Ashley Wright picked up her first win of the season in Illinois' 8-0 victory over UConn.
Feb. 23, 2008
MIAMI - Senior shortstop Angelena Mexicano hammered a grand slam and freshman first baseman Audrey Gallien belted her first career home run to lift Illinois (7-7) to an 8-0 victory over the Connecticut Huskies (0-3) on the second day of the Golden Panther Invitational. The Illini battled against No. 1 Alabama (13-0) before dropping a 2-0 decision.
Lefthander Ashley Wright (1-3) had her best outing of the season against UConn, giving up just two hits in the complete game shutout. Wright did not give up a hit after the second inning and allowed just one baserunner in the final four innings.
Illinois jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first when third baseman Shanna Diller took a two-out walk before catcher Lana Armstrong knocked a single to put runners at first and second. Both runners advanced on a passed ball and designated player Hollie Pinchback followed with a base-hit to drive in both runs.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, Mexicano launched a 3-1 pitch over the wall in left-center to put the Illini on top, 6-0. It marked the third grand slam of Mexicano's career and first since the 2006 season. The San Jose, Calif., native leads the team with five long balls this season.
Illinois wasn't finished with its offensive onslaught, adding two more runs in the bottom of the sixth when Gallien went deep on a 2-1 pitch, becoming the second freshman to homer this year, along with Pinchback. Her two-run shot made it 8-0, sealing Illinois' victory because of the eight-run-rule.
In game two of the day, the Crimson Tide shut down Illinois' offense again, holding the Illini to just three hits. Despite picking up the loss, righty Claire DeVreese (6-4) was solid in the circle, allowing just one earned run on six hits through six innings.
Alabama's first run came in the second after a leadoff walk and error put a runner at third before shortstop Kellie Eubanks lined a hard single to third base, scoring a run. The Tide added an insurance run in the sixth on back-to-back pinch hits.
Illinois concludes the Golden Panther Invitational on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (ET) against host Florida International.