Meredith Hackett hit two homeruns for four RBIs.
April 24, 2010
URBANA, ILL. - The World's Largest Softball Tailgate brought 623 fans to the Martin Softball Complex today, even though the skies were considerably cloudy. The threat of thunderstorms didn't stop the No. 18 Illini from coming out hard against Wisconsin, as Illinois shutout the Badgers (14-27, 1-10) for a 6-0 win to improve to 33-5 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten.
Sophomore Monica Perry pitched another strong game, striking out eight batters and allowing only one hit to improve to 18-4 for the season. First baseman Meredith Hackett hit two homeruns for four RBIs and now has 10 homers on the season.
"It was a fun day for Meredith, she continues to see the ball well," head coach Terri Sullivan said. "She feeds off of her teammates a lot, so seeing a couple runners on base allowed her to follow up at the plate and set the tone for the day. She is very confident at the plate and if all of our batters go to the plate with confidence, good things can happen."
The Illini got their numbers up early with second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz, 3-for-4 at the plate, starting off the first inning with a double to left field. Hackett followed close behind with a home run over the left field fence, bringing in Zymkowitz and giving Illinois a 2-0 lead.
With two outs in the second inning, shortstop Danielle Vaji stepped up to the plate with a single to left field. She was advanced to second by a bunt from Zymkowitz, and advanced to home off of an error by Wisconsin. Hope Howell followed with a double to left center, bringing in Zymkowitz and making the score 4-0 in favor of the Illini. Howell was brought home when Hackett homered to center field to give Illinois the 6-0 lead.
Perry didn't give up a hit until the sixth, when Badgers centerfielder Jennifer Krueger reached on a bunt single. Illinois' ace tallied her fifth shutout of the season in one of her best performances of 2010.
Illinois goes for the sweep against Wisconsin tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Eichelberger Field at the Martin Softball Complex.