Softball Splits Big Ten Doubleheader at Illinois
Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score
CHAMPAIGN, Ill., April 5, 2003 - The Nittany Lion softball team dropped the opening game of the doubleheader at Illinois, 6-0, but bounced back to defeat the Illini, 2-0, in the nightcap at Eichelberger Field on Saturday afternoon. Freshman Destinie Chavez (San Leandro, Calif./San Leandro) scored both runs of game two, also knocking out her second home run of the season.
The Lions are now 18-13 on the season and 3-3 in the Big Ten. The Illini are 24-8 and 2-2 in conference action.
Illinois exploded for five hits and five runs in the third inning, as the Illini batted around the order in the inning. Sarah Baumgartner posted the Ilini's first hit of the game with a one-out single to left field. Another hit and a walk loaded the bases for Erin Jones who knocked out a three-run triple to give Illinois a 3-0 lead. Three batters later, Janna Sartini knocked out a two-run homer to push the lead up to five run.
Sarah Baumgartner led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run to extend Illinois' lead to 6-0.
The Nittany Lions had their opportunities to get on the scoreboard. In the first inning, Penn State had runners on second and third base, however, Illini pitcher Amanda Fortune recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, the Lions loaded the bases with two out and Fortune forced a ground out to end the threat.
Amanda Fortune posted her sixth shutout of the season, improving to 15-5. Junior Marisa Hanson (Victoria, Texas/Victoria) fell to 9-7. Sophomore Tina Skelly (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) came in relief in the third inning and struck out three batters and allowed just one hit.
The Lions were outhit 7-4, with senior captain Gina Bianchini (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) and classmate Erin Norton (Orange, Calif./El Modena) each tallying a hit.
The Nittany Lions took their first lead of the day, 1-0, in the third inning of the nightcap. Penn State got back-to-back hits from Chavez and junior Barbie Pierce (Citrus Heights, Calif./El Camino) to put runners on first and second. Illini pitcher Sherri Taylor mishandled a grounder from sophomore Mandy Nuxoll (Kelso, Wash./Kelso) to load the bases. Senior Kelley Galigher (Pleasanton, Calif./Foothill) then knocked out a base hit which ricocheted off the pitcher's leg, allowing Chavez to score. Taylor, however, ended any further threat, striking out her second batter of the inning.
Penn State added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a lead-off, solo home run from Chavez, her second on the season.
Skelly allowed just four hits as the starter, earning the win and improving to 6-5. Redshirt junior Shana Riggleman (Seaford, Del./Seaford) records the save and combined for the shutout with Skelly.
Chavez was perfect at the plate, going 2-for-2, while three other Lions also tallied a hit each.
Penn State travels to Northwestern to close out the weekend. The Wildcats host the Lions for a doubleheader at 12 p.m. CT on Sunday, April 6.