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Williams' key hitleads softball tosplit on first day

Williams' key hitleads softball tosplit on first day

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Kaprice Williams' two-run single in the top of the seventh inning helped the Illinois State softball team salvage a split on the first day of the Coastal Carolina tournament Friday at Conway, S.C.

Williams' single keyed a three-run inning that lifted the Redbirds to a 6-4 victory over the hosts. Earlier, ISU managed one hit in a 1-0, eight-inning loss to Tennessee.

Randi Patton drove in a run with a pair of doubles in the Redbirds' win. Stacy Birk earned the pitching victory, striking out six batters in 6 1/3 innings before allowing two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Shannon Nicholson, who suffered the loss to Tennessee, picked up a save.

In the opener, Tennessee ace Monica Abbott struck out 18 ISU hitters over eight innings, and the Vols picked up an unearned run in the top of the eighth.

Track team sets records

It was a record-setting day for the ISU track and field team as the women's distance medley relay broke the school record at the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa.

The distance medley relay team, consisting of Betsy McDonald, Anna Lovell, Kimberli Smudde and Suzy Turner finished fourth in the event in 11 minutes, 46.72 seconds, besting the previous record of 11:46.88 set in 2001.

"It was a very good day for us," said Coach Elvis Forde. "We made a lot of improvements today and I'm also very proud of the distance medley relay team."

In the 200 meters, Lian Lucas placed 18th tying her season-best time of 24.63, while Devon Williams (24.71) and Anna Lovell (24.80) took 19th and 21st, respectively, each achieving a season best.

Competing consistently all season in the long jump, Brittney Hourd placed 16th at 18 feet, 10¾ inches. She also competed in the 60 hurdles and recorded a season-best time of 25.90 in the 200.

On the men's side, Mark Jackson improved his season-best distance in the weight throw to 64-6 to place eighth. He is still the only Redbird who has provisionally qualified in an event for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

"I was pleased that Jeremy (Johnson) recorded a personal-best in the 200-meters," said Forde. "It was encouraging to see Max (Mkwezalamba) and Kelley (Anderson) make improvements and I'm excited to see what'll happen at the (Valley) championships."

Jeremy Johnson turned in a season-best time of 21.71 for 15th. Maxwell Mkwezalamba (22.22) and Kelley Anderson (22.57) also recorded season-best times.

Samuel Watts was 19th in the long jump (22-9¾) while Jorge Perez jumped 19-10¼.

The meet continues today at 9:30 a.m.

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