#17 Baylor down #22 Illinois 5-2
Feb. 4, 2005
(Waco, TX)-After ending Baylor's season last year at the NCAA Regional's the Fighting Illini knew the Bears would be seeking revenge. Although out hitting the Bears 7-6 Baylor capitalized on three Illini errors; pulling away with a 5-2 win and giving Illinois their first loss of the season.
Baylor struck first in the top of the second scoring two runs on a throwing error. Two more Baylor runs scored on a fielding error in the top of the fourth before starting pitcher Jackelyn Diekemper was relieved by sophomore Mary Miller. In Miller's first time in the circle she allowed no runs in four innings.
"I knew our team would be tested because Baylor likes to run a lot. They like to try to make you make mistakes and that worked for them today," commented head coach Terri Sullivan on Baylor's performance.
The resilient Illini didn't let the early lead bring them down. The Illini came back and threatened in the next half inning. Rachelle Coriddi started the inning with a triple to right field. Next batter, LeeAnn Butcher singled to right and advanced to second after a groundout by Jenna Hall. With runners in scoring position the Illini could not convert; leaving two on but making a strong statement that they would not go out without a fight.
The very next inning the Illini threatened again. Jackelyn Diekemper started the rally with a single to the left side. Freshman leftfielder Makenzie Smith crushed a double to left center advancing Diekemper to third. Next batter, Molly Lawhead, got her second hit of the game by singling to right field scoring both Diekemper and Smith. The surge came up short with Baylor senior pitcher Cristin Vitek holding the Illini to those two runs.
On the first day of the Getterman Classic the Illini split but can see a future in the young team.
"Overall, I liked how our team showed that they won't roll over and die and to not be embarrassed by falling apart a little bit in an inning and really beating ourselves. Instead we regrouped and gave ourselves chances a few times to have the tying run at the plate," commented head coach Terri Sullivan.
In both games, it was the younger players helping the Illini get on the board.
"Today, some first year players got some big hits worth highlighting. The four runs in the first game were from two freshmen Shanna Diller and Angelena Mexicano getting hits and in the second game Makenzie Smith had a big hit for us," added Coach Sullivan.
The #22 Fighting Illini get a second chance at the #17 Baylor Bears tomorrow at 2:30 pm CT.
Illinois' first game tomorrow is at 12:15 pm CT against University of Louisiana-Monroe.