ILLINOIS STATE Softball REDBIRD SOFTBALL
Departed from the 2009 team are pitcher Amber Smith, catcher Casey Gorrell, short stop/DP Kaprice Williams, centerfielder Katie Mathis, and leftfielder Jessie Buker.
With the graduation of these five starters, Illinois State will rely on youth to lead the Redbirds into the 2010 season. There is much opportunity for this eager, hard working, group of players to challenge each other to get back to Redbird softball.
The pitching staff features sophomores Jordan Birch and Megan Warner and junior Chrissy Burton. Birch appeared in 22 games with 18 starts with an ERA of 2.19 in 2009. A late season injury sidelined her for the remainder of the year. Warner appeared
The catching crew includes sophomores Brianna Lizen and Caiti Kopp and freshman Elizabeth Kay. Each saw valuable playing time this fall and continues to mature in skill, game management and leadership as they compete for playing time behind the plate.
THE INFIELD Returning: • 1st base: Michelle Henderson--Senior who led the team with 375 putouts and a .990 fielding percentage. • 2nd base: Kara Nelson--Junior returns after a medical hardship year and moves to new position. • SS: Niki Stansell--Senior 2nd Team All-MVC selection with 59 putouts and 147 assists. • 3rd: Abby Olson--Junior 1st Team AllMVC selection with 42 putouts and 123 assists. New Additions: • Emma Clark--Freshman--3rd base • Nichelle Harrison--Freshman--2nd base • Caiti Kopp--Sophomore 1st/3rd base • Jessica Roche--Junior 2nd base • Sara Bradley--Freshman--utility player, who will redshirt this season to rehab after knee surgery.
THE OUTFIELD Returning: • Beth Current--Senior--started 36 games and played in 39 with a 1.000 fielding percentage. • Carly Billings--Junior--started one game and saw action in 32 games with a 1.000 fielding percentage. • Jess Roche--Junior--started seven games and played in 36 games. New Additions: • Jhavon Hamilton--Freshman • Harrison--Freshman • Lauren Kellar--Freshman • Shelby Music--Freshman
THE OFFENSEProjected starters: • Olson--led team with .338 batting average, 30 RBIS, and 11 Home runs. • Stansell--led team with 56 hits, 15 doubles, and 34 runs scored. • Current--came on strong at the end of the year to finish with .200 batting average. • Nelson--returning after a stellar 2008 season as the leadoff batter with a .401 batting average and seven triples. • Kopp--great job in pinch hitting role with a .333 batting average. • Henderson--Three home runs.
2010 Season Preview
Smith, a four-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection, started every game during the 2009 season. She started 22 of those in the circle. Smith set the MVC career home run record with 47. Gorrell started every game her senior year and all but five games behind the plate during her four-year career. She ended her senior season with a .291 average and 24 RBI and nine home runs. Kaprice Williams hit .320 in the MVC with two home runs and contributed off the bench in key situations. Katie Mathis started every game in center field and was errorless on the season making several game-saving catches and throws to the plate. Jessie Buker, a two-time All Valley selection and a three year starter in left field, served as a valuable utility player in many other positions.
in 19 games with eight starts last season. Coming on strong at the end of the year, Warner finished the season with a 6-1 record and a 2.49 ERA. Burton appeared in seven games with two starts and led the pitching staff with a 1.58 ERA.
Front (L-R): Niki Stansell, Elizabeth Kay, Emma Clark, Carly Billings, Nichelle Harrison and Jessica Roche Middle (L-R): Jhavon Hamilton, Sara Bradley, Kara Nelson, Chrissy Burton, Caiti Kopp, Michelle Henderson and Lauren Kellar Back (L-R): Jordan Birch, Beth Current, Megan Warner, Abby Olson, Shelby Music, Brianna Lizen
2010 Redbird Softball Media Guide
An indepth look of the Illinois State softball program.