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Hilltopper Classic Next Up For Sycamore Softball This Weekend

February 27, 2014


TERRE HAUTE, Ind.—After sweeping the Tiger Classic in Nashville, Tenn. and improving to 5-3 on the 2014 season, the Indiana State softball team now turns its attention toward the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic in Bowling Green, Ky. The Sycamores will play five games in three days on the weekend.  The Sycamores have been led this season by freshman outfielder Erika Crissman who is batting .500 on the season with a .583 on base percentage. Crissman leads six Sycamore batters who are averaging .300 or higher through eight games. Sophomore pitcher Taylor Lockwood has also led the Sycamore pitching staff as she has not allowed a run in her last 15.0 innings pitched while striking out 11. This weekend, the Sycamores will take on Wright State, IUPUI, Western Kentucky and will play two games against Green Bay. Live stats for all five games, along with full box scores and recaps will be available online at GoSycamores.com. A free online radio broadcast will also be available and can be found at GoSycamores.com.


Last Time Out

The Indiana State softball team last saw the field on Sunday, Feb. 23 as they completed a four-game sweep of the Tiger Classic in Nashville, Tenn. The Sycamores defeated Youngstown State 5-4 and Dayton 7-3 on Saturday before shutting out Temple 6-0 and host Tennessee State 3-0 to conclude the tournament. Sophmore pitcher Taylor Lockwood was named tournament MVP while freshman Erika Crissman and senior Morgan Allee were each named to the All-Tournament team.


A Little History—Wright State

This will be the eighth all-time meeting between the Sycamores and Raiders with Indiana State holding a perfect 7-0 record over Wright State. The first ever meeting between the two teams came during the 1994 season when the Sycamores won both games of a doubleheader against the Raiders 9-1 and 8-0. The two teams last met last season with the Sycamores coming out victourious 3-1 in the Blues City Classic in Memphis, Tenn.


Scouting The Raiders

The Raiders enter the weekend with an 0-5 record having last seen the field on Feb. 16 in a 10-2 loss to No. 1 Tennessee. The Raiders are led offensively by freshman infielder Libby Pfeffer, who is the lone Raider player hitting over .300, at .357. In the circle for the Raiders, sophomore Montana Wear leads the pitching staff with a 5.69 ERA over 19.2 innings pitched with 13 strikeouts. Last season the Raiders finished with a 19-37 overall record.


A Little History—IUPUI

This will be the 31st all-time meeting between the Sycamores and Jaguars with Indiana State holding a 23-7 series advantage over IUPUI. The two teams first met during the 1979 season when the Sycamores swept a doubleheader 14-4 and 12-10. Last season, the Sycamores and Jaguars split a doubleheader in Terre Haute with ISU winning the first game 7-0 before the Jaguars won game two 17-6.


Scouting The Jaguars

The Jaguars enter the weekend with a 5-6 overall record having last seen the field on Feb. 23 in a 15-6 loss to Central Michigan in the Cardinal Classic. Sophomore Alyssa Neff leads seven Jaguar players batting over .300 at .464 with 13 hits and three RBI’s. In the circle for IUPUI, senior Jocelyn Oppenhuis leads the pitching staff with a 4.10 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 27.1 innings pitched. Last season, IUPUI finished with an 18-31 overall record.


Scouting The Phoenix

When the Sycamores and Owls face off in the 2014 Hilltopper Classic it will be the 9th all-time meeting between the two schools. The two teams first met during the 1992 season when the Sycamores won a 4-3 game. The last meeting came during the 1996 season with Green Bay winning 10-3. The Phoenix have yet to play during the 2014 season. Last season sophomore Marissa Michalkiewicz led the team with a .398 batting average while junior Lauren Danner is the top returning pitcher with a 3.60 ERA in 2013. The Phoenix finished with a 15-25 overall record.


A Little History—Western Kentucky

When the Sycamores and Hilltoppers meet in the Hilltopper Classic Saturday, it will be the sixth all-time meeting between the two teams with WKU holding the 4-1 all-time series advantage. The two teams first met during the 2000 season as Western Kentucky defeated the Sycamores in a doubleheader 13-5 and 3-2. The last meeting came during the 2012 season when the Hilltoppers defeated the Sycamores 10-2.


Scouting The Hilltoppers

Entering the weekend Western Kentucky holds a 9-4-1 overall record having last seen the field this past weekend in a four-game sweep of the Hilltopper Spring Fling. Olivia Watkins leads the Hilltopper offense with a .531 batting average and is one of three players to bat .300 or above. Hannah Minlard leads the Western Kentucky pitching staff with a 1.58 ERA over 31.0 innings pitched with a 4-0 record and 34 strikeouts. Last season, WKU finished with a 43-18 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Regionals.


Taylor Lockwood Is MVC Player Of The Week

Sophomore Taylor Lockwood has gotten off to a hot start to her Sycamore career and after her outstanding performance at the Tiger Classic, she earned MVC Player of the Week honors. Lockwood is the first Sycamore player to earn an MVC weekly award in 2014 and the first since Megan Stone was named player of the week on March 25, 2013. Lockwood is also the first Sycamore pitcher to earn Pitcher of the Week since Lindsey Beisser won the award twice during the 2012 season.


Crissman Leads The Way

With just seven collegiate games played, freshman Erika Crissman is leading the Indiana State offense as she has 10 hits in 20 at bats for a .500 batting average. In addition, Crissman has four walks with a .583 on base percentage to lead the team and has also added two runs batted in with seven runs scored. On Feb. 22 vs. Dayton, Crissman finished the game 3-4 with two runs scored. As the leadoff batter, Crissman is 8-11 for a .727 average. Crissman also leads the Missouri Valley Conference in batting average while senior Morgan Allee is second at .440 and freshman Brooke Riemenschneider is fourth at .417.


Playing Small Ball

Despite having the fewest extra base hits in the MVC through their eight games played with seven, the Sycamores are averaging nearly eight hits a game and lead the Missouri Valley Conference in batting average at .306. While they have been superb at putting the ball in play, the Sycamores have also found other ways on base as they also lead the MVC in On Base Percentage at .415. 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 19  and lead the Valley in runners advanced with 38 and are third in the MVC in stolen bases with 18 in eight games.


Good Speed Aboard

Just as it was last season, speed is the name of the game for the Sycamores as they have 18 stolen bases in eight games. Senior Morgan Allee leads the team with eight 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. Just eight games into the season, nine different Sycamore players have stolen a base with freshmen Kassie Brown and Rylee Holland also stealing multiple bases for the Sycamores.


Scoring Those Runs

After scoring 44 runs in eight games, the Sycamores are second in the Missouri Valley Conference in runs scored per game at 5.5. The Sycamores lead the MVC as they hold a .548 percentage of runners advanced. Sophomore Alexa Cavin leads the team with runners in scoring position as she holds a .714 batting average with five hits in seven at bats with runners in scoring position. Crissman is also 3-7 for .429 with runners in scoring position.


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. 


Moving On Up

In just her second season as a Sycamore, senior Morgan Allee is moving up the record book and currently sits in third place in career stolen bases with 44, just 24 away from the record set by Amy Vaira set in 1995. Allee is also second in on base percentage at .439, behind only Krista McFarren who held a .471 average from 1981-83. Senior Shelby Wilson is also seventh in career RBI’s with 69, just 20 away from Katie Armours mark of 89 for the top spot.


Sycamores Against Current Horizon League

Out of the current Horizon League membership, the Sycamores have recorded games against all seven members and have acrued a 31-11 overall record against the Leage. The Sycamores have faced Valparaiso more than any other Horizon league opponent and holds an 8-2 series advantage. The Sycamores most recently defeated Youngstown State 5-4 on Saturday, Feb. 22.


Sycamores Against Current Summit Leage

Out of the current Summit League membership, the Sycamores have recorded games against six schools (IPFW, North Dakota State, Western Illinois, South Dakota, South Dakota State and IUPUI). The Sycamores have a combined all-time record of 46-44 against the current Summit League membership. Most recently, ISU split with SDSU in the Cyclone Invitational.


Sycamores Against Current Sun Belt

Out of the current membership of the Sun Belt Conference, the Sycamores have recorded games against five different schools (UL Monroe, Texas State, WKU, UL Lafayette and Georgia State). The Sycamores have a combined all-time record of 11-15 in those games. Most recently, the Sycamores fell to UL Monroe 9-0 in the 2011 season.


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.


New Faces, New Team

While the name on the front of the jerseys is the same, the 2014 edition of the Indiana State softball team is much different than last season’s team. This years team has just eight returners who are joined by nine newcomers. New faces include: juniors pitcher Yvette Alvarez and infielder Aubre Carpenter, sophomore pitcher Taylor Lockwood, and freshmen outfielder Rylee Holland, utility player Leah Salmon, utility player Kassie Brown, outfielder Erika Crissman, catcher Brooke Riemenschneider, and catcher Madison Booe. Also new to the team this year is assistant coach Lucas Hileman who will work primarily with the outfielders and Sycamore hitters.


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 Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic, the Indiana State softball team will return to Terre Haute for four days before flying to the Sunshine State for 10 games in eight days. The Sycamores will first play five games in the USF-Under Armour Invitational hosted by South Florida in Clearwater, Fla. before playing their final five games of the week in Kissimmee, Fla. at the Rebel Spring games.

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