Illinois State Takes Two From Drake on Saturday Night
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State Redbirds swept the Drake Bulldogs on Saturday night in Missouri Valley Conference action. ISU won game one, 3-2 and game two, 7-0. Heavy rain in the area pushed the doubleheader start time from noon to 5 p.m. at Marian Kneer Stadium.
In game one, Torey Craddock (Tucson, Ariz.) put Drake (17-21, 8-6 MVC) on the scoreboard early with a solo home run, her team-leading sixth of the season, in the top of the first inning.
Illinois State (24-18, 9-5 MVC) tied it at one in the bottom of the fourth inning with an RBI double by Laura Canopy.
In the bottom of half of the fifth, Illinois State took a 2-1 lead, on an unusual play. Nichelle Harrison led off the frame with a single and came around to score on a two-base throwing error by Craddock after she underthrew pitcher Jordan Gronewold (Carlisle, Iowa) after a sacrifice bunt and the ball went into the ISU dugout. Lindsey Greene added another run for ISU in the inning with an RBI single to plate Jhavon Hamilton.
Freshman Hayley Nybo (Minnetonka, Minn.) cut the ISU lead to 3-2 with a solo homer in the sixth. She is now tied with Craddock for the team lead in home runs. Drake had the tying runner on second base in the seventh inning but couldn't drive her home as the Bulldogs dropped game one.
Nybo led Drake at the plate going 2-for-3 with a home run and one RBI. Gronewold pitched well allowing two runs in four and one thirds innings but she took the loss.
Jordan Birch of ISU pitched seven innings and allowed two runs on six hits to improve her record to 14-1. Canopy led ISU at the plate going 1-for-3 with a double and RBI.
ISU jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning of game two behind an RBI double by Elizabeth Kay and a bases loaded double by Harrison.
Kay added another RBI double and a wild pitch plated another run to push the ISU lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the third inning.
A sacrifice fly by Harrison extended the Redbirds lead to 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth.
Gronewold took the loss in game two as she allowed six runs on four hits and four walks. She falls to 13-15 after the pair of losses on Saturday. Amy Pierce (Olathe, Kan.) finished 2-for-3 at the plate.
Megan Warner pitched seven innings and allowed just six hits to get the win and improve to 9-6.
Drake will try to salvage the series when the two teams conclude the series tomorrow with a single game scheduled for noon.