Softball splits first games of season

By Sultan Abdul-Ahad

The Illini softball team had mixed results in their six games this weekend.

In their first game of the season, they defeated Centenary 4-2.

Freshman pitcher Claire DeVreese pitched seven innings and allowed two runs, five hits and struck out five.

The Illini scored three runs in the first inning thanks in large part to a two-run double by freshman second baseman Angelena Mexicano. The fourth Illini run came from a fielder’s choice ground ball by freshman infielder Shanna Diller that scored sophomore outfielder Molly Lawhead.

“Our first-year players were outstanding, and they played with maturity beyond their years,” said head coach Terri Sullivan.

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In their second game that day, the Illini lost to 17th ranked Baylor, 5-2. Four of the five Bears’ runs were unearned. Illinois committed three errors.

“We lacked in confidence sometimes this weekend,” Sullivan said.

One bright spot in that game was sophomore pitcher Mary Miller. She came on in relief and pitched four scoreless innings.

Saturday was not a good day for the Illini as they lost both of their games.

In the first game, they lost to Louisiana-Monroe 8-5.

The Illini took an early 3-0 lead, but the Indians scored five runs in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth. Illinois came back with two runs in the sixth inning but couldn’t get any closer.

In their second game, the Illini lost to Baylor again, this time by a score of 3-1. Bears’ pitcher Lisa Ferguson pitched a complete game, allowing one run and six hits.

After the Illini tied the game at one in the top of the third inning, Baylor scored two runs on one hit in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good.

On Sunday, the Illini won both of their games. They defeated Louisiana-Monroe 7-5 and Centenary 8-3.

Against Louisiana-Monroe, the Illini were down 5-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning. That is when the Illini sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven runs.

Junior first baseman Jenna Hall delivered the key hit with a bases-clearing double that gave them a 4-3 lead. After Diller hit an RBI single, Mexicano rounded out the scoring with a two-run single.

In their final game of the weekend against Centenary, the Illini scored four runs in the first inning, kicked off by Jenna Hall whose double scored junior shortstop Rachelle Coriddi. The Illini would score once in the fourth inning and put the game away, scoring three runs in the fifth.

“We had many individuals step up which is a good sign early in the year,” Sullivan said.