Illinois Splits Day 2 At Capital Classic
March 21, 2003
Sacramento, Calif. - It was a bittersweet day for the Illini who split their only double-header of the tournament. The Illini started the day by posting a dominant 10-0 performance in five innings against Morehead State. The second game figured to be a tougher test against No. 3 Washington, it was as the Illini fell 9-1 in five innings.
The Illini pitchers starred in the first game as they posted their first no-hit performance with a combination of Sherri Talyor and Katie Lesemann. Sherri Taylor started the game, threw 4.0 innings striking out 2 and Lesemann closed out the game to secure the no-hit campaign. "In the first game I think the team did what we felt we were supposed to do," Sullivan said. "We wanted to have a big victory and give some of our reserve players the opportunity to do some good things that I know they are capable of and I happy we did that."
One of those reserve players who got an opportunity and made the most of it was Julie Balicki. In her only at bat, she slapped a scorching double to right center to score Lindsey Hamma and Erin Jones in the third. Lindsey Hamma found the Hamma of old in the game going a perfect 3-3 with 3 RBI and scored 2 runs. Rachelle Coriddi and Katie O'Connell had two hits a piece as well to give the Illini 12 total hits in the game.
In the second game it was a different story for the Illini. No. 3 Washington had too much firepower for the Illini to overcome as the Huskies used 3 home runs to score 7 of the 9 runs in the game.
The Illini got off to a quick start scoring the first run of the game in the second inning. They had three of their four hits of the game in the inning and the biggest one was the RBI single by Katie O'Connell that scored Laura Zobrist. After that the Illini couldn't find anything offensively.
"We felt prepared to play Washington and had a good start to the game," Sullivan said. "But, they did what they were capable of doing. From top to bottom they have hitters that can hurt you with the long ball and what they ended up beating us on was the three home runs."
Amanda Fortune who entered the game 9-2 started well but it didn't last for long. In the bottom of the second Fortune found trouble as the Huskies pounded her for 4 runs on 4 hits including a three run home run by Aimee Minor that broke the game open for No. 3 Washington. The second inning would be Fortune's last as she only lasted 1.1 innings, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits while striking out 2. Jackelyn Diekemper gave it a shot and pitched the final 3.1 innings but gave up 5 runs on 6 hits.
The Illini look to rebound Saturday when they face off against Sacramento State at 2:30 CST. Sacramento State also beat Morehead State and lost to No. 3 Washington 4-3 earlier in tournament play.