Illinois victorious in Big Ten Tournament opener


May 8, 2003

Final Stats

Sherri Taylor tossed a two-hit shut out in leading Illinois to a 1-0 win over Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Illini advance to meet Iowa at approximately 10:15 p.m. tonight.

Taylor allowed just five base runners and two hits to improve to 10-5 on the season. Minnesota had runners on first and second with two outs, but Taylor got Minnesota's Andrea Smith to ground out to Katie O'Connell at second to end the game.

"Sherri Taylor is really throwing the ball well," said Illini Head Coach Terri Sullivan. "She has the hot hand and was in the zone tonight."

Minnesota ace Piper Martin was equally as impressive, allowing just two Illinois hits - a single by Sarah Baumgartner in the third and single by Jenna Hall in the fourth.

The Illini manufactured its only run of the game in the third. After Baumgartner singled, O'Connell bunted her over to second. One out later, Rachelle Coriddi pounded a ball in the infield that the Gopher third baseman threw away, allowing Baumgartner to score what turned out to be the game's only run.

"The defense, pitching and catching really set the tone tonight," said Sullivan. "The first game of any tournament is tough to win. We've stressed that all season, and it is especially true in the post-season."

The start of the game was delayed five-and-a-half hours after Northwestern's 1-0 win over Michigan State took 18 innings and nearly five hours then rain delaying things for an additional three hours.