Vicky Brown got the start against BCU and allowed just one run on three hits through three innings of work.
Feb. 9, 2008
TAMPA, Fla. - Illinois scored two runs in the first inning and never looked back, pounding out 14 hits for a 9-1 win over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (0-3) in the first game of the day at the USF Wilson Tournament. The Illini (2-2) came up short against No. 13 Florida (3-0), falling 3-2 in game two.
Three Illini finished the day with two RBIs, as catcher Lana Armstrong plated runners in each game while third baseman Shanna Diller and designated hitter Hollie Pinchback each had two in the first game.
Against BCU, starting pitcher Vicky Brown allowed one run on three hits through three innings of work, while Claire DeVreese (2-1) picked up the win after holding the Wildcats hitless and striking out five through five innings of relief.
Second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz wasted no time getting the Illini on the board, leading off with a bunt single and eventually scoring on a wild pitch. Illinois went up 2-0 after Diller drove in second baseman Angelena Mexicano with a single up the middle.
Bethune-Cookman battled back in the bottom half of the inning scoring a run on a pair of hits, but that's all the offense the Wildcats would muster.
The Orange and Blue added to their lead in the second after Pinchback led off with a single and pinch runner Danielle Vaji scored on a single that dropped just inside the rightfield line. The Illini offense continued to dominate when Mexicano took a 1-2 pitch deep over the leftfield wall in the fifth for her first home run of the season. Illinois followed with consecutive hits from Diller, catcher Lana Armstrong and first baseman Katrina Ross to plate two more runs and take a 6-1 lead.
The Illini continued to pile on runs in the sixth and seventh. Diller added her second RBI of the day after Mexicano smacked a triple to the centerfield wall, while Pinchback capped off the scoring with a two-RBI single, giving the Illini a 9-1 win.
In the second game of the day, Florida took a 2-0 lead in the second thanks to three consecutive hits. The Gators added a run in the fourth on a pair of singles to go up 3-0.
Gator pitcher Stacey Nelon kept the Illini bats quiet through the first three innings with seven strikeouts. But the Orange and Blue bats began to find their groove in the fourth after a leadoff walk to rightfielder Hope Howell. Howell advanced to third on Diller's double to leftfield then scored on a sacrifice fly by Armstrong. Diller moved to third on the sac fly before crossing the plate on a wild pitch, cutting Florida's lead to one.
The late innings turned into a pitcher's duel, as lefty Ashley Wright (0-1) retired the side in the fifth and sixth then worked out of a jam in the seventh. Wright pitched a complete game without allowing a walk while giving up three runs on six hits and striking out two.
Illinois threatened in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded and two outs, but Nelson worked out of the jam with an inning-ending strikeout to pick up the win for the Gators.
The Orange and Blue return to the field Sunday for their final game of the tournament. Illinois faces Florida Gulf Coast at 9:30 a.m. (ET).