Illinois' Postseason Run Comes to an End Against No. 20 DePaul
May 16, 2009
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Illinois battled the No. 20 (15-seed) DePaul Blue Demons through four scoreless innings before falling, 6-0, in NCAA Regional competition at University Field on Saturday afternoon. The loss eliminates the Illini from postseason play, as their season ends with a 29-17 record, the best since 2004.
"The game was there for the taking early and I thought we needed to do something early before leaving the door open for DePaul," Illini head coach Terri Sullivan said. "We're an offensive team and we didn't have our bats today.
"I'm proud of our team for making it to championship play. I think they belonged here and they earned it. We got a lot of great play from the young players on our team this season, so obviously that's exciting for the future. Our senior leadership helped us get back to the postseason and it's where we feel we belong."
The two teams engaged in a pitchers' duel through four innings, as Illini starter Monica Perry (24-15) and Blue Demon starter Becca Heteniak (25-8) gave up just two hits apiece through the first half of the contest. Perry went five innings and gave up three earned runs on five hits, striking out four while walking just one. Heteniak went the distance, allowing three hits and striking out seven.
DePaul (38-13) broke up the stalemate in the fifth, using an Illini miscue to put a pair of runs across. Blue Demon centerfielder Alex Morocco reached on a throwing error and later scored when rightfielder Shea Warren doubled to bring her home for an unearned run. The Blue Demons scored their second unearned run in the inning on an RBI-groundout. DePaul tacked on a trio of runs in the sixth after a three-run homer by second baseman Brittney Yniquez, then Jackie Tarulli-Fisher finalized the score with a solo shot in the seventh.