Michigan offense too much for Illinois

Katie O'Connell had a home run and four RBI on Saturday.
Katie O'Connell had a home run and four RBI on Saturday.

March 29, 2003

Final Stats

Ann Arbor, Mich. - Illinois scored the same number of runs and had three more hits than it had the day before. The result of the game was much different, however. After shutting out No. 14 Michigan, 4-0, on Friday, the Wolverines (17-8, 1-1 in the Big Ten) pounded out 18 hits on Illinois Saturday and downed the Illini, 12-4, in the second game of a two-game series in Ann Arbor.

Amanda Fortune, who had tossed a complete game five-hit shutout the night before, got the start again on Saturday and retired the side in order in the first. Then the Michigan bats got going. Michigan's Monica Schock led off the second inning with a line drive home run to right field. That was the first of three homers in the inning and four on the day for Michigan. One out later, Marissa Young tagged Fortune with a homer over the right field fence that chased Fortune from the game.

Sherri Taylor completed the inning at pitcher for Illinois, but Michigan starting pitcher Nicole Motycka hit a two-run shot to make it 4-0 Michigan. Freshman Jackelyn Diekemper pitched the rest of the game for the Illini, but the Michigan bats kept going. The Wolverines added one run in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and four more in the seventh. Every Michigan player reached base with Tiffany Haas adding Michigan's other home run, a two-run shot in the fourth.

Illinois junior second baseman Katie O'Connell drove in all four runs for Illinois (20-6, 1-1 in the Big Ten), who had nine hits on the day as a team. O'Connell's sacrifice fly made it 4-1 Michigan after two innings, then O'Connell delivered the hardest hit ball of the day, a three-run home run over the left field fence in the sixth, scoring Janna Sartini and Katie Bradley as well. That made it 8-4 Michigan and gave the Illini some hope with the top of the order due up in the seventh.

The Wolverines turned from the long ball and played station-to-station softball, turning six singles into four runs in the top of the seventh. Lindsey Hamma (2-for-4), and Rachelle Coriddi (2-for-4) had two hits apiece for Illinois. Corridi has a seven-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 23 of Illinois' 26 games this season. Young was the hitting star for Michigan, going 4-for-4 with her fifth homer of the year and three RBI. O'Connell now has three home runs for the year and 11 for her career. The runs off Fortune ended a 22-inning scoreless streak for the junior from Newhall, Calif.

The Illini return to action on Sunday with a doubleheader at Michigan State beginning at 11 a.m. CST.