Illini Stumble Against UC Davis
Feb. 17, 2008
HENDERSON, Nev. - The Illini couldn't overcome a five-run deficit against UC Davis, falling 7-1 in their final game of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. Illinois mustered just three hits on the day and finished the tournament 2-3, giving the Illini a 5-5 record overall.
The Aggies (5-5) wasted no time taking the lead, going up 1-0 in the first after a leadoff single and pair of sacrifice bunts moved rightfielder Michelle Espiritu to third before third baseman Tracy Dean plated her with a double.
UC Davis continued to build its lead in the second after the first four batters reached base. First baseman Erin Emde led off the inning with a double and designated player Alexandra Holmes poked a hit back to Illini pitcher Ashley Wright. The ball tipped off Wright's outstretched glove and trickled into the outfield, allowing Emde to score. The Aggies added three more runs, scoring on two base-hits and a wild pitch to take a 5-0 lead.
Illinois fought back in the third when third baseman Shanna Diller drove in shortstop Angelena Mexicano on a double to left, but the Aggies answered in the bottom half of the inning with a home run off the bat of catcher Deanna Menapace. UC Davis added its final run in the fifth on a double and pair of wild pitches to cap off the 7-1 win.
Wright (0-3) took the loss, tossing one inning and allowing five runs on five hits. Vicky Brown (0-0) finished the final five innings for the Illini, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out four.
Next up for the Illini is the Golden Panther Invitational in Miami. Illinois will open the tournament against No. 2 Alabama on Friday at 12 p.m. (ET) before taking on host Florida International at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Louisville Slugger Desert Classic Highlights
After battling the flu throughout the weekend, Diller stepped up to lead the Illini in the tournament, batting .333 with three doubles and two RBIs. Armstrong also had a solid weekend at the plate, hitting .313 with a home run, two doubles and three RBIs.
The entire starting lineup made contributions this weekend, as eight of the nine starters knocked in at least one run, while leadoff hitter Danielle Zymkowitz crossed the plate three times.