Erin Montgomery was 2-for-3 with a double to help lift Illinois past UC-Riverside 4-0.
March 27, 2004
Palo Alto, Calif. - Illinois bounced back from consecutive losses to Hawaii and No. 13 Stanford with a 4-0 win against UC-Riverside in the nightcap Saturday.
Sherri Taylor scattered five hits and struck out two while walking one against the Highlanders. Jenna Hall was 2-for-4 and Erin Montgomery was 2-for-3, each knocking a double and a single for the Illini. Sarah Baumgartner was 2-for-3 with a run, and Lindsey Hamma was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
Illinois had at least one hit in six innings, and advanced a runner to second base in all six of those innings. The first inning was the only frame the Illini went down in order.
Illinois jumped ahead early, scoring once in the second inning. Jenna Hall led off the frame with a base hit through the right side, and Erin Montgomery hit a ground-rule double over the fence in left field, advancing pinch runner Laura Zobrist to third. One out later, Zobrist scored on Katie O'Connell's fielder's choice. After a groundout, Janna Sartini was hit by a pitch for the second time of the day to load the bases. However, a foulout kept the Illini from doing any more damage.
But Illinois brought home another in the third inning after Rachelle Coriddi reached on a fielder's choice, then stole second. Erin Montgomery then singled with two outs to drive in Coriddi and give Illinois a 2-0 lead after three innings.
The Illini rattled the bats again in the sixth, pushing two more runs across. Sarah Baumgartner took advantage of her first start of the tournament, smacking a base hit to center field. She advanced to second on Janna Sartini's groundout then scored on Lindsey Hamma's single up the middle. After Hamma stole second, Erin Jones drove her home with another single to center to give Illinois a 4-0 lead after six innings.
With the win, the Illini finish 2-2 in round-robin play, in a three-way tie with Brigham Young and Hawaii. Since all three teams finished 1-1 against one another, the second tiebreaker is runs scored. BYU finished with 21 runs scored, but is not allowed to compete on Sundays. So Hawaii's 11 runs places them into the championship game with Stanford at 2 p.m. CST. Illinois faces UC-Riverside Sunday at 12 p.m. CST in the third-place game after scoring seven runs in the tournament.