SOFTBALL: Lady Tops avenge ISU loss Sunday

Wes Watt

After being shut down by Illinois State on Saturday night in a 5-0 defeat in the second game of the Hilltopper Spring Classic, it was time for the offense to put up or shut up Sunday.

The Lady Topper’s offense has been looking for consistency all season. And in a rematch in the championship game against ISU, they found it. Western (11-3) put up nine hits and three runs after churning out just one hit during the game against the Redbirds on Saturday. The Lady Toppers turned their bats into softball magnets and blasted their way to a 3-0 shutout to avenge the first loss and finish the tournament 3-1.

“I am extremely happy we came back and won it when it counted,” coach Leslie Phelan said. “We’ve always had the physical tools, just mentally we needed to be tougher. And we were that today.”

Senior pitcher Allison Silver backed up the offense by holding ISU to only four hits, with two of them coming in the final inning. Silver helped establish the Lady Toppers early in the game by striking out three of the first four batters.

“Allison threw a terrific game,” Phelan said. “She did set the tone. She was throwing hard and she mixed the ball up.”

Silver pitched a two-hittter in the first game on Saturday in the team’s win over Southeast Missouri State. The 10-0 shutout was good enough to end the game after five innings because of the eight run rule.

Freshman outfielder Alana Towns and sophomore shortstop Baily Rolfs were contributors to eight of Western’s 10 runs against the Indians. Rolfs hit a deep line drive to left field in the bottom of the first which scored two runs. And Rolfs was able to find her way to the plate as well posting two runs.

Towns finished the game with two RBI, two runs and one hit. But Towns’ offensive production carried over to all four games played last weekend. On the weekend, she had five hits and five RBI, including the team’s only hit against ISU in Saturday’s contest.

“I was shocked,” Towns said. “I’ve never been on every game getting a good hit.”

Reach Wes Watt at [email protected]