TERRE HAUTE, Ind.—The Indiana State softball team (7-7) is set to make its second trip to SEC country in three weeks as they travel to Athens, Ga. to take part in the Bulldog Invitational this weekend, hosted by the University of Georgia. The Sycamores enter the weekend holding a 7-7 record after finishing 1-3 at the Blues City Classic last weekend where two athletes were named to the All-Tournament team for their efforts in the four games the Sycamores played. The Sycamores will now turn their attention toward the Bulldog Invitational where they will attempt to win their third ever game against a nationally ranked opponent and first since the 2006-07 season when they face off against the #23 ranked, host, Bulldogs of the University of Georgia on Saturday, March 2 at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Ga. Live stats for all games along with full box scores and recaps can be found online at GoSycamores.com. A live audio stream will also be available free of charge for the Sycamores game against Georgia on March 2 on GoSycamores.com.
Last Time Out
The Sycamores are coming off a 1-3 weekend at the Blues City Classic, hosted by the University of Memphis, this past weekend. The Sycamores got off to a quick start by defeating Wright State 3-1 on Friday. Sophomore Stephanie Fougerousse then no hit Memphis for 5.1 but the Sycamores fell to the Tigers by a final score of 2-1. On Saturday, the Sycamores dropped two close games to UMKC (5-3 and Nicholls State (3-0). For their efforts on the weekend, sophomore pitcher Ashli Scott and junior third baseman Shelby Wilson earned All-Tournament honors.
Scouting The Bison
The Sycamores and Bison have previously met just one time with the Bison winning a 1-0 contest during the 2005 season. North Dakota State enters the weekend with a 4-8 overall record having last seen the field on Feb. 21 in a 4-0 loss to North Carolina. The Bison are led by Presley Glaser who is batting .333 on the season with seven hits and three stolen bases. The Bison pitching staff has been led by Whitney Johnson who holds a 1.60 ERA and 3-4 record over her 43.2 innings pitched with 47 strikeouts.
Scouting The Highlanders
This will be the second all-time meeting between the Sycamores and Highlanders with Radford holding the 1-0 series advantage. Radford defeated Indiana State 8-6 during the 1994 season. The Highlanders are 1-3 on the season having last seen the field on Feb. 24 in a 9-0 loss to South Carolina. Radford is led by Jessie Hutchens who is batting .333 on the season with two doubles. On the mound for the Highlanders, Allie Reid leads the team with a 0.00 ERA in her three relief appearances and 5.0 innings pitched.
Scouting The Bulldogs
This will be the second ever meeting between Indiana State and Georgia with the Bulldogs winning the lone previous meeting 3-2 during the 1997 season. The Bulldogs enter the weekend with a 7-6 record having last seen the field on Feb. 23 in a 14-2 loss to Washington. Georgia has been led this season by Geri Ann Glasco who is batting .395 and leads four Bulldogs batting over .300 through their first 13 games. On the mound for the Bulldogs, Glasco leads the Georgia pitching staff with a 2.42 ERA and 4-1 record over her 34.2 innings pitched with 39 strikeouts.
Wilson & Scott Are All-Tournament
After wrapping up play at the Blues City Classic this past weekend in Southaven, Miss., two Sycamore players were named to the All-Tournament team for their efforts. Sophomore Ashli Scott was named 1st Team All-Tourmanet after making one start and three apperances for ISU with a 0.58 ERA with a 1-0 record over her 12 innings pitched. Scott also recorded a season high in strikeouts with seven in her relief appearance against Nicholls State. Junior Shelby Wilson was also named 2nd Team All-Tournament after going 5-12 at the plate with two RBI’s and a run scored with three stolen bases.
Now 14 games into the 2013 season many Sycamores are near the top of the MVC leaderboard in multiple statistical categories. Sophomore Megan Stone leads the MVC with her six doubles while junior Morgan Allee also leads the Valley with 13 stolen bases. Freshman Alexa Cavin leads all MVC players with five sacrifice bunts and junior Shelby Wilson is second in the MVC in hits with 18.
Sycamores vs. Ranked Opponents
The Indiana State softball team is set to take on its first ranked opponent of the year this weekend in #23 Georgia. This will mark the first time the Sycamores have faced a ranked opponent since the 2007 season. All-time ISU is 2-14 against ranked opponents with their two wins coming in the form of a 2-1 win over #22 NC State during the 2007 season and 4-1 win over #21 Georgia Tech also during the 2007 season.
Using The Long Ball
Through their first 14 games, the Indiana State softball team has recorded five total home runs and are just five homers away from breaking into the ISU top 10 for home runs. Sophomore Megan Stone leads the team with three long balls whil junior Shelby Wilson has two homers. Freshman Alexa Cavin just missed her first career home run at the Tiger Invitational, bouncing the ball off the top of the fence before coming back into play.
Swinging Those Bats
The Indiana State softball team came out of the gates swinging to open the 2013 season and through 14 games are averaging seven hits a game. The Sycamores have out hit their opponents six times and are 5-1 when doing so. The Sycamores also have four players batting over .300 on the season.
Good Speed Aboard
Junior Morgan Allee has made an immediate impact for Indiana State in her first five games in a Sycamore uniform. Allee has punished opposing teams with a .469 on base percentage and seven RBI’s. However, Allee has done even more damage on the base pads with 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts. Freshmen Kelsey Montgomery and Alexa Cavin have also been a threat on the bases with Montgomery going 5-7 and Cavin 4-4 in their first 14 games as a Sycamore. As a team the Sycamores have stolen 32 bases which nearly doubles their total from this point in the season one year ago.
Getting Back In The Swing Of Things
After being away from the sport of softball for more than two years, sophomore pitcher Stephanie Fougerousse opened her collegiate career with a 2-0 record on the mound during opening weekend. Now 14 games into the season, Fougerousse holds a 3-3 record and 4.82 ERA over her 40.1 innings pitched.
Returners Are Key
While they lost four letter winners and three starters to graduation, the Indiana State fielding alignment features much of the same as last year. The Sycamores return junior Shelby Wilson and sophomores Megan Stone and Ashley Dickerson to hold down the infield with newcomer Morgan Allee to fill the final sport. The Sycamores also return three key outfielders who spent significant time in the position during the 2012 campaign in: seniors Mackenzie Connelly and Halee Myers as well as sophomore Megan Bunting. Sophomore pitcher Ashli Scott will return to help fill the void left by Lindsey Beisser due to graduation and freshman Meredith Henriksen will look to help fill the spot left open be the graduation of Olivia Andres behind the plate.
Bring ‘Em On
The Indiana State softball team will have an opportunity to test themselves throughout the early part of the 2013 season as they will take on a number of teams being nationally recognized. Going into the third weekend of the season, they are set to play the #13 team in the country in the USA Today/NFCA poll in Georgia as well as Tulsa and Illinois State who are receiving votes. The Sycamores also played Auburn who was ranked #40 in the College Sports Madness Pre Season Top 44.
Moving On Up
Just 14 games into her Sycamore career, junior Morgan Allee is already making a push towards the ISU record book in stolen bases. Allee has recorded 13 stolen bases in 14 games and needs just two more to break into the ISU single season top seven.
Off To A Hot Start
After starting the 2013 season 4-0, the Indiana State softball team started off on one of the hottest starts in recent memory. The Sycamores four straight wins to open a season is the most since the 1990 season when they won 14 straight games to open the season. The Sycamores 9-0 win is also just the sixth time in program history that an ISU team has shut out an opponent in a season opener since 2003. It also marks the first win in a season opener since the 2009 season.
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. Every home game along with select road games can also be heard world wide free of charge online at GoSycamores.com and select home games will offer a free webcast. However, you can also follow the Sycamores on Facebook at Facebook.com/SycamoreSoftball with the Indiana State University Softball fan page or on Twitter at Twitter.com/IndStSoftball.
On To The Next One
Following this weekend’s Bulldog Invitational, the Indiana State softball team will take a weekend off before making a week long trip to open Missouri Valley Conference play in Wichita, Kan. The Sycamores will play a double header at SEMO on Wed. March 13 before playing at Tulsa on March 14 and then opening MVC play on March 16 at Wichita State.