Julie Balicki was 4-for-6 in the final day of the Getterman Classic
Feb. 6, 2005
Waco, Texas - Through 4 1/2 innings Sunday at the Getterman Classic in Waco, Texas, things weren't looking promising for Illinois. After dropping a pair of games on Saturday, the Illini found themselves down 5-0 to Louisiana-Monroe. Then the Illini exploded for seven runs in the fifth inning and held on to win 7-5. Illinois continued to hit line shots in their second game of the day en route to a 8-3 victory over Centenary. The victories gave Illinois a 3-3 record in the opening tournament of the season.
Illinois sent 12 batters to the plate and pounded out eight hits in the decisive fifth inning. Jenna Hall delivered the game-winning hit with a three-run double giving the Illini a 4-3 lead. After a pitching change, freshman Shanna Diller drove home pinch-runner Laura Zobrist with a single to left making it 5-3. Freshman Angelena Mexicano drove home the other runs with a two-run single.
Sophomore Mary Miller recorded her first career victory in relief, throwing 2 1/3 shutout innings. Senior LeeAnn Butcher was 3-for-4 with a run scored while Hall was 2-for-4 with the double and three RBI.
Butcher continued her hot bat in the second game vs. Centenary, going 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Senior catcher Julie Balicki was 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. The Illini had 12 hits in a five-inning affair. Junior Jackelyn Diekemper struck out five batters in recording her first victory of the season.
Illinois wasted little time in getting things started. Hall doubled to right field scoring Coriddi. Butcher scored on a sacrifice fly from Shanna Diller. After a throwing error plated the next Illini run, Balicki doubled to right scoring Mexicano from second.
The Illini added a run in the fourth on a Jenna Hall sacrifice fly, then sealed the win with three more tallies in the fifth on five base hits. Diekemper helped her own cause with a single to center plating Balicki, who began the inning with a double. Diekemper scored later in the inning when LeeAnn Butcher reached on an infield single with the bases loaded. A bases loaded walk to Hall completed the scoring.
The Illini are off to a fast start offensively, batting .315 for the weekend. With a 7-for-8 day on Sunday, Butcher paces the Illini with a .571 average. Sophomore Molly Lawhead hit .489 with two RBI and four runs scored for the weekend. Balicki (7-for-18, 3 2B, 2 RBI), Diekemper (3-for-8, 1 2B, 3 runs), Hall (5-for-16, 2 2B, 6 RBI) and junior Rachelle Coriddi (6-for-20, 2 RBI, 2 runs) also hit .300 or better for the tournament.
Illinois, who entered the tournament ranked 22nd in the country, heads to Las Vegas Feb. 11-13 for the Rebel Invitational. The Illini will face two top ten teams - LSU and Washington on Saturday, while also facing Oklahoma State, BYU, and Texas Tech in the Invite.