Illinois win two, goes 3-1 in tournament
Feb. 13, 2005
Las Vegas, NV- Illinois finished the shortened weekend with a 3-1 record, sweeping both games in the last day of tournament play at the Desert Classic hosted by UNLV. A day after beating #5 ranked LSU, Illinois didn't seem to let down in their Sunday games against Louisville and Wichita State.
In the first game Louisville out hit the usually offensively minded Illini (11-5) yet still could not stop an extra eighth inning spurt giving the Illini a 6-5 victory.
Illinois put two on the board early in the first, but Louisville came back with a run each in the fourth, fifth and two in the sixth to take the lead 4-2.
What is most impressive with this young team is their strong leadership and the mentality not to give up. Going into the bottom of the sixth the Illini poured in three more runs, taking the lead 5-4. It is no surprise that the big hit came from junior first baseman Jenna Hall. With two on and no out Hall blasted a three run homerun over the centerfield fence scoring both Rachelle Coriddi and Shanna Diller.
With three outs to go in the top of the seventh Louisville answered with a homerun of their own. A solo shot by Courtney Moore tied the score 5-5 and after a quick 1-2-3 out inning in the bottom of the seventh forced the Illini into extra innings.
The international tie breaker was in effect placing the last out in the previous inning on second base for Louisville. Freshman Claire DeVreese showed her maturity and pose allowing no Louisville hits and leaving two on base to give the Illini more breathing room.
With speedy runner LeeAnn Butcher starting on second, the Illini pushed her across by putting the ball in play and forcing Louisville to make the plays. The result was a Louisville error and an Illini victory.
The win marked Illinois' first win in extra innings this year.
It was Jenna Hall's day as she hit another three run bomb-this one opposite field- in the Illini's second win of the day against Wichita State.
Wichita State scored first and last yet it was not enough to match the offensive strength of the Illini. Freshman Shanna Diller homered in the fourth to tie the game at one apiece, but it was Hall's second three run homer of the day that capped a 4-2 victory for the Fighting Illini.
DeVreese picked up her second win of the day allowing three hits, one run and striking out six to improve her record to 3-2.