Feb. 26, 2017
THE FLATS – Tied 6-6 in the top of the seventh, Illinois (8-5) scored four runs en route to a 10-6 win against Georgia Tech (6-10) on Sunday afternoon on the final day of the I-75 Challenge.
How It Happened
The Illini got on the board first thanks to a three-run home run in the opening stanza. The Jackets countered with back-to-back home runs from leadoff batter Samantha Pierannunzi and Jessica Kowalewicz in the bottom of the same frame to make it 3-2.
Tech took the lead 5-3 in a back-and-forth battle with three runs in the fourth inning. Drew Puckett and Draven Sonnon laced together singles, and Pierannunzi walked to load the bases. Kowalewicz drew a walk to bring in Puckett, and Sonnon scored on a sacrifice fly courtesy of Malea Bell. Pierannunzi was brought home on an Illinois throwing error for the third run.
Despite turning its ACC-leading ninth double play thanks to a catch by Sonnon in left who fired to first for the 7-3 double play, Illinois scored a run in the fifth to make it a one-run game, 5-4. The Fighting Illini scored a pair of runs in the sixth to regain the lead, 6-5.
The Jackets got a run back in the sixth as Kelsey Chisholm’s sacrifice fly plated Kowalewicz, who singled to reach base. Illinois rallied for four runs in the seventh inning and sealed the 10-6 victory.
Georgia Tech reliever Jenna Goodrich (4-3) suffered the loss, throwing two innings with four runs on six hits. Illinois used three pitchers in the win with Taylor Edwards (5-1) as the pitcher of record after throwing four innings with one run on two hits.
“We’ve got to be sharper,” head coach Shelly Hoerner said. “I liked our fight. I thought we responded pretty well throughout the game with it being a back and forth game. We’ve got to be much better defensively. Overall, hitting-wise, we had a lot of opportunities we didn’t cash in on. We have to make sure we are taking care of business.”
– Kowalewicz went 2-for-3 with two runs, two RBI and a walk
– Pierannunzi went 1-for-3 with two runs and a walk
– Karissa Arnold drew two walks
– Rebecca Prairie singled
– Puckett went 1-for-2 with a run and two walks
– Sonnon went 1-for-3 with a run and a walk
– Entering the game Tech was second in the ACC in walks (47) and the Jackets walked seven times against Illinois
The Jackets open ACC action on the road at No. 1 Florida State for a three-game series Friday-Sunday.
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