Illini win Cox Communications Classic
Feb. 23, 2003
Gainesville, Fla. - The Illini softball team earned some respect by playing solid softball against two of the top teams in the country this weekend in claiming the Cox Communications Classic in Gainesville, Fla. On Friday, the Illini knocked off No. 24 Georiga Tech, 3-2, in eight innings. On Sunday, the Illini defeated Florida, 2-0, in the title game.
The Illinois win avenged an earlier 6-0 loss to the Gators, who were receiving votes in the NFCA poll. Florida also entered the tournament having played 16 games, while Illinois had played just five. Illinois moves to 8-1 on the season and should receive some recognition in the NFCA poll this week. Illinois also defeated Oakland (Mich.), 9-1, on Saturday.
Amanda Fortune (4-0) tossed a two-hit shutout. Fortune has given up just one earned run in 28.1 innings pitched (0.25 ERA). She struck out two batters and didn't allow a walk or an extra base hit. The Illini had three players earn all-tournament honors -- center fielder Rachelle Corridi, left fielder Sarah Baumgartner, and catcher Janna Sartini.
Illinois had six hits against Florida's Jenny Gladding (5-3) and Amanda Moore and scored a run in the fourth and another run in the fifth. In the fourth, Corridi singled to left, stole second, stole third, and scored on Jenna Hall's single to left field. In the fifth, Erin Montgomery doubled to left field, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a single to left from Lindsey Hamma.
Fortune faced just 22 batters, one over the minimum , and allowed just one runner to reach second base all afternoon. Janna Sartini erased one of the two Florida base runners by throwing her out trying to steal. Fortune then retired the final 14 batters she faced in the game.
Illinois takes this weekend off before traveling to the 24-team Speedline Tournament in Plant City, Fla., on March 6-9.