Illinois gains split with Buckeyes
April 17, 2005
Columbus, Ohio - Juniors Rachelle Coriddi (Ft. Worth, Texas/Southwest H.S.) and Jenna Hall (Channahon, Ill. Minooka H.S.) each had big days at the plate as Illinois gained a split at Ohio State. The Buckeyes won the first game 5-3 and Illinois took the nightcap, 8-7. Coriddi was 5-for-7 with a triple, three RBI, and three runs scored. Hall, meanwhile, was 5-for-7 a double, a home run, and six RBI. The win was the first for Illinois (19-23, 1-11) in the Big Ten this season. Ohio State goes to 20-14, 4-8 in the conference.
Illinois pitcher Claire DeVreese (Mishawaka, Ind./H.S.) and Ohio State starter Jamie Juarez locked horns in a pitching dual through the first four innings of game one. Ohio State, the seventh-ranked offensive team in the country, finally came to life with five runs on five hits in the fifth to overcome a 2-0 deficit and held on to win.
Juarez pitched a perfect first three innings with only one Illini batted ball being able to reach the outfield. In the fourth, however, Coriddi led off with a Texas League single to left and was aboard when Hall belted her eighth home run of the season, a towering shot that cleared the left-center field fence by plenty.
Ohio State, who had 21 singles and no extra-base hits on the day, used several seeing eyes base hits and some offensive punch to pull in front 5-2 after five. The fifth inning started with two walks. Ashley Schwab then lined a single just in front Illini left-fielder LeeAnn Butcher (Casey, Ill./Casey-Westfield H.S.) to score the first run of the inning. Mary Miller (Toledo, Wash./H.S.) relieved DeVreese, but gave up three straight singles. Ashley Cutcliff's single tied the game, then Christina Douglas singled to right field scoring two more. Billie Jo Carder drove in the final run of the inning.
Illinois responded with a run in the sixth. Molly Lawhead's (Monticello, Ill./H.S.) (3-for-6, 2B, run) two-out double to center field drove home pinch runner Elene Planinsek (Rockdale, Ill./Joliet H.S.) from second to make it 5-3. Juarez retired four of the final five batters of the game to improve to 16-10 on the season. OSU out-hit Illinois, 9-7.
The Buckeyes again brought their hitting shoes in the second game with 15 hits, but the Illini stayed out of the big inning, by gunning down four Buckeyes on the base paths. Illinois had some hot bats as well with 12 hits , the third double-digit hit game in the last eight days for the Illini.
Ohio State scored two runs in the second inning. Pitcher Brooke Baker singled in the first run and Billie Jo Carder scored on a successfully executed double steal. The inning ended, however when Laura Zobrist gunned down a runner trying to score.
Illinois took the lead with three runs in the second, scoring all the runs after two were out. Coriddi stayed hot by roping a triple down the right-field line, scoring Lawhead and Laura Zobrist (Washington, Ill./H.S.). LeeAnn Butcher took the next pitch from Baker and stroked a single to center, plating Coriddi and giving Illinois a 3-2 lead.
Ohio State had four hits in five at-bats in the third, but was unsuccessful in attempting to pull off the first and third double steal as the Illini got out of the inning unscathed.
Illinois added to its lead with a manufactured run in the bottom of the third. Shanna Diller (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community H.S.) doubled to lead off the inning, was sacrificed to third and scored on a Lawhead sacrifice fly.
Ohio State tied the score with two runs in the fourth. At one point 10 out of 12 batters reached base, but again it could have been worse for Illinois. After Douglas singled home a run, the Buckeyes had a runner picked off third. Douglas scored on a wild pitch to tie at 4-4.
Hall delivered again, capping off an Illini four-hit fourth inning with a bases loaded two-run single, making it 6-4 Illinois. The junior doubled off the wall in left-center in the sixth inning, scoring Coriddi and Butcher for two more insurance runs. The Illini would need them as Carder hit a three-run home run with two outs in the seventh to account for the final 8-7 score.
DeVreese (5-12) picked up the win. Miller recorded her first save of her career, striking out the final batter of the game, Miller's third K of the day.
Illinois is next in action on Thursday, hosting a doubleheader with Bradley at 4 p.m. The Illini return to Big Ten action next weekend with a doubleheader April 23 at Michigan State.