Meredith Hackett went 4-for-4 in game two of the series.
Sophomore Monica Perry struck out eight batters in game one improving her record to 18-4, while Pepper Gay came in to close the game with a key strikeout in the seventh inning. This marks Gay's third save of the season.
"We had to fight, scratch and claw throughout this game, which is what you expect for Big Ten play at this time of the year," head coach Terri Sullivan said. "We were able to come together and close the game. Our pitching staff worked well together to do that. We had to stay focused on what we needed to do defensively, and Pepper came in and did a great job with that.
The first run of the game was scored in the second inning by pinch runner Nikki Simpson, who was advanced home off of a bases-loaded walk. Catcher Audrey Gallien followed her home after a ground out by Katie Lutes.
Pinch runner Nicole Linares bumped the score to 3-0 for the Illini coming in off of a single from Gallien. The junior catcher was 2-for-3 at the plate with one run and one RBI.
Centerfielder Ashley Conrad came out strong in the fourth inning with a homerun to left field. Second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz followed with a single to second base. The score upped to 5-0 when first baseman Meredith Hackett sent a single to the left side, bringing Zymkowitz home.
The Illini went scoreless for the remainder of the game, but Pepper Gay was able to secure the win for the Illini in the bottom of the seventh.
The Illini came back hard in game two with a run-rule win, 9-0. The scoring started in the first inning with a 2 RBI homerun by first baseman Meredith Hackett. She was immediately followed by another homer from right fielder Hollie Pinchback, who now has seven homeruns on the season.
"Meredith continues to have great confidence at the plate," head coach Sullivan said. "That is a big part of the game. We are really proud of what she's doing and we plan on keeping her in that spot."
Hackett has 11 homeruns for the season, and she went 4-for-4 at the plate with three runs and four RBIs in game two.
Freshman Pepper Gay struck out seven batters and allowed only four hits in the shut-out over Indiana. Gay improved her record to 12-1 for the season.
Offensively, the fifth inning brought more scoring for the Illini, Hackett stepped up with a single to the Indiana shortstop that brought in Zymkowitz for the 5-0 score. Hackett was advanced to home plate off of a bases-loaded walk at the end of the fifth picking up the sixth run for the Illini.
Hackett hit another single in the sixth bringing in Zymkowitz for the run. She was followed by Pinchback who homered to centerfield bringing in two more runs for the Illini and making the score 9-0. Pinchback was also hot on the bats going 2-for-3 two runs and three RBIs.
The Illini travel to Michigan State this weekend for a two-game series. Saturday's game will start at 11 a.m. CT and air on the Big Ten Network. Sunday's game is scheduled to begin at noon.