Illini complete perfect weekend
April 11, 2004
Bloomington, Ind. - Illinois finished up a perfect Big Ten weekend with a doubleheader sweep of Indiana on Sunday, winning 2-1 and 4-1. The Illini move to 6-2 in the Big Ten and 28-14-1 overall. Indiana falls to 0-6 in the conference and 23-23 overall.
Jenna Hall drilled a three-run home run in the second game and delivered an RBI single in the opener in helping the Illini move to 7-1 all-time against Indiana. Rachelle Coriddi set an Illinois single-game record by stealing three bases in game two after throwing out two runners trying to score in the opener. Illini pitchers allowed just eight hits in the doubleheader.
"The whole coaching staff is proud of the team reaching the goal that it set for itself of winning four games this weekend," said Illini Head Coach Terri Sullivan. "These were great team victories. A lot of different people stepped up for us. We have to now focus on building on the momentum and fighting to be at the top."
Illinois threw out three runners at the plate in all in the first game, and Janna Sartini gunned down two runners trying to steal second as the Illini held on for the 2-1 victory. Erin Jones, who was 7-for-13 with three RBI on the weekend, drove in the first run of the game with a single in the second inning, scoring Erin Montgomery, who led off the inning with a double to center field. Hall's single to center in the third inning scored Laura Zobrist, giving the Illini a 2-0 lead.
"The focus of our team was really there this weekend," Sullivan added. "We always say that confidence is half the battle. We played aggressive in every facet of the game, understanding that it takes seven innings to complete the win. Our team did just that - play to win."
Indiana had several chances to score, but the Hoosiers ran themselves out of innings five, six, and seven. Indiana scored one run in the fifth, but Coriddi threw out a runner at home for the first out of the inning, and Sartini took the Hoosiers out of a big inning by throwing out another runner trying to steal. Coriddi threw out a runner trying to score in the seventh, and Katie O'Connell fired home to cut down the would-be tying run to end the game.
Sherri Taylor struck out four and walked just one in recording the pitching victory in game one. Amanda Fortune came in to get the final out to notch her second save. Fortune went the distance in the second game, tossing a two-hitter. Coriddi was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
The Illini got all the runs they would need in the third. Rachelle Coriddi and Lindsey Hamma walked ahead of Hall, who belted a three-run shot over the center field fence. Indiana's Tory Yamaguchi pulled the Hoosiers a run closer with a solo homer in the top of the fifth, but Lindsey Hamma got the ran back when she knocked in Sarah Baumgartner with a single to left in the bottom of the fifth. After giving up the home run, Fortune retired the final eight batters of the game to improve to 17-7 on the year.
Illinois hosts Parkland College for an exhibition game at 6 p.m on Wednesday before inviting the league's co-leader Michigan to Eichelberger Field for a two-game series starting Friday night. The Illini are third in the Big Ten at 6-2.