Sycamore softball will head to Chattanooga, Tennessee Feb. 14 for its second tournament of the season. ISU went 2-2 in their first tournament in Boca Raton, Florida. 

The upcoming tournament consists of five games. Tennessee Tech and Bowling Green will be played on Friday. Ohio University and Chattanooga will be Saturday and ISU will end the weekend with a game against Marshall University on Sunday. 

Looking into the series history between ISU and their opponents this weekend, they played Tennessee Tech last season at the Chattanooga Challenge. ISU won 6-5, and holds a 2-0 series lead. Against Bowling Green, the two teams are at a standstill and are tied 4-4 overall. The Trees won the last meeting in 2018 by a score of 7-6. Furthermore, ISU leads the all-time series against Ohio, 3-1 with their last win against the Bobcats in 1999. Chattanooga holds the all-time series 4-1. Finally, Marshall holds a narrow 3-2 series lead over ISU. They last met in 2006. 

In their last game of the FAU First Pitch Classic against NIU, the younger players for the Sycamores stepped up in a big way. 

ISU softball Head Coach Mike Perniciaro was pleased with the performances of the younger Sycamores. He shared his thoughts in a postgame interview from the NIU game. 

“A couple people stepped up. Cassie Thomerson’s first collegiate home run was big. Grace Hunger first home run in college. So, some people got some opportunities to play, and they came through,” Perniciaro said. 

Through the first four games of the season, there have been many great pitching performances. Senior pitcher Gabbi Schnaiter pitched a complete game in the upset win over No. 25 Wisconsin. She’s pitching a solid 3.39 earned run average. Furthermore, junior pitcher Abbey Kruzel is off to a blazing start as she pitched eight innings allowing only one earned run. Her first start of the season was a complete game gem, and she currently has a 0.88 ERA. 

Much like the standout pitching, ISU’s offense has seen some good production. Against NIU, the Sycamores blasted two home runs courtesy of freshman infielder Cassie Thomerson and junior infielder Grace Hunger. Moreover, senior infielder Leslie Sims and sophomore infielder TeAnn Bringle each led the team with five hits. Bringle is boasting an excellent batting average of .417. Additionally, Sims is also sporting a great batting average, hitting .333 early in the season. 

The Sycamores will continue with their long road schedule to begin the season. Their first home is scheduled for March 14.