Illini fall to defending Pac-10 champs
Feb. 18, 2006
Henderson, Nev. - Illinois played the two teams that shared the 2005 Pac-10 title Friday night in Las Vegas. The Illini ran into two teams with the flare for the long ball in losses to #12 Oregon State (5-2), 15-7, and #6 California (5-1), 6-4. The two opponents combined for 21 hits and seven home runs.
Illinois (2-4) got off to fast starts offensively in both games. Against Oregon State, the Illini scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Jenna Hall doubled home a run and Kacey Coonce singled home another and scored on a passed ball to make it 3-0 Illinois after one.
Coonce used her firepower once again to sting Cal starter Lauren Frankiewiecz with a towering grand slam home run over the 218 foot fence in center field, which gave Illinois a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first of that game.
Offensively, the Illini had eight hits in first game and four in the second game. Hall was 2-for-3 with two doubles, three RBI and a run scored vs. Oregon State. Freshman second baseman Courtney Hoogeveen was also 2-for-3.
Oregon State used an eight run third inning which included a two-run home run from Vanessa Iapala and a grand slam from Adrienne Alo, to build a 10-3 lead. The Beavers added four more runs in the fourth to take a commanding 14-3 lead.
The Illini scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it 14-7 and had two more runners stranded in scoring position in that inning. Sophomore shortstop Angelena Mexicano, who made some stellar plays in the field, had a double in both games, including one the fourth that scored a run vs. OSU. Diller singled home a run, then Hall blasted a double in the gap in left center to score two more. But it was not enough to withstand the offensive explosiveness from the Beavers.
Illinois couldn't add to its 4-0 lead vs. Cal, as the Bears got two home runs from Haley Woods and solo shots from Katie Vickers and Carly Winger to take a 5-4 lead. Illinois got a two-out double from Mexicano in the fourth, but couldn't capitalize and stranded Rachelle Coriddi, who drew a one-out walk, on third in the bottom of the seventh. Cal picked an insurance run on a two-out RBI single from pinch hitter Jeana Gevas.
Illinois meets Utah State and Utah Saturday morning in Henderson, Nev. un over the 218 foot fence in center field, which gave Illinois a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first of that game.