TERRE HAUTE, Ind.—The Indiana State softball team is set to wrap up its five-game road trip this weekend when they travel to Springfield, Mo. for a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series against the Bears of Missouri State on Saturday and Sunday. The Sycamores enter the weekend with a 20-18 overall record and 2-9 in MVC play. The Bears enter the weekend with a 11-15 overall record and 5-6 in MVC play. The Sycamores also enter the weekend with five players boasting a batting average over .300 with a team average of .295 which ranks second in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Sycamores 20 wins entering the weekend also marks the first time since the 2010 season that the Sycamores have reached the 20 win platform and the first time since the 1992 season that a team has been above the .500 mark 38 games into a season. Live stats for all three games along with full box scores and recaps can be found online at GoSycamores.com. A free live radio broadcast can also be found online for all three games at GoSycamores.com.
Last Time Out
The Indiana State softball team last saw the field on April 9 when they split a doubleheader in Indianapolis against the host Jaguars of IUPUI. The Sycamores fell in game one by a final score of 2-1 despite a solid outing by sophomore pitcher Taylor Lockood. The Sycamores bounced back in game two and earned the split with a 2-0 victory over the Jaguars. Freshman Brooke Riemenschneider hit her fifth home run of the season while sophomore Abbie Malchow went 3-3 and junior Yvette Alvarez pitched a complete game, four-hit, shutout. Senior Morgan Allee also hit a home run in the first game of the day.
A Little History — Missouri State
The Sycamores and Bears have previously met 74 times with Missouri State holding a 54-20 all-time series advantage over Indiana State. The two teams first met during the 1980 season with the Bears defeating the Sycamores 4-0. Last season, the Sycamores defeated the Bears 9-7 in the first game of a three-game series before falling 2-4 and 5-9 in the final two games at Price Field.
Scouting The Bears
The Bears enter the weekend with a 22-15 overall record and 5-6 in Missouri Valley Conference play, having last seen the field on April 7 in a doubleheader split with Loyola in Chicago, Ill. Missouri State won game one 10-3 before falling 5-3 in game two. The Bears are led by Ashley Brentz who is hitting .336 and leads four Missouri State players hitting over .300. In the circle for the Bears, Erin Struemph leads the Missouri State pitching staff with a 2.86 ERA and 7-8 overall record over her 95.1 innings pitched with 93 strikeouts. With a staff ERA of 3.13, the Bears also rank second in the Missouri Valley Conference., behind only Northern Iowa.
Making Valley History
Despite playing just 85 games as a Sycamore, senior Morgan Allee is nearing a benchmark as she needs just one more stolen base to break into the top 15 in career stolen bases in Missouri Valley Conference history. Allee currently sits in second place in ISU history with 59 stolen bases and just needs nine more steals to break the ISU career record after setting the ISU single season record of 36 last season. Allee also fell just one short of setting the MVC single season record last season.
Moving On Up
Senior Morgan Allee is also closing in on other Sycamore records as she is currently second in on base percentage at .443, behind only Krista McFarren who held a .471 average from 1981-83. Her mark of .474 is also the third highest in ISU single season history. The senior is also fourth in career batting average at .343. Allee also ranks third all time in slugging percentage at .485 and third in career hit by pitch with 15.
Moving On Up Part II
Senior Shelby Wilson is also fourth in career RBI’s with 84, just 5 away from Katie Armour’s mark of 89 for the top spot. Wilson also ranks in the top 15 of 16 different Indiana State career record categories, including: batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, games started, at bats, runs scored, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI’s, total bases, walks, hit by pitch, sacrifice flies, sacrifice hits and stolen bases.
Moving On Up: Team Edition
With 15 games left to play, the Indiana State softball team is having an assault on the ISU record book as they are on pace to break 10 different team records, including: batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, runs scored, RBI’s, total bases, walks, hit by pitch, stolen bases and fielding percentage. Last season, the Sycamores set the ISU record for on base percentage, stolen bases and hit by pitch. The team’s 20-18 overall record also marks the first time since the 1992 season that the team has been over .500, 38 games into a season.
Now more than halfway through the 2014 season, the Indiana State softball team has been extremely consistent at the plate as a team. Through 38 games, the team holds a .295 team batting average which ranks second in the MVC, only trailing Wichita State. The Sycamores also have five different players batting over .300 on the season, led by freshman Kassie Brown at .397.
Seeing The Ball
On March 29 in the series opener at Illinois State, freshman catcher Brooke Riemenschneider had one of the best offensive days a player could ask for as she went 3-3 and reached base in all five of her plate appearance. Riemenschneider hit two home runs and a double off the top of the wall to drive in three runs with five runs scored individually. Now on the season, Remy is second on the team in RBI’s with 21.
Finding Her Swing
Despite hitting just .189 prior to starting MVC play, junior Megan Stone has found her swing for Missouri Valley Conference games. In the 11 Valley games the Sycamores have played, Stone holds a .412 batting average with four home runs (leads the MVC), including a grand slam, and 16 RBI’s (leads the MVC) for a .853 slugging percentage (5th in the MVC) and a .447 on base percentage. On the season, Stone now has 23 RBI’s for the Sycamores to lead the team.
Not Afraid To Sacrifice
Freshman Rylee Holland as made an immediate impact for the Sycamores and been superb at advancing runners. In 35 games played, Holland has 12 sacrifice bunts and two sacrifice flies to lead the Missouri Valley Conference and ranks 12th in NCAA Division 1. Holland also leads the MVC in runners advanced with 22. Sophomore Alexa Cavin is also eighth in the MVC in runners advanced with 14. As a team, the Sycamores have 50 sacrifice bunts to lead the MVC. Indiana State has also added six sacrifice flies.
Advancing Those Runners
Not only has the team been efficient at getting on base, they have also been able to advance runners already on base. The Sycamores lead the MVC in sacrifice bunts with 50 and lead the Valley in runners advanced with 135, 30 more than Wichita State who ranks second in the leage. Just as they did last season, the Sycamores also lead the MVC in stolen bases with 78 in 38 games, ranking them seventh nationally.
Through their first 38 games of the season, the Indiana State softball team has been quick to get on the scoreboard. The Sycamores have scored first in 22 of their 38 games played. When scoring first, the Sycamores are 18-4 on the season. The Sycamores have also scored in the first inning 14 times and hold a perfect 14-0 record when doing so. The Sycamores have also been outstanding at holding teams to two or fewer runs as they have done so 11 times and hold a 12-3 record when doing so. The team is also 19-3 when leading their opponents after four innings.
Fielding It Clean
After finishing near the top of the league in fielding percentage last season, the Sycamores are once again doing a superb job of not beating themselves and are currently second in the MVC and 39th nationally in fielding percentage at .972. The Sycamores 32 errors is also the second fewest in the MVC to date. In addition, the Sycamores have also turned 13 double plays which ranks fourth in the MVC.
Playing Small Ball
Despite having the second fewest extra base hits in the MVC through their 38 games played with 59, the Sycamores are averaging nearly eight hits a game and are second in the Missouri Valley Conference in batting average at .295 . While they have been superb at putting the ball in play, the Sycamores have also found other ways on base as they are second in the MVC in On Base Percentage at .385. The Sycamores also rank second in the MVC in hits, fourth in walks and fourth in hit by pitch with 285, 119 and 26, respectively. Five Sycamore players have also received double digit walks in Allee, Crissman, Cavin, Alvarez and Stone.
Good Speed Aboard
Just as it was last season, speed is the name of the game for the Sycamores as they have 78 stolen bases in 38 games to rank first in the MVC and 18th nationally. Senior Morgan Allee leads the team with 23 stolen bases after finishing 2013 ninth in the NCAA with 36 stolen bases. On Feb. 22 against Dayton, Allee stole four bases for a team and career high. As a team the Sycamores stole nine bases against Quinnipiac on March 7. Now 35 games into the season, 14 different Sycamore players have stolen a base with freshmen Kassie Brown, Leah Salmon, Madison Booe, Erika Crissman, Rylee Holland and Brooke Riemenschneider along with sophomores Kelsey Montgomery, Abbie Malchow and Alexa Cavin and juniors Aubre Carpenter, Ashley Dickerson and Megan Stone, and senior Shelby Wilson.
Getting On Base
After hitting .237 during her freshman campaign, sophomore Kelsey Montgomery has broken out in her sophomore season as she has led the Sycamores and the Missouri Valley Conference for the majority of the first part of the season and now holds a .390 average. At the second release of NCAA Statistics, her batting average also ranked her 39th in NCAA Division 1.
Lockwood, Stone, Riemenschneider Earn MVC Honors
In her first season as a Sycamore, sophomore pitcher Taylor Lockwood has been named MVC Pitcher of the Week on two occasions. Lockwood first earned the award, on Feb. 24 before earning her second of the season on March 10. Junior Megan Stone and freshman Brooke Riemenschneider each earned MVC weekly awards on March 31. Stone was named MVC Player of the Week while Riemenschneider was named MVC Newcomer of the Week. The honor was the first for Riemenschneider and second for Stone but first this season. It is also the first time in ISU history that the team has earned more than two honors
Scoring Those Runs
After scoring 169 runs in 38 games, the Sycamores are fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference in runs scored and sixth in runs scored per game at 4.45. The Sycamores lead the MVC as they hold a .533 percentage of runners advanced. Sophomore Kelsey Montgomery leads the team with runners in scoring position as she holds a .455 batting average with 10 hits in 22 at bats with runners in scoring position. Freshman Rylee Holland also leads the team in success advancing runners with a .596 average with 28 advancements in 47 opportunities.
Inside The Park
For the second time in as many seasons, the Indiana State softball team has recorded an inside the park home run. On March 1 against Western Kentucky in the Hilltopper Classic, sophomore Alexa Cavin hit a ball to center field and sped around the bases for her first career home run, an inside the park home run. Last season, now senior, Morgan Allee hit an inside the park home run at Northern Iowa.
Lockwood Is Tiger Classic MVP
Sophomore Taylor Lockwood was a force to be dealt with in the Tiger Classic in Nashville, Tenn. on Feb. 22-23 when she pitched 13.2 scoreless innings en route to a 2-0 record while striking out 11 batters. For her efforts, Lockwood was named MVP of the tournament while freshman Erika Crissman and senior Morgan Allee each earned All-Tourmant honors.
Wilson & Allee Earn All-MVC Honors
After both received postseason recognition last season, seniors Shelby Wilson and Morgan Allee each earned 1st Team Preseason All-Missouri Valley Conference honors for the 2014 season. This marks the first time in school history that two players have received preseason honors. Last season, Wilson was named 1st Team All-MVC and 2nd Team All-Region while Allee was named 2nd Team All-MVC and Newcomer of the Year.
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 the majority of 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. Highlights and interviews will also be available at Youtube.com.
On To The Next One
Following the weekend Missouri Valley Conference series against the Bears of Missouri State, the Indiana State softball team will return home for a five-game homestand. The Sycamores will first host the Ramblers of Loyola in a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 15 as part of Strikeout Cancer day. All fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. The team will then host the Braves of Bradley in a three-game series on Friday and Saturday at Price Field.