Illini Struggle on First Day in Palm Springs
Feb. 23, 2013
Palm Springs, Calif. - The University of Illinois softball team had a rough first night at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, dropping a pair of games against tough competition. A nine-run first inning set the Illini back in the opening game against No. 22 Washington, as the Illini fell, 15-0, in five innings. The Orange and Blue played tighter in game two, but despite out-hitting their competition, Illinois fell to Oregon State, 5-1. The Huskies improve to 9-5, the Beavers are 12-3, and Illinois drops to 5-7.
Game 1: Washington 15, Illinois 0 | Box Score (PDF)
The Huskies scored early and often, defeating Illinois, 15-0 in five innings. Kylie Johnson reached base all three times, with two singles, and Jenna Mychko and Remeny Perez both went 1-for-2. Husky rightfielder Victoria Hayward went 2-for-2 with a walk, two runs and an RBI, and Kaitlin Inglesby was 2-for-3 with four RBI.
All three Illini pitchers got into the game against the Huskies. Pepper Gay started and allowed eight runs on seven hits in 0.2 innings. Jackie Guy allowed four runs on three hits and seven walks in 1.1 innings, and Shelese Arnold closed out the game, allowing the final three runs on three hits and five walks in 2.0 innings. Inglesby allowed all four hits in four shutout innings, and Kasey Stanchek threw a perfect fourth inning, before Inglesby returned in the fifth.
Johnson beat out an infield single in the top of the first for the first hit of the game. Mychko singled to right with two outs to make it first and third, but Inglesby struck out Davis for the third out.
The Huskies put up nine runs in the bottom of the first inning to give the Illini a huge mountain to climb through the rest of the game. Washington used three doubles and a three-run homer to chase Gay from the circle, and hit one more double off Guy before the inning was over.
Good hustle by Mychko behind the plate helped Guy to a scoreless inning in the bottom of the second, throwing out Taukeiaho at home for the third out on an attempt to score on a wild pitch.
The Illini left runners on first and third once again in the top of the third, as Perez and Johnson were both aboard but did not score.
Remeny Perez made all three outs in the bottom of the third, snagging a bases-loaded line drive out of the air for an unassisted double play, then fielding a grounder on the ensuing play, but five walks by the Illini pitching staff, split between Guy and Arnold, led to another three runs, making it 12-0 Washington.
Washington tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth, on three hits and two walks, to make it 15-0.
Perez got her first hit for the Orange and Blue in the top of the fifth and Johnson followed with a single up the middle, but that was the end of the Illini offense, who fell by a final score of 15-0.
Game 2: Oregon State 5, Illinois 1 | Box Score (PDF)
The Illini out-hit the Beavers, 6-5, but Oregon State came out on top, 5-1. Allie Bauch went 2-for-3 with a walk, Kylie Johnson singled and scored, and Jess Perkins had an RBI single. Remeny Perez had her first extra-base hit, with a double to left center, and Brittany Sanchez was 1-for-3.
Pepper Gay threw the full six innings allowing five earned runs on five hits and five walks while striking out six.
Natalie Hampton went 2-for-2 with a walk, a run and a two-run homer. Dani Gilmore scored two runs and Ally Kutz had a solo home run. Marina Demore pitched all seven innings, allowing one earned run on six hits and two walks, striking out three.
Dani Gilmore doubled to left center in the bottom of the third, and Ashley Sanchez moved her to third with a single through the right side. Elizabeth Santana skied it to deep left field, driving in Gilmore on the sacrifice fly. Natalie Hampton followed with a line drive over the wall in right for a two-run homer, putting Oregon State on top, 3-0.
Ally Kutz hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to add on another Beaver run, up 4-0.
A trio of infield singles got the Illini on the board in the top of the fifth. Johnson beat out a bunt for a single. She stole second, and Bauch beat out a single to second to make it first and third. Perkins hit a two-hopper to short, to bring in Johnson for the first Illini run of the day.
The Beaver batters were extremely patient in the bottom of the fifth inning, drawing four walks, three of which were on full count, as OSU's hitters combined to foul off seven pitches on 3-2, leading to a run. Demore then laced a liner up the middle with the bases loaded, which was snagged out of the air by Bauch at second to save at least one run.
Gay threw a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the sixth, but Demore set the Illini down in order in the top of the seventh, for a final score of 5-1.
Illinois return to action on Saturday, when the Orange and Blue face No. 8 California at 7 p.m. CT (5 p.m. PT).