PEORIA, Ill. - Illinois State (27-20, 12-7 MVC) pounded out 22 hits, including three home runs, en route to a doubleheader sweep against host Bradley (17-24, 7-11 MVC) in Missouri Valley Conference softball action Saturday afternoon at Laura Bradley Park.
The visiting Redbirds rode Jordan Birch's 4-hitter to a 4-1 victory in Saturday's opener then used 15 hits for a 9-4 win in the nightcap. Third baseman Elizabeth Kay was 4-for-7 with a home run and four runs batted in on the day, while center fielder Lizzie Andrews went 4-for-5 in the second game.
Leading 1-0 going into the fourth inning of the opener, the Redbirds took command when designated player Jhavon Hamilton drilled a 3-run home run to left center field. Bradley got one run back in the bottom of the fourth when Julie Sherman scored from second on a Bailiegh Basham infield single and subsequent throwing error by the Redbirds shortstop. The Braves managed only two more hits against Birch (16-12) the rest of the way, however.
Illinois State opened up a 5-0 lead in the third inning of the second game by opening the inning with four straight hits, starting with an Andrews triple and a Kay 2-run homer.
Bradley got one run back in the bottom of the third, then banged out six hits in a 3-run fourth inning to pull within 6-4, but Illinois State regained control on an Andrews 2-run homer in the fifth.
The Braves will try to salvage the final game of the weekend series when the teams meet for a single game Sunday at Bradley Park. Bradley will be accepting donations for the Crittenton Center of Peoria during Sunday's game and the Braves will conduct a postgame skills clinic for pre-registered children in eighth grade and younger with registration fees being donated to the Crittenton Center.