Illini split on first day of Stanford Classic
March 26, 2004
Palo Alto, Calif. - Illinois split its two games at the Stanford Classic, defeating Brigham Young in the opener and falling 4-0 to Hawaii. LeeAnn Butcher was 3-for-3 against the Cougars and 3-for-5 on the day. Amanda Fortune gave up five hits and struck out eight for the Illini against BYU.
Illinois scored early and set the cruise control in its 3-2 victory.
Fortune was nothing short of spectacular in the first four innings, allowing only two base runners and striking out five. BYU had runners on first and third in the fifth, but Fortune was able to coax a pop-out for the third out.
Cougar shortstop Jodi Norton smacked a home run to left field in the top of the seventh, cutting Illinois' lead to 3-2. But Fortune retired the next two batters to seal the Illini victory.
Illinois broke through in the first inning, taking advantage of two Cougar errors. Rachelle Coriddi reached on an error by the second baseman then stole second. Jenna Hall moved her to third with a single. Coriddi scored when pinch runner Laura Zobrist stole second and the throw bounced into center field.
Leading 1-0, Illinois added two more runs in the second inning. Katie O'Connell singled up the middle to lead off the inning, and advanced to second on Julie Balicki's groundout. LeeAnn Butcher then legged out an infield single and advanced to second when the second baseman attempted to throw out O'Connell at third. Janna Sartini came through with a clutch RBI single through the left side. Lindsey Hamma then drove in LeeAnn Butcher with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Hawaii gave the Illini a taste of their own medicine in the second game, jumping on starting pitcher Sherri Taylor. The Rainbow Wahini scored two runs in the first inning and another in the second on six hits to chase Taylor. Hawaii scored once on freshman Megan Huitink in the third to lead 3-0 after three innings.
But Huitink settled down after a rough first inning, facing only one more than the minimum number of batters in her final four innings. She struck out four and walked two in five innings of relief work.
However, the Illini could never break through offensively. LeeAnn Butcher was hit by a pitch with one out in the fifth, and advanced to second on Sartini's base hit. Zobrist pinch ran for Sartini, and she and Butcher each advanced a base on Hamma's sacrifice fly. But they were stranded as Coriddi grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
Rainbow Wahini pitcher Shannon Tabion 2-hit the Illini, with Hamma and Sartini collecting Illinois' two base hits.
The Illini return to action Saturday at 4 p.m. CST against Stanford, and face UC-Riverside at 8 p.m. CST.