Illinois softball ends rainy California weekend with 1-2 record


Austin Yattoni

Illinois head coach Tyra Perry talks to her team during game one of the doubleheader against Nebraska at Eichelberger Field on Saturday, March 26. The Illini won game one 8-3 and game two 10-2.

By Tatiania Perry , Staff writer

In a weekend characterized by rain delays, the Illinois softball team only played three of its five scheduled games in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, California. The Illini finished the weekend with a 1-2 record.

On the first day of the tournament a delay pushed both games back. Afterward, Illinois took on Saint Mary’s College in the first game.

Junior Annie Fleming hit an RBI double to left field, sending sophomore Kiana Sherlund home. A double steal in the second sent junior Maddi Doane home and put the Illini up 2-0.

Sophomore pitcher Taylor Edwards continued her strong play, picking up her third win of the season and allowing just one earned run on three hits.

Freshman Hanna Nilsen made her Illinois debut, giving up one hit and one walk.

“(Nilsen) still has a lot to work on,” said head coach Tyra Perry. “Her outing against Saint Mary’s showed us that we are still kind of working with her on trusting herself and trusting coach Lance (McMahon).”

Saint Mary’s College scored in the top of the fifth with an RBI ground out, but Illinois responded with a two-out rally in the bottom of the frame with three runs on six hits.

Junior pitcher Kate Giddens finished the game with a hitless seventh inning.

Later that day Illinois played California — the only team it had lost to at that point in the season.

“This time we were pretty uptight which was kind of odd,” Perry said. “I expected us to have more of a revenge type mode.”

The Bears snagged an early 2-0 lead with a two-run single in the second inning.

The Illini responded in the third when junior Leigh Farina came home on an RBI triple from Sherlund.

That was all the Illini scored though, losing again to California.

After five rain delays, the second day of the tournament was canceled. Illinois did not play UC Davis or Arkansas.

Though the day was frustrating with the delay and eventual cancellation of the games, the team took time to bond, Perry said.

In the final day of the tournament Illinois took on the No. 9 Oregon Ducks.

“We have to realize when we are in those situations that no one expects us to win, so that’s when we can go out and have a nothing to lose mentality,” Perry said.

The Ducks won 11-0, and the Illini ended the weekend with a 1-2 record.

Next weekend the team heads to Georgia to compete in the I-75 Challenge.

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