2008 Illinois State Softball Media Guide


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2008 Illinois State Softball Media Guide

  1. 1. redbirds ILLINOIS STATE SOFTBALL ISU 2008 redbird sofTball 2008 rEdBIrd SOFTBALL mEdIA gUIdE A mESSAgE FrOm hEAd cOAch mELINdA FISchEr Thanks to the vision and passion of Dr. Sheahon Zenger, Illinois State director of athletics, as well as University President Dr. Al Bowman, the Redbird Athletics Department is emerging as of the premier NCAA Division I athletics departments, not only in the Midwest, but throughout the country. The Illinois State Athletics Department’s quest for sustained success is a long-term expedition, just as the Illinois State softball team’s mission to become TABLE OF cONTENTS ThE cOAchINg STAFF Head Coach Melinda Fischer ______________24 one of the top softball teams in the nation is a long- Assistant Coach Bill Kennedy ______________26 term process. With two-straight NCAA Tournament ThIS IS rEdBIrd SOFTBALL Table of Contents_________________________1 Assistant Coach Tina Kramos ______________26 appearances, our student-athletes, as well as our Volunteer Asst. Coach Bill Dickson __________27 Media Center/Quick Facts __________________2 coaching staff, believe that we are moving in the right Redbird Softball Tradition __________________3 Student Asst. Coach Shannon Nicholson _____27 direction. Redbird Softball Complex __________________4 Much of the success of this program is due This is Illinois State Softball _________________5 ThE OPPONENTS to the tremendous dedication, commitment and 2008 Opponents/Tournament Schedule ______28 intestinal fortitude that our student-athletes display 2008 SEASON PrEvIEw All-time Series Records ___________________30 each day. To be a Redbird softball student-athlete 2008 Roster _____________________________6 means so much more that just being at practice and 2008 Season Outlook _____________________7 2007 SEASON rEvIEw playing in games. To be a REDBIRD means you The Missouri Valley Conference _____________8 2007 Season Notes ______________________31 strive to uphold the success and tradition that IS 2007 Results ___________________________32 Illinois State softball. It is a commitment that is not ThE PLAyErS 2007 Overall Statistics ____________________33 for everyone, but for those who are fortunate enough Tiffany Prager ___________________________9 2007 Missouri Valley Conference Statistics____34 Andrea Shifflet __________________________10 Final MVC Standings/ISU All-MVC Players ____34 to become a part of the Illinois State Athletics family, it is a commitment that sees each student-athlete Jessie Buker ___________________________ 11 Casey Gorrell___________________________12 rEcOrdS actively participate in the community, excel in the Redbird Softball Honor Roll ________________35 classroom, train in our state-of-the art weight facility Amber Smith ___________________________13 Katie Thoennes _________________________14 Redbird Softball Letterwinners _____________36 and build relationships and friendships, with other Redbird All-Americans ____________________37 Kaprice Williams ________________________15 student-athletes and administrators alike, that will last All-time Hitting Records ___________________38 Michelle Henderson ______________________16 a lifetime. To be a Redbird student-athlete is truly a All-time Pitching/Fielding Records __________39 Vicki Klopf _____________________________17 privilege. Kara Nelson ____________________________18 Redbird Softball Complex Records __________40 Please continue with us as we embark on this Diciembre Vaca _________________________19 Hall of Fame Members ___________________40 2008 campaign. Your support is essential to our Jennifer Brown/Rachel Smith/Katie Mathis ____20 Miscellaneous Records ___________________40 success, and I welcome you all to help us continue to Carly Billings/Chrissy Burton/Kasey Martin ____21 “SPREAD THE RED.” Brittany McElmury/Amy Mitchell/Abby Olson ___22 ILLINOIS STATE UNIvErSITy Jessica Roche __________________________23 Administration/Support Staff _________________41 Illinois State University ___________________42 Karin Bone Study Center __________________43 Redbirds in the Community ________________43 Owen Strength and Conditioning Center ______44 Redbird Athletic Training __________________44 2008 SOFTBALL mEdIA gUIdE EdITOr/wrITEr/dESIgNEr cOvEr dESIgN The 2008 Illinois State softball media guide was Keith Trivitt Shawn Billo designed and produced by the Illinois State Athletics Media Relations Office in Normal, EdITOrIAL/rESEArch ASSISTANcE PhOTOgrAPhy Ill., using Adobe InDesign CS2 and Adobe Todd Kober, Brett McWethy, Jimmy Knodel, John Dennis Banks and Jon Muzzarelli Photoshop CS2. Sandberg, Jill Speer, Kyle Matthews and Munirah McNeely, of the Illinois State Athletics Media PrINTINg Relations Office. Illinois State University Printing Services Two-sTraighT ncaa TournamenT appearances 16 all-americans 11 missouri valley conference championships 2008 Softball Media Guide - DO N1 1 1/29/2008 10:06:18 AM
  2. 2. ISU redbirds QUIcK FAcTS ILLINOIS STATE SOFTBALL PrImAry mEdIA OUTLETS media cenTer Print Phone Fax Web site ILLINOIS STATE UNIvErSITy School _____________________ Illinois State University Bloomington Pantagraph 309/829.9411 309/829.7000 pantagraph.com City _________________________________ Normal, Ill. Peoria Journal-Star 309/686.3214 309/686.3205 PJStar.com Zip Code _________________________________61761 Daily Vidette 309/438.2883 309/438.5211 dailyvidette.org Founded __________________________________1857 Chicago Sun-Times 312/321.2635 312/321.2833 suntimes.com Enrollment _______________________________ 20,104 Chicago Tribune 312/222.3473 312/828.9392 chicagosports.com Nickname______________________________ Redbirds State Journal-Register 217/788.1547 217/788.1551 SJ-R.com Colors ____________________ Red (PMS 186) White The Normalite 309/454.5476 Affiliation _________________________ NCAA Division I Conference ________ Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) A Facility ___________________ Redbird Softball Complex Radio Phone Fax Web site Capacity__________________________________ 1,000 WJBC-AM (Flagship) 309/821.1000 309/829.8071 wjbc.com Dimensions _________________________ 190-210-190 WGLT-FM 309/438.2255 309/438.7870 wglt.org President __________________________ Dr. Al Bowman WZND 309/438.5499 309/438.2652 wznd.com Director of Athletics _____________ Dr. Sheahon Zenger NCAA Faculty Representative ______Dr. Debbie Lindberg Television Phone Fax Web site Senior Women’s Administrator ________Leanna Bordner WMBD (CBS-31) 309/686.9461 309/686.8658 ciproud.com WEEK (NBC-25) 309/698.3729 309/698.2070 week.com rEdBIrd SOFTBALL hISTOry WHOI (ABC-19) 309/698.1956 309/698.1910 hoinews.com First Year of Softball _________________________1965 WAND 217/424.2500 217/424.2583 wandtv.com All-time Record _______________________ 1,079-681-4 All-time NCAA Division I Record ___________ 795-535-4 WCIA 217/356.8333 217/373.3663 wcia.com All-time MVC Record ____________________ 338-124-2 WICD 217/351.8538 217/351.6134 wicd15.com NCAA Tournament Appearances _________________ Six WICS 217/753.5614 217/753.5681 www.wics.com ______________ (1988, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007) TV-10 News 309/438.5481 309/438.2652 www.communication.ilstu.edu/tv10 TEAm INFOrmATION rEdBIrdS ON ThE 2007 Overall Record _________________ 44-17-1 (.709) ILLINOIS STATE AThLETIcS rAdIO 2007 MVC Record/Finish ___________18-7-1 (.692)/2nd Home Record ______________________________ 15-4 mEdIA rELATIONS Redbird softball will be featured a total of 29 times during the regular season on the radio Away Record ______________________________11-8-1 in 2008. WJBC-AM 1230, Bloomington and Neutral Record _____________________________ 18-5 2007 Postseason __________ NCAA Regional Participant KEITH TRIVITT WJBC2.com are the official home of Illinois State softball. Zach Parcell will provide Letterwinners Returning/Lost___________________ 11/5 Media Relations Graduate Assistant play-by-play duties in 2008, with R.C. McBride Position Starters Returning/Lost _________________ 6/2 Softball Contact occasionally filling in. Pitchers Returning/Lost ________________________ 1/2 O: 309/438.7748 Newcomers ___________________________________9 C: 417/299.5996 Date Opponent Location Time Captains ______________ Tiffany Prager, Andrea Shifflet F: 309/438.5634 2.8 Cent. Arkansas Orlando, Fla. 10:15a ______ Jessie Buker, Amber Smith, Michelle Henderson 2.8 Cent. Florida Orlando, Fla. 2:45p E-mail: katrivi@ilstu.edu 2.9 Kansas Orlando, Fla. 8:15a 2.9 NC State Orlando, Fla. 12:15p SOFTBALL cOAchINg STAFF Media Services: Media personnel covering Redbird Softball are 2.10 Bracket Play Orlando, Fla. TBA Head Coach________ Melinda Fischer (Illinois State, ‘72) provided with game programs, game notes and statistics. Final box 2.22 Radford Tempe, Ariz. 1:45p Total Years Coaching ___________________________25 scores will be distributed following all games. 2.22 Arizona State Tempe, Ariz. 8:15a Career Record ____________________ 756-500-4 (.600) 2.23 Iowa Tempe, Ariz. 1:45p Years at ISU __________________ 2008 is 23rd season Credentials: All media and photo credentials for home games may 2.23 Miami (Ohio) Tempe, Ariz. 8:15p Record at ISU ____________________ 724-483-4 (.647) be obtained by contacting Illinois State Athletics Media Relations 2.24 Buffalo Tempe, Ariz. 11:45a Assistant Coach______ Tina Kramos (Missouri State, ‘95) Graduate Assistant and softball contact Keith Trivitt at 309/438.7748 2.29 Winthrop Columbus, Ga. 9:45a Pitching Coach ________ Bill Kennedy (Illinois State, ‘68) or by e-mail at katrivi@ilstu.edu Credentials should be requested at 2.29 Charlotte Columbus, Ga. 5:15p Volunteer Asst. Coach ___ Bill Dickson (Illinois State, ‘54) least 48 hours in advance of a home game. 3.1 Tennessee Columbus, Ga. 2:45p Student Asst. Coach __ Shannon Nicholson (Illinois State, ‘07) 3.1 Hofstra Columbus, Ga. 5:15p Softball Office _______________________309/438.3633 Internet Access: Wireless internet is available inside the Redbird 3.2 North Carolina Columbus, Ga. 8:45a Softball Fax _________________________309/438.3597 Softball Complex press box. 3.8 W. Kentucky Bowling Green, Ky. 12:45p 3.8 W. Kentucky Bowling Green, Ky. 2:45p mEdIA rELATIONS Interview Policy: Interviews should be coordinated through Keith 3.9 W. Kentucky Bowling Green, Ky. 11:45a Softball Contact ________________________Keith Trivitt Trivitt in the athletics media relations office. Head coach Melinda 3.15 Creighton Normal, Ill. 11:45a Trivitt’s Office ________________________309/438.7748 Fischer will be available for interviews following the final game each 3.15 Creighton Normal, Ill. 1:45p Trivitt’s Cell _________________________417/299.5996 time the Redbirds play. Interviews with players or other members of 3.16 Creighton Normal, Ill. 11:45a Trivitt’s E-mail ____________________ katrivi@ilstu.edu the coaching staff may also take place during this time. 3.18$ Illinois Normal, Ill. 6:15p Asst. AD/Media Relations _______________ Todd Kober 4.5 Evansville Normal, Ill. 11:45a Kober’s Office _______________________309/438.3805 4.5 Evansville Normal, Ill. 1:45p Kober’s E-mail ___________________ gtkober@ilstu.edu ILLINOIS STATE SOFTBALL IS SPONSOrEd 4.6 Evansville Normal, Ill. 11:45a Media Relations Office ________________309/438.3825 IN PArT By: 4.16 Illinois Champaign, Ill. 5:45p Media Relations Fax __________________309/438.5634 4.19 Wichita State Normal, Ill. 11:45a Mailing Address ____________ 201A Horton Field House 4.19 Wichita State Normal, Ill. 1:45p __________ Campus Box 7130, Normal, IL 61790-7130 4.20 Wichita State Normal, Ill. 11:45a Softball Press Box Phone ______________309/438.5695 5.8-10 MVC Tournament Carbondale, Ill. TBA ALL TIMES CENTRAL Note: Games can be heard live on WJBC2.com mEdIA INFOrmATION Note: Schedule and times subject to change Athletics Web site _________________ GoRedbirds.com $ Will air live on WJBC-AM 1230, Bloomington 2008 redbird sofTball media guide 2008 Softball Media Guide - DO N2 2 1/29/2008 10:06:19 AM
  4. 4. ISU redbirds ILLINOIS STATE SOFTBALL redbird sofTball complex redbird Softball Complex 19 ISU FAST FAcT ISu LEADS 72 PERCENT OF ThE SERIES IT hAS PLAyED AT ThE RSC As the success of the Illinois State softball program continues to build, so does the team’s home-field advantage at the Redbird Softball Complex. The Redbirds have experienced a progressive increase in home game attendance over the last three years at the Redbird Softball Complex, culminating with over 4,000 fans experiencing an afternoon of Redbird softball in 2007. Illinois State’s award-winning home field officially opened April 3, 1999, beginning a new era in Illinois State softball that continues to bring winning traditions and successful years to the program. The Redbird Softball Complex replaced 199 historic McCormick Field, the home of the Redbirds for 31 years. The 1,000-seat complex, which is located on the east side of Adelaide Street, adjacent to other athletics facilities, has a natural grass playing ILLINOIS STATE AT ThE rEdBIrd SOFTBALL cOmPLEx surface, lights, convenient parking, outstanding yEAR RECORD PCT. ATT. OPP. REC. PCT. OPP. REC. PCT. media facilities and excellent seating. Bleachers 1999_____________ 10-3 _____________ .769 ____ 1,251 Bradley _____8-1 _ .889 Creighton ___6-5 _ .545 can also be added down the baselines for extra 2000______________ 9-6 _____________ .600 ____ 1,656 DePaul _____3-2 _ .600 Drake _____ 10-1 .909 seating. 2001______________11-2 _____________ .846 ____ 1,638 E. Illinois ____4-2 _ .667 Evansville __9-4 _ .692 The field is 190 feet down the left and right 2002_____________ 17-5 _____________ .773 ____5,389* Illinois ______1-3 _ .250 Indiana St. _ 13-0 1.000 field lines and 210 feet in straight-away center. 2003_____________ 10-7 _____________ .588 ____ 2,283 Iowa________1-2 _ .333 Loyola-Chicago 3-1 _ .750 The complex is conveniently located close to the 2004______________11-4 _____________ .733 ____ 1,149 Missouri St. _ 11-4 .733 N. Illinois ___4-1 _ .800 Redbirds’ locker rooms, training facilities and 2005______________ 9-8 _____________ .529 ____ 2,528 Northern Iowa _ 14-2 .875 Northwestern 0-1 _ .000 offices. 2006_____________ 15-1 _____________ .938 ____ 2,594 Northwestern _0-1 _ .000 S. Illinois ___8-8 _ .500 The Redbird Softball Complex, which hosted 2007_____________ 15-5 _____________ .789 ____4,696* W. Illinois ____2-1 _ .667 Wichita St. _ 10-1 .909 the 2002 and 2007 State Farm MVC Tournaments, Total ___________ 107-41 ____________ .722 ___ 23,184 Illinois State at the Redbird Softball Complex _ 107-41 _ .722 * Hosted State Farm MVC Tournament was voted the 1999 Softball Field of the Year by The Sports Turf Managers Association. 2008 redbird sofTball media guide 2008 Softball Media Guide - DO N4 4 1/29/2008 10:06:28 AM
  5. 5. redbirdsILLINOIS STATE SOFTBALL ISU redbird sofTball TradiTion ThE BEgINNINg Illinois State Athletics has always been at the forefront of promoting women’s athletic opportunities, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, when the movement to bring women’s college athletics up to speed with men’s intercollegiate athletic programs was at its zenith. Two visionary women, Carmen Imel and Dr. Jill Hutchison - who would later go on to coach the Redbird women’s basketball team for 28 years - brought national attention to ISU women’s athletics and Redbird softball in the early days of women’s athletics at Illinois State. Softball began at ISU in 1965, and since then, the Redbirds have racked up over 1,000 wins, have made two Women’s College World Series appearances, and have won 11 regular-season conference titles and five conference tournament championships. MELINDA FISChER (L) AND jILL huTChISON (R) 1969 WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES RuNNER-uP 2 wcwS APPEArANcES | 1969 1972 NATIONAL chAmPIONShIP FINALISTS 6 NcAA TOUrNAmENT APPErANcES 11 mISSOUrI vALLEy cONFErENcE TITLES 1972 WCWS NATIONAL RuNNER-uP SETTINg ThE STANdArd While women’s intercollegiate athletics was still a young and relatively novel aspect of the Illinois State Athletics Department in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Redbird softball helped to set a standard for athletic excellence that continues to this day. both the 1969 and 1972 Illinois State softball squads, under the tutelage of Redbird coaching legend jill hutchison, made appearances in the Women’s College World Series. both teams ended their run at the WCWS as national runner-up, and thus set in motion an era of softball dominance that has existed at Illinois State ever since. 1988 GATEWAy ChAMPIONS 1995 - REDbIRDS FINISh NO. 23 IN NATIONAL POLLS 2000 vALLEy TOuRNAMENT ChAMPIONS ILLINOIS STATE AT ThE 2000 NCAA TOuRNAMENT Two-sTraighT ncaa TournamenT appearances 16 all-americans 11 missouri valley conference championships 2008 Softball Media Guide - DO N5 5 1/29/2008 10:06:34 AM
  6. 6. ISU NO. 00 redbirds NAME ILLINOIS STATE SOFTBALL Diciembre Vaca yR. So. POS. UT hT. 5-10 b/T R/R hOMETOWN (PREvIOuS SChOOLS) Fontana, Calif. (Kaiser) 2008 numerical rosTer ALPhABETIcAL rOSTEr NO. NAME POS. CL. 2 Amber Smith Jr. P/1B 6-0 R/R Fairfield, Calif. (Fairfield) 19 Carly Billings C Fr. 4 Jessica Roche Fr. OF 5-3 R/R Orland Park, Ill. (Carl Sandburg) 6 Jennifer Brown C Sr. 5 Kara Nelson So. 3B 5-8 L/R Moline, Ill. (Moline) 22 Jessie Buker UT Jr. 6 Jennifer Brown Sr. C 5-6 R/R Rock Island, Ill. (Rock Island/Blackhawk College) 20 Chrissy Burton P/OF Fr. 7 Casey Gorrell Jr. C 5-7 R/R Olathe, Kan. (Olathe East) 7 Casey Gorrell C Jr. 8 Tiffany Prager Sr. 2B 5-8 L/R Bloomington, Ill. (Olympia) 18 Michelle Henderson IF So. 9 Vicki Klopf So. OF 5-5 L/R Wheaton, Ill. (Wheaton-Warrenville South) 9 Vicki Klopf OF So. 10 Rachel Smith Jr. P 5-5 R/R Williamsville, Ill. (Williamsville/Lincoln Land CC) 13 Kasey Martin 1B Fr. 11 Brittany McElmury Fr. UT 5-9 R/R Mokena, Ill. (Lincoln-Way East) 14 Katie Mathis OF Jr. 12 Andrea Shifflet Sr. OF 5-6 R/R Waynesville, Ill. (Clinton/Lewis Clark) 11 Brittany McElmury UT Fr. 13 Kasey Martin Fr. 1B 5-10 L/R Lenexa, Kan. (Shawnee Mission Northwest) 17 Amy Mitchell P Fr. 5 Kara Nelson 3B So. 14 Katie Mathis Jr. OF 5-1 R/R Shawnee, Kan. (Shawnee Mission NW/Johnson County CC) 16 Abby Olson UT Fr. 16 Abby Olson Fr. UT 5-10 R/R Hartsburg, Ill. (Hartsburg-Emden) 8 Tiffany Prager 2B Sr. 17 Amy Mitchell Fr. P 5-8 R/R Palatine, Ill. (Palatine) 4 Jessica Roche OF Fr. 18 Michelle Henderson So. IF 5-7 R/R Normal, Ill. (Normal West) 12 Andrea Shifflet OF Sr. 19 Carly Billings Fr. C 5-4 R/R Wheaton, Ill. (Wheaton-Warrenville South) 2 Amber Smith P/1B Jr. 20 Chrissy Burton Fr. P/OF 5-9 L/R Mapleton, Ill. (Illini Bluffs) 10 Rachel Smith P Jr. 21 Kaprice Williams Jr. SS 5-10 R/R Portage, Mich. (Portage Northern) 23 Katie Thoennes OF Jr. 22 Jessie Buker Jr. UT 5-11 R/R Macon, Ill. (Okaw Valley) 00 Diciembre Vaca UT So. 23 Katie Thoennes Jr. OF 5-10 R/R Normal, Ill. (Normal Community) 21 Kaprice Williams SS Jr. hEAD COACh: Melinda Fischer (Illinois State, ‘72) PrONUNcIATION gUIdE ASSISTANT COACh: Tina Kramos (Missouri State, ‘95) Jessie Buker ________________ BEW-kur ASSISTANT COACh: Bill Kennedy (Illinois State, ‘68) Casey Gorrell__________________GOR-el vOLuNTEER ASSISTANT COACh: Bill Dickson (Illinois State, ‘54) Vicki Klopf ____________________ KLOFF STuDENT ASSISTANT COACh: Shannon Nicholson (Illinois State, ‘07) Tina Kramos _______________KRAY-miss Brittany McElmury _______MAC-EL-murrey Tiffany Prager _______________ PRAY-gur juNIOR jESSIE bukER and hEAD COACh MELINDA FISChER Jessica Roche _________________ RŌSH Katie Thoennes _______________ TENNIS Diciembre Vaca __DEE-CEE-em-bray Va-KUH Kaprice Williams __________kuh-PREECE By yEAr Seniors ___________________________3 Juniors ____________________________7 Sophomores _______________________4 Freshmen _________________________7 By hOmE STATE Illinois____________________________15 Kansas____________________________3 California __________________________2 Michigan __________________________1 By POSITION Infielders __________________________9 Outfielders _________________________6 Utility _____________________________4 Pitchers ___________________________4 AMbER SMITh ThrOwS Right ____________________________21 CASEy GORRELL Left_______________________________0 BATS Right ____________________________16 Left_______________________________5 TIFFANy PRAGER 2008 redbird sofTball media guide 2008 redbird sofTball media guide 2008 Softball Media Guide - DO N6 6 1/29/2008 10:06:36 AM
  7. 7. redbirds ILLINOIS STATE SOFTBALL ISU 2008 season ouTlook PrOjEcTEd LINEUP ThE INFIELd ThE OUTFIELd ➢ All-American kara Nelson will once again provide an ➢ The Redbird infield will be one of the team’s biggest ➢ With the departure of starting outfielders jackie offensive spark for the Redbirds from the leadoff spot in assets in 2008, as every starter but one returns to a Williams and kelsey Warning, the outfield will see the the batting order, just as she did in her freshman season defensive starting set that recorded a .957 fielding most new faces in 2008, as jessie buker is the only in 2007 when she batted a Valley-best .415, set an ISU percentage last season. returning starter for ISU. single-season record for hits (90) and became the first- ➢ Senior co-captain Tiffany Prager will anchor the Redbird ➢ Buker is the only Redbird who has seen significant ever freshman to earn league player of the year honors. infield as she enters her third season as a starter at playing time in the outfield. She will most likely see the ➢ The No. 2 spot in the lineup will be in the hands of second base. One of ISU’s finest infielders, Prager has majority of her playing time in left field, a position that senior Tiffany Prager, a two-year starter for Illinois a career .980 fielding, which ranks No. 17 on the ISU she started 53 games in 2007. State. Prager had a breakout season in 2007 with a career fielding percentage chart. ➢ Right field is slated to be manned by senior co-captain .304 batting average and a team-high 16 doubles. She ➢ The other half ISU’s double-play tandem is junior Andrea Shifflet, who has yet to see an inning of playing ranked seventh in the nation last year in sacrifice hits kaprice Williams, who will be back as the starting time in her ISU softball career, after she transferred from per game (0.42) and had a team-best 26 on the season. shortstop. While somewhat deficient on defense, having Lewis and Clark Community College following the 2006 ➢ Junior power hitter Amber Smith will provide one of the committed a team-high 16 errors in 2007, Williams’ bat season biggest offensive threats for the Redbirds this season. greatly improved last season, making her an asset in the ➢ Rounding out the outfield crew is junior-transfer katie A career .326 hitter, Smith has already set the ISU Redbird infield. Mathis and katie Thoennes, with the latter being the career home runs record with 32, and still has two more ➢ Sophomore utility player Diciembre vaca is a viable early favorite to earn the starting nod in center field. seasons left. defensive replacement for the Redbirds at shortstop Thoennes played in 24 games in the outfield in 2007, ➢ Veteran Redbirds jessie buker and kaprice Williams ➢ First base is the only infield position that will still be open but did not earn a start. will bring their experience to the heart of the lineup. once the Redbirds depart for Florida in early February. Buker is coming off a 2007 season in which she put ➢ While junior Amber Smith is a certainty to start when up prodigious offensive numbers, with a .322 batting she is not in the circle for the Redbirds, sophomore average that accompanied a team-high 16 home runs corner infielder Michelle henderson is the early favorite and 51 RBI, just two shy of the ISU single-season mark. to be ISU’s regular starting first baseman. As a freshman Williams saw her offensive output dramatically increase last season, Henderson started strong offensively, and last season, as she batted .291 and hit 10 home runs. saw considerable playing time, only to see her offensive ➢ Several newcomers will round out the bottom portion of output wilt as the season progressed. ThE BATTEry ISU’s lineup, led by senior right fielder Andrea Shifflet ➢ Henderson will be challenged at first base by freshman ➢ The Redbird pitching corps is the biggest question and sophomore outfielder katie Thoennes. Shifflet utility player Abby Olson, who showed promise during mark entering the 2008 season, as ISU lost two of the had a breakout fall tournament season for ISU and the Redbirds’ fall tournament season, as the Hartsburg, top pitchers in school history with the departure Stacy is expected to maintain her role as one of the team’s Ill., native batted .353 with a team second-best seven birk and all-American Shannon Nicholson. The duo leaders, while Thoennes will get her first shot at being a RBI and a 1.000 fielding percentage. combined for 41 wins in 58 starts (.707 of ISU’s wins) regular in the Redbird lineup. in 2007. ➢ Junior right-hander Amber Smith will get the nod as the Redbirds’ No. 1 pitcher. As the only current ISU player who has Division I pitching experience, Smith will be relied upon heavily to anchor a pitching corps that will be made up entirely of newcomers, other than OF ANDREA ShIFFLET herself. With a combined 4-1 record in 11 career starts, Smith will be tested early on, as ISU faces 10 NCAA Tournament teams from last season and three schools that made appearances in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. ➢ Next in line will be sophomore Amy Mitchell, who provides one of the most interesting stories on the team. The Palatine, Ill., native did not play collegiate softball as an academic freshman in 2007, and walked-on to the team this fall. Mitchell made great use of ISU’s fall 2007 SS kAPRICE WILLIAMS tournament season, as she was second on the team in wins (three), and had a team-best .071 opponent batting whAT rETUrNS IN 2008? rEdBIrd TOP rETUrNErS average that included 17 strikeouts in just 14.1 innings hITTING Batting Average ____ Kara Nelson ___________.415* of work. Batting Average _____________________ 89.7% Slugging Pct. ______ Jessie Buker __________.667* ➢ Newcomers Chrissy burton and Rachel Smith will Hits ______________________________ 74.6% On-Base Pct. ______ Kara Nelson ___________.448* add needed depth to the Redbird pitching lineup. While Runs _____________________________ 55.0% Runs ____________ Kara Nelson ____________ 59* both pitchers may have an occasional start in the circle, Hits _____________ Kara Nelson ____________ 90* they are projected to fill mostly a relief role in 2008. Doubles ___________________________ 76.4% ➢ Casey Gorrell returns to the backstop for her third Home Runs ________________________ 69.9% RBI______________ Jessie Buker ____________ 51 season. A two-year starter who has caught every inning Slugging Percentage _________________ 90.2% Home Runs _______ Jessie Buker ____________ 16 that ISU has played over the last two seasons, Gorrell’s presence on the field, both for pitchers and infielders PITChING Fielding Pct. _______ Casey Gorrell __________.997* alike, is one of the Redbirds’ biggest assets. Wins_______________________________ 6.8% ➢ The trio of senior jennifer brown, freshman Carly Losses _____________________________ 5.9% Wins_____________ Amber Smith _____________ 3 billings and Olson will be available as capable backups Innings Pitched ______________________ 6.3% ERA _____________ Amber Smith __________ 5.12 to Gorrell. Earned Runs _______________________ 15.3% Opponent BA ______ Amber Smith __________ .296 Walks _____________________________ 16.7% Strikeouts_________ Amber Smith ____________ 20 Strikeouts___________________________ 6.9% * Led team in 2007 Two-sTraighT ncaa TournamenT appearances 16 all-americans 11 missouri valley conference championships 2008 Softball Media Guide - DO N7 7 1/29/2008 10:06:37 AM
  8. 8. BrAdLEy • crEIghTON • drAKE • EvANSvILLE • ILLINOIS STATE • INdIANA STATE • mISSOUrI STATE • NOrThErN IOwA • SOUThErN ILLIONIS • wIchITA STATE ISU redbirds ILLINOIS STATE SOFTBALL mISSOUrI vALLEy cONFErENcE hIghLIghTS The missouri valley conference mISSOUrI vALLEy cONFErENcE ➢ Fresh off a centennial celebration in 2006-07, the Missouri Valley Conference begins its second centennial as a leader in college athletics and is the nation’s second-oldest NCAA dOUg ELgIN Division I conference. Commissioner ➢ In the league’s first 100 seasons, 32 members combined for 27 national championships, while 56 Valley student-athletes captured NCAA individual titles. In addition, Valley student-athletes and coaches earned 50 National Player or Coach of the Year honors in their respective sports. The league had a myriad of student-athletes who collected All- America honors and earned national academic distinction in The Valley’s first century. PATTy vIvErITO ➢ Illinois State highlighted a trio of Valley teams that made an appearance in the 2007 Senior Associate Commissioner NCAA Division I Softball Championship. It marked the fifth-consecutive year The Valley earned multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament, and the third-straight season that three teams have earned spots in the field. SIU hosted an NCAA Regional, and each Valley team won a game in the tournament. ➢ Based in St. Louis since 1985, the Missouri Valley Conference is assertive in its approach jErEmIAh INgrAm Asst. Comm. for Communications to hosting NCAA basketball championship events, operating a revenue-producing in-house Softball Media Relations Contact television network, bidding out the right to play host to sport championships and landing title sponsorships for those events. ➢ The 2003-04 season was a landmark season for the conference, as State Farm Insurance ALL-TImE cONFErENcE and the league came to terms on an agreement that would provide State Farm with title sponsorship of 17 of the league’s 18 championships. chAmPIONS ➢ The conference’s progressive marketing and in-house television package has helped yEAR REG. SEASON CONF. TOuRNEy open doors to regional and national sponsors outside of the realm of title sponsorships, as 1983 Missouri State Missouri State the league’s men’s basketball tournament sponsorship revenues continues to reach all- 1984 Illinois State Western Illinois• time highs. 1985 Illinois State Illinois State ➢ The inclusion of women’s programs under The Valley banner has provided a boost to 1986 Illinois State Indiana State the conference. The Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference - which began in 1982 1987 Eastern Illinois• Western Illinois• - merged with the Missouri Valley Conference and was unveiled as part of the new 1988 Eastern Illinois• Illinois State 1989 Western Illinois• Wichita State conference July 1, 1992. 1990 Illinois State Northern Iowa ➢ League members include Bradley University, Creighton University, Drake University, the 1991 Southern Illinois Southern Illinois University of Evansville, Illinois State University, Indiana State University, Missouri State 1992 Missouri State Western Illinois• University, the University of Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois University and Wichita State 1993 Drake Drake University. 1994 Missouri State Drake 1995 Illinois State Illinois State 1996 Illinois State Missouri State 1997 Illinois State Missouri State vALLEy dOmINANcE - ILLINOIS STATE SOFTBALL 1998 Creighton Missouri State A league member dating back to the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference’s inception in 1999 Creighton Creighton 1982, Illinois State and Redbird softball have been a dominant force in The Valley from the 2000 Evansville Illinois State very beginning. Below are highlights of some of the Redbirds’ Missouri Valley Conference 2001 Illinois State Illinois State accomplishments in softball. 2002 Illinois State Evansville 2003 Illinois State Creighton ➢ Illinois State has won 11 Valley regular-season softball titles, seven more than the next 2004 Southern Illinois Creighton 2005 Southern Illinois Creighton closest school (Creighton - four). 2006 Illinois State Missouri State ➢ The Redbirds are tied with Missouri State for the most conference tournament titles won 2007 Creighton Creighton with five apiece. • Indicates school is no longer a member of the Missouri Valley Conference ISU FAST FAcT ILLINOIS STATE IS ThE ALL-TIME WINNINGEST vALLEy SOFTbALL PROGRAM WITh 338 MvC WINS. ➢ With 724 career victories at ISU and 311 conference wins, ISU head coach Melinda Fischer is The Valley’s all-time winningest softball coach and was selected as the MVC All-Centennial Softball Team head coach following the 2007 season. ➢ The Redbirds rank first among Valley schools in both all-America (16) and Valley Scholar-Athlete honorees (14). ➢ Illinois State has made an appearance in each of the 25 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Softball Tournaments, the only Valley program to appear in every conference postseason softball tournament. DOubLIN’ uP - Much of the Redbirds’ 2007 success can be attributed to second baseman Tiffany Prager’s ability to find the gap, as the then-junior led the MVC in doubles with 16. 2008 redbird sofTball media guide 2008 Softball Media Guide - DO N8 8 1/29/2008 10:06:40 AM
  9. 9. redbirdsILLINOIS STATE SOFTBALL ISU The redbirds 8 TIFFANy PrAgEr co-capTain | second base | 5-8 | l/r | senior | bloomingTon, ill. | olympia ThE bIG PICTuRE: PRAGER IN 2008 One of the best hitters in the nation at advancing runners last season, Prager will anchor the No. 2 spot in the lineup for the Redbirds in 2008, while also maintaining her starting role at second base. SINgLE-gAmE BESTS 2007 - juNIOR 2005 - FREShMAN At-bats ____________________ 6 Preseason All-MVC Team selection ... selected to the Named to the 2004-05 Valley Honor Roll … played 21 at Wichita State (3.31.07) Diamond Fun Sun Classic All-Tournament Team (Feb. games without an error … team co-rookie of the year … Runs _____________________ 3 11) ... started all 62 games at second base ... Prairie scored the winning run in two straight victories at Evansville vs. Eastern Illinois (4.5.06) Farms/MVC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week March … scored the decisive run in the Redbirds’ win over No. RBI_______________________ 4 28, ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District V 25 Northwestern (March 4) ... AFNI Athletics Honor Roll vs. Bradley (4.9.07) First-Team selection ... 2007 MVC Scholar-Athlete First member. Doubles ___________________ 2 Team member ... combined with Kara Nelson, Amber vs. Northern Illinois (5.2.06) Smith, Jessie Buker and Kelsey Warning to comprise the hIGh SChOOL - OLyMPIA Home Runs ___________ 1, twice largest group (5) to ever collect more than 50 hits in a Four-year letterwinner in softball .... led her team to the last at Illinois (4.17.07) single season ... third on the team in fielding percentage IHSA Class A state softball championship in 2002 and 2003 (.972), which included 121 putouts and 122 assists ... led and second place in 2001 … earned team MVP honors Total bases ________________ 5 the team with 24 sacrifice hits ... voted a team captain by as a sophomore and junior … three-time all-conference vs. Bradley (4.9.07) her teammates ... AFNI Athletics Honor Roll member. honoree … second-team all-state pick in 2002 ... earned Walks _____________________ 2 Illinois Coaches Association All-State First-Team accolades vs. Wichita State (4.22.06) Sacrifice Hits _____ 2, three times 2006 - SOPhOMORE as a junior and senior … received team offensive player of All-Valley Second Team … State Farm MVC All- the year honors in 2003 ... also lettered four years in cross last at Evansville (3.24.07) country and three years in basketball … co-valedictorian Tournament Team … led the Redbirds with a .286 Stolen Bases _______ 1, six times … National Honor Society member … member of the high average in their three NCAA Tournament games; also last vs. Oklahoma (2.9.07) had the best on-base percentage (.375) and the most honor roll. Hit-by-Pitch ______ 1, three times assists (10) ... had the fewest strikeouts among the last vs. Missouri State (5.5.07) regular starters (19) ... hit .340 in conference action, the PERSONAL Putouts ___________________ 8 second-best average among all Redbirds, and committed Born Sept. 4, 1985 ... Parents: Bruce and Diane Prager ... vs. Missouri State (5.6.07) just one error in 94 league chances … ranked second Sibling: Nicole (23) ... Major: business administration … last Assists ___________ 6, four times on the team with 109 assists and six sacrifice hits ... had name pronounced PRAY-gur. last vs. Southern Illinois (4.29.07) 10 two-out RBI ... started every game at second base ... hit a team-best .485 in 16 games at Redbird Softball Complex, with no strikeouts ... MVC Honor Roll ... AFNI Athletics Honor Roll member. ThE hONORS ➢ 2007 Preseason All-MVC First Team ➢ 2007 MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team ➢ 2007 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA All-District V First Team ➢ 2006 All-MVC Second Team ➢ 2006 State Farm MVC All-Tournament Team PRAGER’S CAREER STATISTICS yEAR AvG GP GS Ab R h 2b 3b hR RbI Tb S LG% bb hbP SO GDP Ob% SF Sh Sb ATT PO A E FLD% 2005 .219 21 8 32 6 7 0 0 0 2 7 .219 2 0 11 0 .257 1 0 2 3 7 0 0 1.000 2006 .295 54 54 122 18 36 9 0 0 12 45 .369 12 1 19 0 .363 0 6 3 3 109 109 3 .986 2007 .304 62 62 194 36 59 16 0 2 24 81 .418 8 2 27 0 .338 0 26 1 2 134 132 7 .974 TOTAL .293 137 124 348 60 102 25 0 2 38 133 .382 22 3 57 0 .340 1 32 6 8 250 241 10 .980 Two-sTraighT ncaa TournamenT appearances 16 all-americans 11 missouri valley conference championships 2008 Softball Media Guide - DO N9 9 1/29/2008 10:06:44 AM
  10. 10. ISU redbirds ILLINOIS STATE SOFTBALL The redbirds 12 ANdrEA ShIFFLET co-capTain | ouTfield | 5-6 | r/r | senior | waynesville, ill. | clinTon/lewis clark cc ThE bIG PICTuRE: ShIFFLET IN 2008 Coming into her final season as a Redbird, Shifflet is expected to take over the right field duties for Illinois State in 2008. A stellar base runner, Shifflet will also be used as a threat on the base paths for the Redbirds this season. SINgLE-gAmE BESTS 2007 – juNIOR (TRANSFER) PREvIOuS SChOOL – LEWIS CLARk CC Runs ____________1, eight times last vs. Notre Dame (5.18.07)* Appeared in 43 games for the Redbirds; Led the team in batting average, stolen bases and Stolen Bases _______________ 1 served as a pinch runner in each appearance RBI in 2006 ... helped her team post a 31-20 record vs. Illinois (2.10.07) ... scored 18 runs on the season, including and advance to the NJCAA Regional ... selected the game-tying run at No. 12 UCLA (March 2) as a National Junior College Athletic Association * NCAA Regional game in Evanston, Ill. ...stole one base in her second pinch-running Academic All-American in 2006 ... named to the opportunity in ISU’s 5-2 win over Illinois (Feb. Mid-West Athletic Conference Second Team ... also 10) ... AFNI Athletics Honor Roll member. played volleyball, and was named the team’s MVP in 2006. hIGh SChOOL - CLINTON A three-year starter ... helped her team go 27-3 her senior season, while claiming the regional championship ... named team’s co-MVP in 2004 ... selected as the team’s rookie of the year in 2002, her first year on the varsity squad ... three-sport athlete in high school, competing in softball, basketball and volleyball. PERSONAL Born Sept. 2, 1985 ... Parents: Eric and Betsy Shifflet ... Sibling: Erica (25) ... Major: public relations. ShIFFLET’S CAREER STATISTICS yEAR AvG GP GS Ab R h 2b 3b hR RbI Tb S LG% bb hbP SO GDP Ob% SF Sh Sb ATT PO A E FLD% 2007 .000 43 0 0 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0 0 .000 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 .000 TOTAL .000 43 0 0 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0 0 .000 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 .000 0 2008 redbird sofTball media guide 2008 Softball Media Guide - DO N10 10 1/29/2008 10:06:46 AM