the final two.
The ’Birds tallied two runs early on a two-out, two RBI triple from Stephanie Gallant in the top of the first. But the Bearkats fired back with four unanswered runs making the score 4-2.
ISU fought back with four-straight runs giving them a 6-4 advantage heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Bearkats closed the gap and took the lead scoring the final four runs of the game.
“I thought we had some key misplays on the infield that gave them the opportunity to score a couple runs and we just couldn’t get back in it once we gave up the lead,” Melinda Fischer, head coach, said.
A two-run homer from the Lady Bears against freshman Regan Romshek dug an early hole for the Redbirds in the first inning.
The ’Birds were held scoreless for five innings while eight were struck out. ISU had two runners on base three times but were unable to execute across the plate.
Baylor scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to shutout ISU 8-0.
Romshek threw 5.1 innings, struck out three and walked one in her debut in the circle.
“This is what the early season is all about, you find out what you need to work on,” Fischer said.
After being hit by a pitch and stealing second, Laura Canopy scored the first run for the Redbirds in the bottom of the first after Elizabeth Kay hit an RBI double down the left-field line.
The first inning would be the only time the Redbirds scored in the game. They put runners on first and third with one out in the second, third and fourth innings but fell short every time.
“I think probably the hardest part about this game is hitting with runners in scoring position,” Fischer said.
Still tied up in the top of the sixth, Romshek gave up a single, then struck out the next two batters. The Huskies hit three-straight singles giving them the 3-1 lead.
Romshek went 5.2 innings allowing three runs, striking out seven and giving no walks. Sophia Perez entered the game to get the final out of the sixth.
“[Romshek] had a lot of composure out there and she pitched a great ball game. I think she is doing everything she can for a freshman pitcher,” Fischer said.
The Redbirds won their first game of the season with Taylor Baxter retiring 18-straight Lady Bears in a one-hit, six-inning shutout. Baxter let the first two batters on base from an error and hit, but no batters were let by the rest of the game.
The Redbirds’ offense contributed to the victory, with Brittany Drish hitting an RBI double to left-center to push Kay home. She also scored on a single from Sara Bradley in the next at-bat.
The ’Birds had a three-run fourth inning, giving them a 5-0 advantage. ISU concluded the game with three more runs in the sixth inning giving them the 8-0 win.
“It was just being able to put a solid ball game together. We put maybe a complete defensive game together, a great offensive game together ... I thought this was total ball game for us,” Fischer said.
The ’Birds were down 2-0 in the top of the sixth inning before they went on a four-run rally. Canopy hit an RBI triple and scored on a wild pitch to tie up the game. Romshek got on base from a Bearkat error and scored when Kay hit a two-run homer over the left-field fence.
The Redbirds scored again in the next inning off of Kay’s single to give them a 5-2 advantage. The Bearkats fought back and scored off of a sacrifice fly and RBI, but the ’Birds held them off and won their final game at the Getterman Classic 5-4.
“I think we learned a lot about ourselves and our preparation, what we need to do to get better the next time we get on the field. I really saw some total intestinal fortitude today, I thought they had to battle a lot of things that weren’t going their way and they ended up doing that. They stayed positive and they stayed together,” Fischer said. “Yes it’s not the start we want in terms of win loss, but we ended a great note.”
The Redbirds will be back in action on Friday in Tempe, Ariz. for Arizona State’s Littlewood Classic.