Leftfielder Hollie Pinchback went 4-for-7 with three RBIs in a pair of games on Friday.
Feb. 27, 2009
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Illinois softball team earned its sixth consecutive victory, knocking off the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 8-2, in the opening game of the Cox Communications Invitational at the University of Florida's Pressly Stadium. The Illini (11-5) fell to the Pacific Tigers, 11-2, in game two of the day.
Illini pitcher Monica Perry (7-3) won her fourth straight decision, tossing a four-hitter and giving up two earned runs while striking out nine through seven innings. Alex Watkins (0-2) took the loss for the Raiders (3-11), as the Illini tagged her for eight runs on 10 hits.
Second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz led off the game with a single, marking the fourth time in the last five games she has gotten the Illini rolling in her first at-bat. Zymkowitz extended her hitting streak to 15 games before it came to an end against Pacific, marking the second-longest streak in program history. Despite not getting a hit in the second game of the day, Zymkowitz reached first on a walk and has found a way on base in every game this season.
Following Zymkowitz's single, centerfielder Jamie Adishian reached on an error then rightfielder Hope Howell was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Leftfielder Hollie Pinchback roped a double to left field to plate a pair of runs to give Illinois an early lead. Third baseman Kelley Wedel added to the lead with an RBI base-knock and shortstop Ashley Conrad made it 4-0 with a bases-loaded walk.
Tech put up its only two runs in the third thanks a two-run home run.
Illinois tacked on another run in the sixth after designated player Katrina Ross doubled and eventually scored on Zymkowitz's RBI-single to go up 5-2. First baseman Meredith Hackett added a trio of insurance runs in the seventh with her third home run of the season, a shot over the left field wall, sealing Illinois sixth straight victory.
In game two of the day, it was the Tigers (6-4) who scored early, putting up two in the first. The Illini inched back in the bottom half of the inning as Pinchback drove in her third run of the day after Adishian doubled, marking the sixth time in the last seven games Illinois has notched a run in the first inning.
The Orange and Blue tied the game at two in the third when Zymkowitz took a one-out walk and later scored on Howell's double to the gap in left-center.
Pacific opened up a three-run lead in the fourth then put six more on the board in the sixth, while the Illini were unable to string together any offense through the final three innings.
Illini pitcher Ashley Wright (2-2) suffered the loss after allowing five runs on 11 hits through three and two-thirds innings. Tiger pitcher Chelsea Engle (3-3) went the distance in the six-hit win.
The Orange and Blue continue action on Saturday, facing the USF Bulls at 8 a.m. (CT) before concluding the against No. 2 Florida at 3 p.m. (CT).