May 21, 2010
Missouri is hosting an NCAA Softball Regional for the second consecutive year. Mizzou hosted both DePaul and Illinois last season as well, with the Tigers winning the Regional en route to a Women’s College World Series appearance.
Illinois will face the winner of the Mizzou vs. Creighton contest Saturday at Noon. Illinois has never faced Creighton and is 0-1 vs. Mizzou, with that lone meeting coming last season in NCAA Regional play.
Illinois recorded its 44th win of the season, its second highest win total in school history. The school record is 45 wins set in 2004.
Illinois snapped its five-game losing skid to home-state rival DePaul. Illinois’ last win vs. the Blue Demons came in 2007.
The NCAA Regional win was Illinois’ first since 2004. The Illini won three games at the Waco Regional before falling to #3 LSU in the Championship Game. Illinois is 6-6 all-time at NCAA Regionals.
Illinois has won 17 of its last 18 games, with its only loss coming May 6 at DePaul.
Monica Perry recorded her 24th win of the season. It ties her season high and is the third most wins in school history. Perry also won 24 games in 2009.
Ashley Conrad recorded her first triple of the season to help put Illinois back on top (3-2) in the bottom of the fourth inning. The two-run triple led to Conrad’s 34th and 35th RBIs of the season. She later scored her 24th run of the year on a throwing error.
The triple has been a rare occurrence for the Fighting Illini this year with Conrad’s three-bagger being the team’s fifth of 2010.
Hollie Pinchback extended Illinois’ lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth with a sacrifice fly to center. The RBI was her 43rd of the season, the eighth most in school single-season history.
Illinois entered Friday ranked #5 nationally in batting average (.329), but managed just three hits off DePaul pitching. However, the Illini capitalized on three walks and two hit-by-pitches (in addition to an illegal pitch) to win 4-2.
DePaul lost for just the third time in its last 20 games dating back to April 10. The Blue Demons also had their five-game winning streak vs. Illinois snapped.
DePaul suffered a defeat in the opening round of the Columbia Regional for the second consecutive year. The Blue Demons fell to Bradley 1-0 in last year’s Regional opener.
DePaul is now 38-30 all-time in NCAA play and now 2-3 in games played at the Columbia Regional the last two years.
Becca Heteniak suffered the loss on Friday and is now 20-11 on the season. She did record six strikeouts in 4.0 innings of work, while walking three. At one point Heteniak struck out five consecutive Illini batters.
Alex Morocco drove home both DePaul runs on Friday. She opened the game’s scoring with a two-run single to center in the top of the third inning. It marked her 17th and 18th RBIs of the year.
Tara Voss helped make that two-run single happen with her 10th stolen base of the year. She is now 10-of-12 on stolen base attempts this season.