Two Illini compete on National Titlists
Aug. 18, 2004
Two University of Illinois softball players were among those who made history over the weekend in Marietta, Ga. Sophomore Kisten Martin and freshman Shanna Diller were members of the Southern Force squad (coached by Gerry Glasco) that won the ASA 18 and under Gold Nationals. That is the top division of ASA softball in the country. Southern Force, comprised of mostly players from the Southern Illinois area, became just the second non-California team and first east of the Mississippi River ever to claim the title. Southern Force completed the week 7-0 with victories over the Chattanooga (TN) Yankettes, 7-1; American (CA) Athletes, 1-0; the Shamrocks (Va.), 2-0; Blast Gold (TX), 3-2; Corona (Calif.) Angels, 2-1; and Impact Gold(TX), 1-0. Southern Force defeated the California Cruisers, 3-2 in ten innings for the title. This summer the Southern Force won four tournaments - the Orland Park (Ill.) Sparks Invitational, the ASA Sector 2 Junior Tournament, the NSA Qualifier in Peoria, and the Show-Me Classic in St. Louis. Martin, a powerful left-hander from Vienna, Ill., started 15 games for Illinois this season with 10 hits, two doubles, and six RBI. Diller will join the Illini this fall after a stellar career for Normal Community. The all-state performer drove in the game-winning run in the championship game for the Force with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the tenth.