NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State softball team (25-26, 17-7 MVC) entered Saturday's doubleheader against Wichita State (33-20, 20-6 MVC) with a chance to claim the Missouri Valley Conference title, but it was the Shockers who took both games to earn the crown. The Redbirds surrendered five runs in the seventh inning to lose game one, 7-3, before dropping game two, 12-3, at Marian Kneer Stadium.
The two defeats snapped ISU's season-high nine-game winning streak. With the losses, the Redbirds are now locked in to the two seed for next weekend's MVC Tournament at Marian Kneer Stadium, and will open play in the semifinals, Friday.
Home runs accounted for five of ISU's six runs on the day. Jordan de los Reyes and Stephanie Gallant both hit two-run blasts, while Brittny Drish slugged a solo shot. De los Reyes and Drish each tallied three hits apiece, while Laura Canopy reached base five times on two hits and three walks.
The Redbirds utilized Regan Romshek, Taylor Baxter and McKensie Vissering in the circle against the high-powered WSU offense. Romshek threw a complete game in game one, but suffered her first loss since April 16. Baxter surrendered a career-high 12 runs in 6.2 innings in game two for her first loss since March 19. Vissering saw her first action since March 29, and tossed 0.1 scoreless innings.
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Rallying from an early 8-2 deficit, the Illinois Wesleyan softball team topped Augustana 10-9 to claim the championship of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin tournament and earn the league's automatic berth into the NCAA postseason tournament.
Illinois Wesleyan won for the 18th straight time and has a record of 37-5 while Augustana slipped to 33-11. llinois Wesleyan will play in the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament, beginning on Friday, May 9 at a site to be announced on Monday morning at 9 a.m. on NCAA.com selection show.
IWU will be making its 13th NCAA tournament appearance and third in a row. IWU teams have posted a 23-24 record (.489 winning percentage) in NCAA competition.
The Titans got a two-run home run from senior Sara Daley in the first inning to take a 2-1 lead but surrendered seven runs in the top of the second to trail 8-2. The Titans put up three in the second to close to within three at 8-5, then exploded for five runs on five hits in the fourth to snare a 10-8 lead.
IWU banged out 11 hits with three each from Daley, who finished with four runs batted in, and junior rightfielder Hannah Bowen and two each from Chloe Montgomery and senior shortstop Amanda Fazzari.
Montgomery (6-0) got the win in relief of senior Molly McCready. Montgomery pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed one run on one hit with two walks and two strikeouts. McCready struggled through two innings and allowed eight runs (five earned) on five hits with five walks and three strikeouts.
Sophomore Jenna Noland got the save, her third of the year, by pitching the final 1 2/3 innings, striking out four and allowing one hit.