No. 14 South Alabama 5, Illinois 3 // FAU 8, Illinois 4
The Orange and Blue tied the school record with five doubles in the game
Brandi Needham improves to 3-0 with her first complete game victory
Illinois returns majority of offense, gains young talent in pitching rotation
Six rookies excel in their first year in the classroom
Photos from the Illini's 5-4 extra-innings victory over Indiana on April 20, 2013.
Photos from the Illini's Big Ten game versus Nebraska on March 30
Photos from the Illini's 2013 home opener, a thrilling, come-from-behind extra-inning victory.
Photos from the Illini's trip to the UNI Dome Tournament on Feb. 8-10, 2013
Photos from the Fighting Illini Softball team's annual Christmas Party
2013 - Freshman: NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete ... Played in 47 of 49 games as a freshman, making 40 starts ... Hit .275 with 36 hits, a triple, 18 runs and seven RBI in 131 at-bats ... Registered 18 stolen bases, the second-most ever by an Illinois freshman, which ranked ninth in the Big Ten and ninth all-time at Illinois ... Did not record an error in 32 chances in the outfield ... Moved to leadoff on April 20 against Indiana, where she remained for the remainder of the season, hitting .314 (16-for-51) in that span with five runs and five RBI as the Illini finished the season 11-2 ...Hit .375 with six hits, two runs, two RBI and six SB at the UNI Dome Tournament ... Went 4-for-4 with a run and tied the school record with three stolen bases against North Dakota State ... Had a two-run single and scored a run against UNI, stealing two bases ... Had a hit in each of the final four games on the Houston Invite, scoring against DePaul and No. 6 Texas on Feb. 16 and tabbing two runs against Houston on Feb. 17 ... Extended her hitting streak to six games in Palm Springs, going 2-for-3 against No. 22 Washington, getting on base all three times in a game in which the Huskies only allowed five base runners ... Scored the Illini's only run in Palm Springs, singling and scoring against Oregon State ... Singled, stole second and third, and scored in the third inning against No. 19 Kentucky ... Went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases against Maine ... Hit 2-for-3 with two runs scored against Providence ... Walked, stole second and scored the Illini's lone run in the first game of the Wisconsin series ... After a 12-game drought, finally stole her 15th base of the season in the series opener against Indiana on April 20 ... Went 5-for-8 with two runs, three RBI and her first career triple to lead the Illini to a doubleheader sweep of Iowa on April 23 ... Had her third multi-hit game of the week on April 28 at Michigan State, going 2-for-5 with a stolen base ... Drove in the game-winning run in the eighth inning at SIU ... Had five hits in the Ohio State series, going 2-for-4 with a run and a key RBI in game one, then went 3-for-3 in the series finale.
High School: MaxPreps.com First Team Underclassmen All-America ... 2012 Chicago Tribune Softball Player of the Year ... Also named the best softball player of the 2012 season by the Kankakee Daily Journal ... Two-time Chicago Tribune First Team All-State ... Two-time Kankakee Daily Journal First Team All-Area ... Three-time First Team All-Southland Conference ... Batted .675 with a .710 on-base percentage during the 2011 season at Kankakee, stealing 76 bases while scoring 67 runs and batting in 38 more ... Holds the Kankakee High School records for most hits, highest batting average, highest on-base percentage, most singles, longest hitting streak, most stolen bases and most runs scored ... Helped lead Kankakee to Southland Athletic Conference Championships in 2009-11 ... Hit .591 with 104 hits, including six doubles, while totaling 70 runs scored and 52 stolen bases during the 2011 summer season with Team Oak Stars 18U ... National Honor Society member ... Ranks second overall in a class of 383 students at Kankakee ... Kankakee Honor Roll award recipient during each semester.
Personal: Born October 19, 1993 ... Daughter of Carl and Kelli Johnson ... Has two older sisters, Lindsay and Alyssa ... Majoring in Kinesiology ... Chose the Fighting Illini over offers from DePaul, Western Illinois and Tulsa.
Favorite Athlete: Caitlin Lowe
Top 3-5 Most-Played Songs on your iTunes: "Wanted" by Hunter Hayes, "Home" by Phillip Phillips, "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz, "The World's Greatest" by R. Kelly.
Favorite Pregame Meal: Jimmy Johns
Secret talent: I can tumble.
Favorite Class You've Taken: Kin 122- Physical Activity and Health
Why Illinois? I absolutely love the environment here, has very high academic standards and nothing's better than the Big Ten.
If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go and why? Australia. It seems beautiful, perfect weather, and I love Australian accents.