Illinois hosts first Softball Alumni Game Sunday

Erin Jones returns Sunday for the first Illini Softball Alumni Game
Erin Jones returns Sunday for the first Illini Softball Alumni Game

Sept. 23, 2004

Champaign, Ill. - Illinois softball hosts its First Annual Alumni Game on Sunday (Sept. 26) at Noon at Eichelberger Field. The Illini graduated its first class of seniors in 2004 and most will return to take on the current Illinois squad. Admission is free.

The On-Deck Circle booster club will have a pork chop cookout before and during the game. Sandwiches will be sold for $4 with chip and drink just an extra $1. The On Deck Circle will also have membership applications available as well.

The Illini posted a 167-85-2 record, advanced to four Big Ten Tournaments, and two NCAA Tournaments, in the past four years. The Illini graduated nine seniors and are working hard this fall in filling those spots.

The Illini competed in the Chicagoland Classic Sept. 17-18 in Orland Park, Ill., their only other outside competition in the fall, going 2-3 with victories over Western Illinois and Northern Iowa.

Junior Rachelle Coriddi has been moved to shortstop, a position she played in high school, and freshman Angelena Mexicano played second base and shortstop during the five-game tournament while Coriddi played a couple of games at second base.

LeeAnn Butcher, who has moved to center field from left, went 2-for-3 with a stolen base and a run scored in a 3-2 win over Northern Iowa. Sophomore Molly Lawhead started in right field over the weekend, and singled and scored in Illinois' 9-0 win over Western Illinois. Freshmen Mackenzie Smith and Sarah Bryers also started games in the outfield over the weekend. Julie Balicki has taken over the catching duties, and had a hit in four of the five games, including a triple to lead off the second inning vs. NIU.

Sophomore Mary Miller threw a no-hitter in the victory over WIU, allowing just two base runners. Freshman Claire DeVreese, recorded the victory against Northern Iowa, allowing two unearned runs and scattering six hits.

Freshman Shanna Diller (third base) and junior Jenna Hall (first base) rounded out the infield starters for the Illini. Hall, batting third in the line-up, doubled home a run and her pinch runner Elene Planinsek scored on a single from Diller (hitting in the fourth spot in the order). Those runs in the sixth inning gave Illinois a 2-1 lead against Notre Dame. Unfortunately, the Irish came back to win 3-2 with runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh. Hall had good tournament, with a double, two RBI and two runs scored vs. Western Illinois and an RBI triple in the victory over Northern Iowa.

The Illini have two more instrasquad scrimmages - on Monday and Tuesday, rounding out the fall practice schedule.