Offense Explodes for 13-0 Victory over Coppin State

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(ISN) – Athens, Ga. – The Fighting Illini softball team closed the Red and Black Showcase on a high note, trouncing Coppin State, 13-0, in five innings. The Orange and Blue put together 12 hits, eight for extra bases including three home runs, while rookie Breanna Wonderly hurled a one-hit gem from the circle. With the win, the Illini finish the weekend 1-4, while Coppin State slips to 0-5.

“We took care of what we needed to today with Bre’s leadership,” said head coach Terri Sullivan. “On the weekend, we didn’t play very good softball, but our staff knows that everyone on this team was accountable and is moving onward.”

Eight different Illini recorded hits in the game, led by Ruby Rivera, who went 3-for-3 with a double, a home run, three runs and two RBIs. Nicole Tobon and Danielle Trezzoboth had two hits and three RBIs, as Tobon doubled and scored twice and Trezzo had a double and her first career triple. Every starter reached base at least once, with eight different Illini crossing the plate. Additionally, freshmen Jill Nicklas, Kate Giddens and Annie Fleming made their first career appearances in the field, while Giddens and Kate Gallagher took their first collegiate at-bats.

The Illini exploded for seven runs on seven hits, four for extra bases, in the bottom of the first. Alyssa Gunther got the hit parade started with a one-out single and was driven in by an RBI single by Rivera. Then Nicole Evans crushed a two-run shot for the first Illini dinger of the season, and Tobon kept it going with an two-run double. Trezzo rocked an RBI triple deep to left center, and Kylie Johnson drove in the final run of the frame, lacing a double to left.

Rivera doubled in the second to get things going for the Illini in the second, and a pair of walks loaded the bases. After an RBI ground out for Perez, Tobon drove in Evans on a single, and Trezzo clocked a two-run double off the top of the wall in left center to make it 11-0 Illinois after two innings.

Allie Bauch showed a little leadoff magic in the bottom of the third, crushing her first home run of the season, and two batters later, Rivera followed suit to run the score to 13-0.

After retiring the first 10 batters of the game, Wonderly (1-1) allowed her first hit of the game to Alanna Williams, a single to center. She would prove the sole Eagle on the basepaths in the game, as the sophomore hurler finished the game with just one hit, no walks and a strikeout over five innings. Oashaja Dobie (0-4) allowed the first four runs on three hits and a walk over one third of an inning, taking the loss. Samantha Denlinger took over midway through the first inning and allowed the final nine runs on nine hits and four walks over three and two-thirds.

Next Up: The Illini return to SEC country on Feb. 13-15 for the February Freezer, hosted by Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss. The Orange and Blue kick things off against UT-Martin at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 13, followed by Mississippi State at 5:30 p.m. Illinois will see Louisiana Tech and Lamar on Saturday and closes out the weekend with another matchup with the host Bulldogs.