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Illinois Battles By Tech

Feb. 26, 2017

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Box Score 

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.”

Quick Hits
– 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

Up Next
The Jackets open ACC action on the road at No. 1 Florida State for a three-game series Friday-Sunday.

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