South Florida edges Illini for title


March 13, 2005


Clearwater, Fla. - Illinois built a 4-0 lead over host South Florida, but couldn't hold on in the championship game of the 2005 Speedline Invitational in Clearwater, Fla. The Bulls rallied for an 8-7 victory avenging a 16-6 loss to the Illini two weeks ago. Illinois' second-place finish was the highest for Illinois in the three years they have participated. The Illini will take an 11-7 record into Tuesday's doubleheader at Illinois State.

Illinois' 9-1 hitters combined to go 7-for-9 and the Illini pounded out 13 hits against South Florida starter Breee Spence. Ninth-place hitter Molly Lawhead was 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Lead-off hitter Rachelle Coriddi was 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.

Jenna Hall's two-run single in the bottom of the second made it 4-0 Illinois. South Florida countered with four runs and five hits in the top of the third to tie the score. Molly Lawhead singled home Laura Zobrist in the bottom of the third to give Illinois the lead again, 5-4.

Krista Holle doubled home two runs in the top of the fourth as South Florida regained a 6-5 lead and added two more runs in the top of the fifth. Coriddi brought the Illini to within a run-scoring singles in the bottom of the fifth and seventh, but the Illini left the would-be tying run at third in the final inning.