Illinois Softball: Alex Booker Helps Illini Sweep Hawkeyes in Doubleheader

The Illinois Fighting Illini were able to continue their winning ways as they swept the Iowa Hawkeyes in their doubleheader on Tuesday.

Illinois came into Tuesday’s doubleheader riding a three game winning streak which snapped their previous losing streak of nine games.

In game one on Tuesday, the Fighting Illini used a huge second inning in order to get the win,8-5. They scored all of their eight runs in that inning.

June 5, 2011; Fullerton, CA, USA; A detailed view of a composite barreled bat that meets the new NCAA guidelines as of January 2011 before the start of a game between the Cal State Fullerton Titans and the Illinois Fighting Illini in the Fullerton regional of the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament at Goodwin Field. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

In the second inning, the Illini racked up a total of six hits (four of them being RBI hits). Katie Repole started the offensive onslaught with an RBI single to center field. Then, Kylie Johnson and Brittany Sanchez knocked in two RBIs each on singles. The final RBI came when Jessica Davis reached on a fielder’s choice. Illinois also got two runs off of an Iowa error and walked batter.

The winning pitcher for Illinois in the first game was Shelese Arnold. Arnold pitched the final two games for Illinois in their series against Indiana and was named the Big Ten pitcher of the week. She pitched 4.1 innings against Iowa and gave up four runs on five hits and walked two batters.

The losing pitcher for Iowa was Kayla Massey. She only lasted 1.1 innings, but was the pitcher that gave up all eight of Illinois’ runs.

If Iowa thought the Illinois offense was going to slow up in game two, they were dead wrong. The Fighting Illini were able to score three runs in both the third and sixth innings to record the 6-3 victory.

The heavy hitters for the Illini in game two were Kylie Johnson, Alex Booker, and Jessica Davis. All three players had two hits in the games and accounted for four of Illinois’ six RBIs.

Johnson played very well during the entire doubleheader on Tuesday. She went 5-for-8 with three RBI, two runs and her first career triple.

Just like the final two games against Indiana, the Fighting Illini had their starting pitcher go the distance and pitch a complete game. That pitcher came in the form of Pepper Gay. During her seven innings pitched, Gay gave up three runs on six hits and struck out five batters. Although, she did walk seven batters.

After the doubleheader, head coach Terri Sullivan said:

These were two big TEAM road wins. We were really READY to play today,  and I thought we had a strong competitive spirit from start to finish. We are seeing the ball much better at the plate and have matured in our overall pitch by pitch concentration. Pepper was a great leader for us today, in both games; she was focused and confident.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are now 16-25 overall and 6-11 in the Big Ten this season.

The Illinois Fighting Illini will play their next game against the Michigan State Spartans. They will play the Spartans on April 26th, 27th, and 28th.

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Tags: Alex Booker Brittany Sanchez Illinois Fighting Illini Iowa Hawkeyes Jessica Davis Kylie Johnson Pepper Gay Shelese Arnold Softball

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