Illinois opens Big Ten play at #23 Northwestern, #1 Michigan
March 30, 2005
ILLINOIS (15-11) at #23 NORTHWESTERN (18-9)
ILLINOIS (15-11) at #1 MICHIGAN (31-1)
When: UI at NW, April 1 (3 p.m.), April 2 (Noon), UI at UM, April 3 (DH, Noon)
Record vs. Teams: Illinois holds a 5-3 record vs. Northwestern all-time with the teams splitting games last season. Michigan holds a 5-2 lead in the series with the Illini with Illinois taking a game from the Wolverines each of the past two seasons.
We meet again: Illinois and Northwestern meet for the second time this season just six days after a thrilling 5-3 Illinois victory at the Stanford Tournament on March 26. With the bases loaded, two outs and Illinois down 3-2 to the Wildcats, Jenna Hall delivered a three-run single down the right-field line. Northwestern's Stephanie Churchwell hit a two-run home run to put the Wildcats in front in the bottom of the sixth.
Closing in on 200: Illinois has 195 wins in 5 1/2 seasons of the program. The Illini are 195-113 overall, just five wins shy of 200. The Illini picked up win 100 on Feb. 14, 2003 with a 9-0, 5-inning victory over St. John's.
Michigan No. 1: Michigan has been the story of the softball season nationally thus far. After losing its first game of the year, 7-6 to then No. 17 Baylor, the Wolverines have won 31 games in a row, including a victory over then No. 1 Arizona 6-2 in the championship of the Kia Classic. The Wolverines are only the second non-West Coast school to be ranked at the top spot and the first in the mid-season. The only other programs to reside as the nation's No. 1 team are Arizona, UCLA, California, Washington, Fresno State and Oklahoma.
Illinois upends two ranked teams in 2005:
Illinois plays two ranked teams this week. The Illini have two wins over ranked foes already this year with 5-3 victories over then No. 5 LSU and last week vs. No. 20 Northwestern. The victory over LSU marked the highest ranked team that the Illini have defeated.
TEAM NOTES Illinois is closing in on 200 wins for its history. The Illini and their only head coach, Terri Sullivan, have a 195-113-2 mark in 5-plus seasons.
Illinois has had seven of its games cancelled due to rain.
The Illini are having their second best slugging percentage season in school history at .394. The 2003 team had a .408 slugging percentage.
Illinois has scored at least four runs in 19 of 26 games this season and has been shut out just once this season. The Illini are averaging 4.8 runs per game, the best output in team history.
INDIVIDUAL NOTES Rachelle Coriddi and LeeAnn Butcher have done a great job of getting on base at the top of the Illinois order. When they do, they score at amazing clip. Butcher has 29 hits and six walks with 23 runs scored. Coriddi has 29 hits and three walks and 20 runs scored.
Jackelyn Diekemper became the first Illinois pitcher to hit a home run with a solo shot vs. South Florida on Feb. 26.
Illinois has had a pair of long hitting streaks already this season. Molly Lawhead had an eight-game streak to start the season and has a hit safely in 17 of 36 games this year. Diller meanwhile is riding a seven-game hitting streak. Rachelle Coriddi's 12-game streak last season is the all-time record.
LeeAnn Butcher batted .571 at the Getterman Classic, including going 7-for-8 on the final day of action.
Jenna Hall has drawn 15 walks in 26 games this season. This surpasses the total for all of last year (11) for Hall. She passed Janna Sartini for third on the all-time Illini list with 67. Lindsey Hamma holds the school record with 98. Hall also has a .473 on-base percentage.
Hall holds the freshman record for home runs with five in 2003. Katie O'Connell and Erin Montgomery each hit four as freshmen in 2001. Shanna Diller has four thus far.
Mary Miller has 71 strikeouts in 105.1 innings pitched. That is a ratio of 0.67, on pace to be one of the best in school history. Amanda Fortune, who holds the Illinois single-season record of 182 strikeouts did so in 287.1 innings pitched -- a ratio of 0.63.
DILLER SHINES IN HOMECOMING
LOCAL PRODUCT SHINES
ILLINI SPORT NEW LOOK
DILLER, HALL IMPOSING FORCE IN HEART OF ORDER
CORIDDI TIES STEALS MARK Rachelle Coriddi has 13 stolen bases in 14 attempts this season. That is tied for second in the Big Ten. Her 55 career stolen bases is tied for the all-time Illinois record of 55 set by Lindsey Hamma. Coriddi is 55-for-65 in that department for her career.
WORLD'S LARGEST SOFTBALL TAILGATE SET FOR APRIL 30 Illinois will try to top last year's turnout of 1,500 people at the First Annual World's Largest Softball Tailgate. Plans are underway for the second edition of the WLST. The event is sponsored by Busey Bank. Prizes for the top tailgates will be named. Everyone gets in for free in the Illini's noon game with Minnesota.
TWO ILLINI PLAY ON
18U NATIONAL TITLISTS
ALL-AMERICAN DIEKEMPER HELPS OUTLAWS TO CROWN