2008 Softball Season Wrap-Up
June 13, 2008
Top of The Order
Familiar Faces: Illinois had one of the toughest schedules in the nation in 2008 as indicated by the field of 64 for the NCAA Tournament. The Illini faced nine of the 16 teams that advanced to the 2008 Super Regionals and six of the eight Women's College World Series teams, including champion Arizona State and runner-up Texas A&M.
Mexicano Leaves Her Mark: Shortstop Angelena Mexicano set a new mark in the Big Ten with her 24th home run of the season, a mark that also put her at second in the nation for the 2008 season. Her 51 career home runs are tied for third all-time in the conference. Mexicano finished the season with 160 total bases on the season, also a Big Ten single-season record. The senior shortstop finished the season ranked among the best in the nation in several other categories as well, including home runs per game, runs per game, slugging percentage and RBI per game. She also set school single-season records for home runs, RBIs and runs scored.
One-Two Punch: Third baseman Shanna Diller and shorstop Angelena Mexicano wrapped up their careers as two of the most prolific Illini in program history. The pair finished 1-2 in several career offensive categories while ranking among the top ten in every major offensive category. Mexicano finished atop career home runs, RBIs, runs scored and total bases with Diller second in each of those categories.
Nation Sensation: Since leading the nation in home runs in 2007, Illinois has continued to make a name as one of the nation's most prolific programs. The Illini finished the season ranked among the top 25 in the nation in home runs per game (8th), slugging percentage (11th), doubles per game (16th) and scoring (23rd).
Finishing Strong: Throughout the season, the Illini were atop the Big Ten in several offensive categories. The Orange and Blue finished the season leading the conference in slugging percentage (.503), hits (471), runs scored (332), RBIs (299), doubles (95) and home runs (76). The Illini also finished second with 13 triples and a .289 batting average and third with a .366 on-base percentage.