Freshman shortstop Shanna Diller contributed three hits and three runs on the first day of pool play, extending her hitting streak to nine games
March 10, 2005
Clearwater (FL)-The Fighting Illini came out on fire in the first day of pool play at the Speedline Invitational in Clearwater Florida out hitting their opponents 20-5. Illinois took the first game 7-0, shutting out Coastal Carolina behind the strong pitching of sophomore Mary Miller improving her record to 5-2-0. The Illini then took their second game of the day 6-3 against Pittsburgh.
The Illini jumped on Coastal fast with three runs in the top of the first. Rachelle Coriddi lead off with a single and stole second. Coriddi advanced to third on a perfectly placed bunt for a hit by second leadoff batter LeeAnn Butcher and later scored on a wild pitch. Shanna Diller preserved her seven game hitting streak by hitting a double to score Butcher. Angelena Mexicano added to the big inning by singling and scoring Diller. The Illini have scored in the first inning now nine of 14 games.
The Illini struck again in the following inning, scoring two more runs and putting a dagger into the already monotonous Chanticleers. The shutout was an Illini first this season.
It took the Illini a little bit longer to score in the second game. Instead it was Pittsburgh who struck first with a run in the bottom of the first.
Finally, with two on in the top of the fourth Angelena Mexicano singled driving in both runners giving the Illini the lead. Next batter, Julie Balicki roped a shot to right center that scored another Illini run. Kisten Martin's second hit of the game drove in Balicki and insured the Illini more breathing room.
The Illini added a run each in the next two innings to finish the game with a final score of 6-3. On Diller's last at bat of the game she came through with a single to left field to preserve her hitting streak, now hitting safely in nine consecutive games. First baseman Kisten Martin had a three for three hit performance while Jackelyn Diekemper picked up her second win of the season (2-1).
The Illini continue pool play tomorrow against Central Michigan at noon CT.