Terre Haute, Ind.--Junior Morgan Allee tied the ISU single season runs scored record and the Indiana State softball team (15-34, 4-19 MVC) swiped eight stolen bases as they split a doubleheader with the Purple Aces of Evansville (20-27, 11-11 MVC) Saturday at Price Field.
"Today was a great day to see what Sycamore Softball is all about," assistant coach Amanda Zust said. "When we play solid defense, have great pitching and get a couple key hits we can compete with anyone in the MVC. It was nice to get our offense going from the beginning in the second game and be able to hold the lead behind Halle's efforts today. We had a lot of people contribute which makes it a lot of fun to watch and be a part of."
In the first game of the doubleheader, freshman pitcher Halle Humphrey pitched three hitless innings to start the game before allowing an Aces double in the fourth inning. Humphrey allowed just five hits over a complete seven innings but the Sycamores fell in game one, 2-0.
The Sycamores threatened in bottom of the third when senior Mackenzie Connelly led off the inning with a double down the left field line but could get no further. The Purple Aces then took a 1-0 lead over the Sycamores when a leadoff double came around to score in the top of the fourth inning.
The Sycamores threatened again in the fifth as Connelly singled and stole second with two outs but was once again stranded.
Evansville extended their lead in the top of the sixth inning when back-to-back double led off the inning for the Aces, scoring one run to make it 2-0.
In the bottom of the seventh, ISU once again threatened as freshman Paige Schreiner hit a one out double off the right field wall and moved to third on a Connelly single. The Sycamores could not come back and tie the game, however, as they fell by a final score of 2-0 in game one.
Connelly finished the game 3-3 with a double and stolen base for the Sycamores while Schriener went 1-3 with a double.
In the second game of the day, the Sycamores jumped out to an early lead when they scored three runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back as they went on to split the doubleheader with an 8-4 victory.
Junior Morgan Allee led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk and was out at second on a fielders choice by freshman Kelsey Montgomery. Montgomery then advanced to second on a wild pitch before junior Shelby Wilson was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Both runners then advanced on a double steal. The Sycamores then got on the board on a fielders choice off the bat of Schreiner to score Montgomery and advance Wilson to third.
Connelly then added to the Sycamore lead with an RBI double to right center to score Wilson and make it 2-0 before senior Alex Lucas doubled to right center to score Connelly and give the Sycamores a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, the Sycamores again added to their lead, plating three more runs to take a 6-0 lead. With two outs Allee walked and stole second base. Allee then advanced to third on an infield single off the bat of Montgomery. Montgomery then stole second before Wilson was intentionally walked to load the bases. Allee then scored and all runners advanced on a wild pitch.
Schriener then doubled to right field to score Montgomery and Wilson and give the Sycamores a 6-0 advantage over the Aces after two innings.
The Aces answered back in the top of the third, scoring four runs off four hits to cut the Sycamore lead to 6-4.
Once again the Sycamore offense answered when Lucas walked to lead off the bottom of the third and advanced to second on a sacrifice by freshman Abbie Malchow. Lucas then advanced to third on a groundout by sophomore Megan Stone and then scored on an infield single by sophomore Ashley Dickerson to give the Sycamores a 7-4.
The Sycamore offense struck again in the top of the fourth inning when Allee led off with a single up the middle and stole second before advancing to third on a sacrifice by Montgomery. Allee then scored on a groundout by Wilson to make it 8-4.
The Sycamore defense held its own the remainder of the game and went on to split the doubleheader with an 8-4 victory in game two.
Schreiner finished the game 2-3 with three RBI's while Allee was 1-2 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. Freshman Halle Humphrey pitched her second complete game of the day, allowing five hits with four strikeouts.
As a team, the Sycamores stole eight bases on the day and are now just three stolen bases away from the MVC single season record of 100. Allee also stole three bases to move to within one stolen base of the MVC single season record of 37 with four games remaining.
The two teams will face off in the finale of the three-game series Sunday at 12 p.m. At Price Field.