Julie Balicki hit a two-run home vs. Wisconsin Sunday.
May. 1, 2005
Urbana, Ill. - It was not the ending that Illinois had hoped for the 2005 home schedule. After two comeback victories over Minnesota on Saturday, Illinois dropped a pair of games to Wisconsin, 7-3 and 3-1. The Illini fall to 3-13 in the Big Ten and 22-25 overall. The losses eliminated the Illini from Big Ten Tournament contention. Illinois has three games remaining on the schedule, all three on the road, beginning with a game at Eastern Illinois on Tuesday.
In the first game, Illinois rallied from a 5-0 deficit to close to within 5-3, but the Badgers put two runs on the board in the top of the seventh to pull away.
Anastasia Miller belted her 10th home run of the year to give Wisconsin a 2-0 lead in the second inning. The Badgers added three more runs on Athena Vasquez' RBI single and a two-run double from Kris Zacher.
Laura Zobrist's two-out single scored Shanna Diller, who began the fourth inning with a double, to make the score 5-1. Julie Balicki, one of three seniors to be honored in pre-game festivities, belted her first home run of the season with one runner on in the sixth to make it 5-3. The Badgers countered with two in the top of the seventh on a two-out, two-run double from Ricci Robben.
The Illini got a strong effort out of pitcher Jackelyn Diekemper, who came into the game in relief in the second inning of game two. After Wisconsin had taken a 2-0 lead in the first, Diekemper retired 13 in a row and gave up just three hits and one run while striking out three in the game.
Diller, who was 2-for-4 with two walks, two runs scored, and one RBI for the doubleheader, tied Jenna Hall for the team lead in home runs with her seventh shot of the season in the fourth inning to close the gap to 2-1.
The Illini's best scoring opportunity came in the fifth. A walk to senior Elene Planinsek and back-to-back singles by Angelena Mexicano and Rachelle Coriddi loaded the bases with just one out, but Illinois was unable to score.
Wisconsin's Katie Hnatyk hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth to give Wisconsin an insurance run.