Big inning lifts Hoosiers over Illini

Freshman Makenzie Smith homered vs. Indiana.
Freshman Makenzie Smith homered vs. Indiana.

April 8, 2005

Box Score

Urbana, Ill. - Illinois' Jenna Hall and Makenzie Smith each homered, but it was not enough as Indiana outlasted the Illini, 4-3 in front of a crowd of 321 at Eichelberger Field on Friday night. Indiana scored four runs in the third inning and held on for the narrow win. Indiana improves to 11-25 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten. Illinois falls to 17-16, 0-5 in the league.

Starter Mary Miller (11-8) was the hard-luck losing pitcher for Illinois. All four third inning runs were unearned off Miller. Two errors and a walk put runners at first and third with no outs. Only one ball was hit hard as Indiana had three seeing-eye singles and one solid single to left field. Ashley Griffiths singled to left scoring Janetta Deaven. Another run scored on a passed ball and Rachel Terry and Anna Olson each singled in runs.

"You hate to let one inning beat you," said Illinois Head Coach Terri Sullivan. "We felt at the time it was early and we had time to come back."

The Illini began their comeback in the fourth. LeeAnn Butcher led off the inning with a single to left field and stole second. She was there when Jenna Hall hit a monster home run to straight away center field to cut the lead in half. Makenzie Smith also went deep, hitting her first career home run, a blast off the scoreboard in left-center field to lead off the fifth inning.

"We had the two big home runs, but couldn't put the rally together with singles and doubles," Sullivan said.

Illinois had only four hits on the day and none after Smith's home run. Both relief pitchers came in and did a solid job. Indiana had just one hit after the third inning off Illini reliever Claire DeVreese, who followed up her seven strikeout performance against Loyola on Wednesday with another seven K effort vs. the Hoosiers while not allowing a walk.

Indiana junior Mariangee Bogado likewise was tough. She entered the game in relief of Megan Roark (9-13) after the Smith home run and allowed just one base runner - a walk to Jenna Hall in the sixth while striking out four in three innings.

The two teams battle again Saturday at Eichelberger Field beginning at noon.