Junior starting pitcher Jackie Guy limited the dangerous Mocs lineup to just two hits on the day.
March 18, 2012
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Illinois softball team closed play at the USF Invitational at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex in Clearwater Fla., with a 4-0 victory over Tennessee-Chattanooga on Sunday. Senior first baseman Meredith Hackett tallied three RBIs on a two-run home run and a bases-loaded walk, while junior starting pitcher Jackie Guy held the Chattanooga offense in check with only two hits allowed in the circle.
"Jackie mixed her pitches well and was confident in throwing to both sides of the plate," Illinois head coach Terri Sullivan said. "She got ahead in the count and so much for a pitcher is being ahead in the count and taking command of the at bat."
After being held hitless into the sixth inning, the Illini bats exploded for four runs and seven base knocks over the final two frames. A pair of batters after sophomore outfielder Alex Booker recorded the first hit of the day on a single through the right side, Hackett drove an 0-1 offering over the left field fencing for the senior's fourth home run of the season.
The Illini doubled their lead with two more runs in the top of the seventh, giving junior starting pitcher Jackie Guy a four-run cushion heading to the bottom of the final frame. With one out, freshman center fielder Brittany Sanchez singled through the right side before Guy knocked a bouncing base hit over the shoulder of Chattanooga third baseman Sarah Beth Roberts to put runners on first and second.
After freshman pinch runner Jami Schkade replaced Guy at first, Booker singled through the right side to load the bases. Senior outfielder Nikki Simpson followed with an RBI-single to left field, scoring Sanchez from third, before Hackett drew a bases-loaded walk for the 4-0 advantage.
"Today, they executed our game plan, we came out really focused and the story of the game was Jackie's pitching performance," said Sullivan.
Guy tossed her second gem of the weekend against Tennessee-Chattanooga, a team that entered the day hitting .349 as a group. Guy held the Mocs (17-11 overall) to a pair of hits during the contest, including an infield single in the first and a base hit up the middle in the seventh, and finished with five strikeouts on the contest.
The Orange and Blue (13-10) continue their season with a game at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., on Thursday, March 22 at 4 p.m. CT. Illinois follows with its first home series of the year, battling Minnesota in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 24 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. CT, before one contest against the Gophers on Sunday, March 25 at 1 p.m. CT.