TERRE HAUTE, Ind.—Following a doubleheader split against the Jaguars of IUPUI at Price Field Tuesday, the Indiana State softball team will return to Missouri Valley Conference play this weekend when they host the Bluejays of Creighton University for a three-game series. The Sycamores enter the weekend with a 14-24 overall record and 3-9 in MVC play while the Bluejays are 21-11 and 7-2 in MVC play. The Sycamores have been led at the plate by sophomore Megan Stone who is batting .363 while junior Morgan Allee broke the ISU single season stolen bases record on Tuesday with her 29th stolen base of the season. The Sycamores enter the weekend on a one game skid after falling in the second game of a doubleheader against IUPUI while the Bluejays are on a two-game win streak. Live stats for both games along with full box scores and recaps will be available online at GoSycamores.com. A free live audio stream will also be available online at GoSycamores.com. Morning/Midday Meteorologist on WTWO/WAWV Anne Elise Parks will also be throwing out the honorary first pitch on Saturday, set for 12 p.m. while cancer surviors will be having the honor on Sunday.
Last Time Out
The Sycamores are coming off a doubleheader split Tuesday to the Jaguars of IUPUI. The Sycamores won the first game 7-0 behind a complete game shutout in the circle by freshman Halle Humphrey. In that game, junior Morgan Allee broke the ISU single season stolen bases record with her 29th steal of the season. The Sycamores then fell in game two by a final score of 17-6. In game two, senior Alex Lucas hit her first career home run over the left field fence to mark the fourth Sycamore to hit their first career home run this season.
A Little History—Creighton
The Sycamores and Bluejays have previously met 51 times with the Bluejays holding a 43-8 all-time series advantage. The two teams first met during the 1993 season when Creighton won a pair of games 11-2 and 12-0. Last season, the Bluejays swept the three-game series with the Sycamores 9-0, 12-4, 4-0 in Omaha, Neb.
Scouting The Bluejays
Creighton enters the weekend with a 21-11 overall record and 7-2 in MVC play having last seen the field on April 7 in a 3-2 win over Bradley. The Bluejays have been led so far this season by Amy Baker who is batting .411 on the season with 13 home runs and 31 RBI’s with a .922 slugging percentage and .523 on base percentage. In the circle for the Bluejays Becca Changstrom leads the Creighton pitching staff with a 1.52 ERA and 15-6 record while Alexis Cantu holds a 1.94 ERA and 5-4 record.
Many Sycamores are near the top of the MVC leaderboard in multiple statistical categories. Junior Morgan Allee leads the Valley with 30 stolen bases and is fourth in runs scored with 30 while sophomore Megan Stone leads the MVC with her 10 doubles. Freshman Alexa Cavin also leads all MVC players with 12 sacrifice bunts. As a team, the Sycamores lead the MVC in stolen bases with 79 and sacrifice bunts with 48 and are second in fielding percentage at .966. ISU is also third in the MVC in walks with 119 and second in hit by pitches with 28. Defensively the Sycamores lead the MVC in Fielding double plays with 18, with twice as many as second.
School Records Fall
With five stolen bases as a team on Wednesday, April 3 against Illinois, the Indiana State softball team brok a 14 year old school record as they tallied a total of 67 stolen bases. The previous record was set in 1999 when they stole 64. The Sycamores still have 17 games remaining on their schedule and lead the MVC with a current total of 79. Last season the Sycamores stole 53 bases in 53 games played. The Sycamores are also on pace to break the Missouri Valley Conference record of 100 stolen bases in a single season.
Making National Strides
At the fifth NCAA national softball statistical rankings release on Monday, April 8, the Sycamores had multiple players near the top of the national lists. Junior Morgan Allee was 7th in Division 1 in stolen bases per game and eighth overall in stolen bases with 25. As a team, the Sycamores are ranked 12th nationally in stolen bases per game and are 36th in fielding percentage at .971 and while ranking 16th in double plays turned with 18.
Moving On Up
Just 38 games into her Sycamore career, junior Morgan Allee has already written her name into the ISU record book in stolen bases. Allee leads the Sycamores with 30 stolen bases on the season holds the record for most stolen bases in a single season at ISU breaking the previous record of 28, held by Amy Vaira, set in 1994. Despite it being her first season in a Sycamore uniform, Allee is now seventh all-time on the ISU career stolen bases list. Allee is also seventh in NCAA Div. 1 in stolen bases per game. Allee is also just seven stolen bases away from breaking the MVC record of 37 with 17 games left to play.
Team Records About To Fall
Despite currently holding a record under .500, as a team, the Sycamores are writing themselves into ISU history. The team has already broken the ISU stolen bases record and hit by pitch record and is currently on pace to finish the season in the top 10 of six other statistical categories in the ISU record book.
Batting Average—.258 (5th)
On Base Percentage—.354 (1st)
Stolen Bases—79 (1st)
Home Runs—18 (6th)
Hit By Pitch—28 (1st)
Sac Flies—6 (6th)
Walk This Way
The Sycamore batters have been extremely patient at the plate so far this season and as a team have received 119 walks, which ranks second all-time at ISU. Seven Sycamore batters have also recieved double digit walks in senior Halee Myers (14), sophomore Megan Stone (13), freshman Alexa Cavin (12), junior Shelby Wilson (12), sophomore Megan Bunting (12), sophomore Ashley Dickerson (12) and junior Morgan Allee (11). Last season as a team the Sycamores recieved 118 walks in 53 games.
First Career Home Runs
Just past the halfway point in the 2012-13 season, four different Sycamores have hit their first career home run’s. Freshman Abbie Malchow hit her first home run during the finale of the series against Wichita State while junior Morgan Allee hit her first collegiate homer in the first game against Missouri State. Senior Halee Myers also hit her first home run of her collegiate career on Wednesday night in the Sycamores 6-5 win over Illinois. On Tuesday against IUPUI, senior Alex Lucas also hit her first home run.
Coach Bouman Reaches Milestone
During a 6-5 over over the Fighting Illini of the University of Illinois, head coach Shane bouman reached a coaching milestone as he scored his 200th career coaching victory. In his second season, Bouman has recorded 32 victories since taking over the reigns of the Sycamore program.
Dickerson Gets The Save
In her first ever appearnce as a collegiate pitcher, sophomore Ashley Dickerson entered the circle for the Sycamores Wednesday evening against Illinois in a one-run game in the bottom of the seventh. After a leadoff walk, Dickerson got a pop out and a grounded into a double play to secure the win for the Sycamores and earned the save.
Using The Long Ball
So far this season, the Indiana State softball team has recorded 18 total home runs and is sixth on the ISU Team Records list, one away from fourth. The 18 home runs also is four more than the Sycamores season total from one year ago. Six Sycamore players have accounted for ISU’s home runs as sophomore Megan Stone leads and junior Shelby Wilson each have six. Junior Morgan Allee has also recorded two while freshman Abbie Malchow, senior Halee Myers and senior Alex Lucas each have one. Stone and Wilson’s six home runs also put them fourth on the single season records list, just one behind second and Stone’s eight career home runs rank her sixth all-time at ISU, just two away from fifth.
Sycamore batters have been a target for opposing pitchers while in the batters box. As a team, the Sycamores rank second in the MVC in hit by pitches with 28. That number also ranks first on the all-time ISU record book. Individually, junior Shelby Wilson ranks fourth in the ISU career record book with 10 hit by pitches and junior Morgan Allee ranks 6th with eight. Allee’s eight hit by pitches also put her in second place on the ISU single season list, just two behind first.
The Sycamores have played small ball through the first part of the season and after 38 games, they lead the Missouri Valley Conference in total sacrifices with 54. Freshman Alexa Cavin leads the Sycamores and the Valley with 12 total sacrifices while senior Halee Myers also has eight. A total of 11 different Sycamore batters have also recorded a sacrifice so far this season.
Even Better In Valley Play
Sophomore Megan Stone leads the Sycamores with a .375 batting average but has been even better in the four Missouri Valley Conference series the Sycamores have played in. Through 12 MVC games, Stone holds a .419 batting average going 13-31 at the plate with three home runs. Stone also has a .471 on base percentage in Valley games and a .710 slugging percentage with six RBI’s and 22 total bases.
Stone Is MVC Player Of The Week
Sophomore Megan Stone was named MVC player of the week for the week of March 25, marking the first Sycamore player to recieve a weekly award since Lindsey Beisser won MVC pitcher of the week, twice, last season. Stone is also the first Sycamore player be named player of the week since the 2009 season when Katie Armour did it April 27, 2009.
Swinging Those Bats
The Indiana State softball team came out of the gates swinging to open the 2013 season and are averaging nearly seven hits a game. The Sycamores have out hit their opponents nine times and are 7-2 when doing so. The Sycamores also have three players batting over .300 on the season, including Megan Stone at .363, Shelby Wilson at .353 and Morgan Allee who is batting .352.
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.
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.
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. With a win in their MVC opener against Wichita State on March 16, the Sycamores also became the first team to win a MVC opener since the 2008 season when they also defeated Wichita State.
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 the weekend series with Creighton, the Indiana State softball team will travel to Normal, Ill. where they will face their travel partner, Illinois State, in a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 17. The two teams are set to have a first pitch at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Following the midweek games, the Sycamores will travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa for a three-game series against Northern Iowa.