Lana Armstrong produced all three of Illinois' runs on day two at the Judi Garman Classic.
March 21, 2008
FULLERTON, Calif. - Catcher Lana Armstrong belted a solo home run against No. 19/14 Fresno State (28-5) and drove in two runs against Utah (15-12), but Illinois couldn't overcome the deficit in either game, falling 9-1 to the Bulldogs before dropping a 5-2 decision to the Utes on day two of the Judi Garman Classic. The Illini fall to 14-15 on the season and 2-9 against top-25 ranked opponents.
Illinois came out aggressively in the opening game of the day, as second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz led off with a single then worked her way to third on couple of grounders, but the Illini were unable to get a run across in the first inning. The Orange and Blue had another opportunity in the third when first baseman Audrey Gallien roped a double then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, but she was thrown out at the plate after a grounder to the second baseman.
Fresno State and Illinois battled through three scoreless innings before the Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead in the fourth thanks to three consecutive hits and an Illini miscue.
Catcher Lana Armstrong cut the Bulldogs' lead in half with her fourth home run of the season. Armstrong took a 3-1 pitch and drilled it over the leftfield wall to make it 2-1. It was the only offense the Illini could muster though, scattering just three hits across six innings.
The Bulldogs opened the floodgates in the fifth, pounding out five runs on six hits then adding a pair of runs in the sixth to cap off the run-rule victory.
Utah wasted no time getting on the board in game two of the day, as Angie Boardman belted a two-run shot to give the Utes an early lead. Boardman went deep again in the fourth, this time a solo shot to make it 3-0. The Utes continued to build their lead in the fifth after a pair of walks and two-RBI double made it 5-0.
The Illini battled back in the sixth when shortstop Angelena Mexicano knocked a two-out single to get the rally going. Third baseman Shanna Diller followed with a sharp liner to the leftfielder who dropped the ball, allowing both runners to get in scoring position. Armstrong then added her second and third RBIs of the day with a single to cut Utah's lead to 5-2.
Centerfielder Hope Howell looked to continue the rally in the seventh with a leadoff bunt single, but the Illini then went down in order to finish the inning and end the comeback threat.
Vicky Brown (0-2) took the loss after allowing three runs on three hits through four innings of work. DeVreese came on in relief, tossing three innings and giving up three runs on three hits.
Illinois will wrap up the tournament on Saturday at 9 a.m. (PT)/11 a.m. (CT) against No. 25/22 San Diego State.