TERRE HAUTE, Ind.—First year head coach Shane Bouman and the Indiana State softball team will be battling for its first trip to the Missouri Valley Conference tournament since 2009 when they travel to face the Purple Aces of Evansville in a three-game series to wrap up the 2012 regular season Saturday and Sunday. The Sycamores enter the weekend ninth in the MVC standings, one-half game behind Wichita State for the final spot into the tournament. The Sycamores hold a 19-31 record and are 6-17 in MVC play while the Purple Aces are 15-35 and 5-19 in MVC play. If the Sycamores are able to win one more game on the weekend than the Shockers of Wichita State, they will earn a trip to the MVC for the first time in three years. The action will get started this weekend on Saturday with a doubleheader at Cooper Stadium in Evansville beginning at 1 p.m. with the finale taking place on Sunday, also at 1 p.m. Live stats along with full recaps and box scores can be found online at GoSycamores.com.
Last Time Out
The Sycamores are coming off a three-game road trip to Missouri State that saw them drop the series to the Bears 2-1. The two teams battled in pitchers duels in the first two games with the Bears coming out on top 1-0 in both contests. The Sycamores came back and won the series finale 3-2 to avoide the sweep. freshman Ashli Scott finished Sunday’s game 2-4 at the plate with 3 RBI’s for the Sycamores.
A Little History-Evansville
The Sycamores and Purple Aces have previously met 80 times with the Sycamores holding a 41-39 series advantage over the Aces. The two teams first met during the 1978-79 season when the Sycamores recorded a 5-0 win over the Purple Aces. Last season the Sycamores split the series with Evansville as the Aces won game one 2-5 before the Sycamores came back to win 5-1 in game two. The Aces then won the series finale 14-4.
Scouting The Purple Aces
With one Missouri Valley Conference series remaining the Purple Aces hold a 15-35 overall record and 5-19 in Missouri Valley Conference play. The Aces will play a midweek game against Western Kentucky on Thursday, May 3 before turning their attention toward the Sycamores to wrap up the 2012 regular season.
The Purple Aces have been led this season by Kayla Fortner who is the lone Aces player who is batting over the .300 mark at .373 and also leads the team in five other categories including: hits (53), doubles (11), home runs (5), RBI’s (34), and walks (20). On the mound for the Purple Aces, Sarah Patterson leads the Aces pitching staff with a 3.17 ERA with an 8-18 record over her 159.0 innings pitched with 121 strikeouts.
In The Hunt
Sitting in ninth place, just one half game behind eighth place Wichita State, the Indiana State softball team has a chance to make their first MVC tournament since the 2008-09 season. The Sycamores will now face the Purple Aces of Evansville who sit in 10th place. In order to make the tournament the Sycamores will need to win at least one game against Evansville and one more game than Wichita State wins over Drake.
Leaving A Mark
With a win over Missouri State on Sunday the Sycamores improved their Missouri Valley Conference win total to 6 wins which is the most by a Sycamore team since the 2008-09 season when they finished the regular season with 10. That season is also the last time Indiana State has advanced to the MVC tournament when they defeated Illinois State and Drake before falling to Creighton in the semi-finals.
Here Comes The Offense
After struggling to find hits in the first part of Missouri Valley Conference play, the Sycamores offense has roared to life over their last eight games. The Sycamores have tallied seven or more hits in five of their last 10 games where they had previously only had seven hits three times over the last 26 games. The Sycamores also got double digit hits in the final two games against Wichita State and the final game against Missouri State for the first time since March 9 against Yale. The Sycamores are now 10-0 when they record 8 or more hits in a game.
Beisser Name Pitcher Of The Week Round II
After throwing three complete games in the week and grabbing wins over Eastern Illinois and Bradley, senior pitcher Lindsey Beisser was named Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week on April 16. This is the second time this season Beisser has won the award, making her the first Sycamore player to earned an MVC weekly award twice in the same season since Darcy Wood did it in 2009.
Fifth Inning Drought
Through their first 40 games of the 2012 seaosn the Indiana State softball team has struggled to get its offense going in the fifth inning, scoring just nine runs. However, the Sycamore offense finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning in game two against Illinois State scoring five runs in the frame. Over their last 10 games the Sycamores have scored 15 runs in the fifth inning.
Moving On Up
With nine games left to play in the 2012 regular season the Sycamores have already written themselves into the ISU recordbook. As a team, the Sycamores sit in 10th place on the single season stolen bases list with 53, just one away from ninth place. The Sycamore pitching staff is also sits in seventh place on the single season strikeout list with 232 just 3 k’s behind sixth.
Freshman Megan Stone has also found her way into the ISU recordbook with her speed on the basepads. Stone currently sits in a tie for fifth place on the single season list with 15, just one away from moving into a tie for fourth place.
Freshman Ashli Scott and senior Lindsey Beisser also sit in second and fourth on the ISU single season list for batting average against. Opponents are batting just .209 against Beisser and .218 against Scott. Beisser is also in fourth place in the single season recordbook with 166 strikeouts, just 35 behind third place.
Small ball has been the name of the game for the Sycamores this season. They currently have 85 sacrifices on the season to their opponents 26. With 75 sacrifice bunts the Sycamores lead the MVC by 25 with Southern Illinois the next closest at 50.
Good In The Clutch
The Indiana State softball team has been superior in clutch situations as with a 2-1 extra inning win against Bradley, a 7-6 win over Wichita State and a 3-2 win over Missouri State the Sycamores are now 6-3 on the season in games decided by one run. The Sycamores also got their first extra inning win of the season on their third try.
A Whole New Year
With 12 games left to play in the 2012 season, the Indiana State softball team surpassed its win total from a year ago with 16 wins. The Sycamores also surpassed their MVC win total with nine games remaining with 5. Last season the Sycamores finished the season with a 15-33 overall record and a 4-21 record in MVC play. After a slow start in MVC play this season the Sycamores have won five of their last eight MVC games.
Leading After 4
The Indiana State softball team has been extremely successful this season when they establish a lead by the fourth inning. On the season, the Sycamores have a 15-2 record in games that where they are leading after the fourth inning. The Sycamores are also 16-2 on the season in games where they out hit their opponents in the game.
Beisser’s ERA Continues To Fall
After throwing a no-hitter earlier this season, senior pitcher Lindsey Beisser continues to lead the ISU pitching staff and entering the weekend series with Evansville she holds a 2.00 ERA through 206.2 innings pitched which ranks her fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference. Beisser now has a 12-19 overall record and has recorded a team high 168 strikeouts.
Just 24 games into the 2012 season, senior pitcher Lindsey Beisser had recorded a total of 94 strikeouts, whereas in 2011 Kristen Felker led the Sycamore pitchers with 94 strikeouts over the entire season. Beisser accumulated 64 on the season and has given up just eight more hits than she did the entire last season.
Bringing Home The W’s
With their seven game win streak to finish the Rebel Games, the Indiana State softball team has tied for the fourth longest win streak in ISU school history. The Sycamores then extended the streak to eight games with a win in game one of a doubleheader against St. Louis before it came to an end in game two. The eight-game streak is the third longest in ISU history.
Longest Win Streaks In ISU History
1989-90 — 14
1988-89 — 11
2011-12 — 8
2009-10 — 8
2007-08 — 8
1994-95 — 7
1992-93 — 7
Beisser Throws No-No
On March 4, 2012 against South Dakota, senior pitcher Lindsey Beisser became the first Sycamore pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Darcy Wood did it in 2007 against Missouri State. Beisser carried a perfect game into the sixth inning before she was assessed an error to allow South Dakota’s first base runner. She went on to finish the inning without allowing a hit. For her efforts she was named the Missouri Valley Conference PItcher Of The Week on March 5. Beisser was also named Pitcher of the Week for the second time on April 16.
Follow ISU Softball Online
Keep up to date with Sycamore softball all over the web this season . Full stats, box scores and recaps will continue to be available on www .GoSycamores .com . However, you can also follow the Sycamores on Facebook at Facebook.com/SycamoreSoftball.
Head coach Shane Bouman and his coaching staff were not the only new faces to join the Sycamore squad this season. A total of five new players are on this years roster. Senior Alyssa Heller, daughter of ISU head baseball coach Rick Heller, has joined the team this season along with freshman Ashli Scott, Megan Stone, Ashley Dickerson and Megan Bunting.
Coming Up Next
After the Sycamores wrap up the 2012 regular season against the Purple Aces of Evansville, the MVC Tournament will begin on Thursday, May 10. If the Sycamores win one game more than the Shockers of Wichita State during the May 5-6 weekend, the Sycamores will earn their first trip to the MVC tournament since the 2008-09 season as the eighth seed. The eighth seed in the tournament is paired with the fifth see and the winner of that game would play the fourth seed later in the day.