Illinois scores win 200

Head Coach Terri Sullivan picked up victory No. 200 Thursday
Head Coach Terri Sullivan picked up victory No. 200 Thursday

April 21, 2005

Urbana, Ill. - The Illinois softball program record its 200th win Tuesday with a 5-2 comeback victory over Bradley in front of 317 fans at Eichelberger Field. The Illini now have a record of 200-125-2 in six years as a program, all under Head Coach Terri Sullivan.

"Those wins are due to the hard work and commitment of the players who have been here since the program's inception," Sullivan said afterward.

Illinois used a four-run sixth-inning to rally past the Braves. The second game was called due to rain with Illinois leading 5-0 in the third inning and will not count in the win-loss column. Illinois improves to 20-23 on the season. Bradley falls to 12-26.

Molly Lawhead was 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs scored. Lawhead's line drive home run over the left field fence to lead off the second inning cut a Bradley lead to 2-1.

Mary Miller came into the game in relief and pitched the final five innings to record the pitching victory and improve to 13-9 on the season. Miller didn't allow a hit while walking three and striking out three. She got some great defense behind her, including an inning-ending double play in the fifth inning.

"Mary really gave us a lift," Sullivan said. "Although she came into the game in the top of an inning, it was a pressure situation because we were behind at the time. She looked strong in not giving up a hit."

Illinois did all its damage in the sixth after two were out. Lawhead singled to left to start the rally. Laura Zobrist was hit by a pitch and Brittney Koester walked to load the basis. Pinch hitter Jackelyn Diekemper delivered the game winner for Illinois with a bases-loaded two-out single up the middle, scoring Lawhead and Zobrist. Rachelle Coriddi added some insurance with her school-record seventh triple of the season clearing the bases from there.

"The way we won scoring after two were out and the players having a sense of urgency was great to see," Sullivan said. "We have some momentum heading into this weekend.

Illinois plays at Michigan State in a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. The game will be televised by Comcast, being re-broadcast in Comcast Chicago at 3:30 p.m. on April 28.

"Jackelyn really swung the bat well in practice yesterday," Sullivan said of her decision to pinch hit Diekemper. "When we told her she was going to hit, she had a look of confidence."

Bradley had all three of its hits in the third inning. Bethany Till and Molly Bergeson had RBI singles.