EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- The Illinois State softball team completed a three game weekend sweep of host Evansville by taking both ends of a doubleheader from the Aces on Sunday at Cooper Stadium.
The Redbirds won the opener, 14-3, in five innings, before topping Evansville 4-2 in game two.
ISU improved to 26-13 overall and 11-2 in the Missouri Valley. Evansville fell to 9-33, 3-12.
Junior Liz Andrews finished the afternoon 5-for-7 at the plate with an RBI, senior Kara Nelson extended her hitting streak to 16 games with a 3-for-5 effort and sophomore Elizabeth Kay tallied four hits, including a double and a two-run homer, and four RBIs in seven at bats.
Junior pitchers Jordan Birch and Megan Warner picked up the wins for Illinois State in the circle, allowing just five earned runs in 12.0 innings. Warner improved to 10-6 on the season, allowing three runs on six hits, while Birch (12-2) fanned nine Evansville hitters in her three-hit, complete-game performance.
The Redbirds scored six runs in the first inning of game one and never looked back. Abby Olson belted her 46th career home run in the third inning, just one shy of former ISU All-American Amber Smith, who is currently atop the all-time list. Andrews hit a solo shot in the fourth.
After scoring 14 runs in the opener, ISU found themselves in a pitcher's duel in game two. Evansville starter Taylor Perry pitched out of a pair of jams early in the game to keep Illinois State off the scoreboard and Birch matched the effort for the Redbirds to keep the game scoreless through four innings.
ISU's bats finally came alive in the top half of the fifth, when Nelson hit a one-out, solo home run off the scoreboard in left center and Kay drilled her 10th homer, a two-run shot to give the Redbirds a 3-0 lead.
ISU will be back on the diamond Wednesday afternoon when it hosts MVC foe Indiana State for a mid-week doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. at Marian Kneer Stadium.
At Evansville, Ind. - Cooper Stadium
ILLINOIS STATE 14, EVANSVILLE 3
Illinois State 613 31-14-13-0
Evansville 100 02-3-6-1
Warner (W, 10-6) and Kay; Morris (L, 3-8), Rahming (4) and Malone.
ILLINOIS STATE - 2B - Kellar, Kay. HR - Olson, Andrews. RBI - Olson 2, Hamilton 2, Nelson, Kellar, Kay, Andrews, Canopy, Bradley, Harrison. Two or more hits - Andrews 3, Nelson 2, Olson 2, Hamilton 2. Pitching - Warner (5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO).
ILLINOIS STATE 4, EVANSVILLE 2
Illinois State 000 030 1-4-8-0
Evansville 000 000 2-2-3-1
Birch (W, 12-2) and Kay; Perry (L, 1-8) and Rogers.
ILLINOIS STATE - 3B - Kellar. HR - Nelson, Kay. RBI - Kay 3, Nelson. Two or more hits - Kay 3, Andrews 2. Pitching - Birch (7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO).
Records - Illinois State 26-13, 12-2 MVC; Evansville 9-33, 3-12.