Redbirds Open Fall Slate With Scrimmage at Notre Dame
Sept. 16, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Illinois State softball team opened its eight-game fall schedule with a scrimmage at reigning BIG EAST-champion Notre Dame, Sunday afternoon in South Bend, Ind. With situational gameplay inflating both teams' run totals, the Redbirds outscored the Fighting Irish, 21-14, in the nine-inning game.
"Anytime you can get yourself in a position to go against another team, rather than scrimmaging yourself, and go against those teams in different situations is huge," head coach Melinda Fischer said of the advantages a situational-based scrimmage provides. "We know during the fall that everyone is experimenting with combinations, and you want to see what you have, as well as what your strengths and weaknesses are."
Freshman Annie Heineman led the way for ISU offensively by driving in three runs. Redshirt senior Sara Bradley drove home two, while numerous other Redbirds picked up solo RBI. Senior Laura Canopy, sophomore Brittny Drish, junior Stephanie Gallant, and junior Kolby Hoffman collected two hits apiece.
Senior Taylor Baxter, junior transfer McKensie Vissering and sophomore Regan Romshek each tossed 3.0 innings.
While the Redbirds return 14 letterwinners from the 2013 squad, the four seniors from that team combined to start 178 of a possible 192 games last season. Scrimmages like Sunday's give Fischer the opportunity to see who may be ready to step into bigger roles next season.
"We're progressing, and that's huge," Fischer said. "We have a lot of people returning, but not a lot of people with game experience here at Illinois State. Every opportunity that we have to go in a competitive situation and really move people position-wise, whether it's movement of players in the outfield to different outfield positions, or maybe moving an infield player to an outfield position, it just gives us a better idea of the versatility that we might have."
ISU continues its fall schedule with its only home game, Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m., against Lake Land. The Redbirds will then play a total of four games at this weekend's State Farm Illinois Collegiate Softball Championship at Champion Fields in Normal.
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