No. 3 Softball Crushes Illinois, 9-1

March 21, 2003

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The third-ranked Washington softball team (28-2-1) utilized 11 hits, including three home runs to pound Illinois, 9-1, and invoke the mercy rule on Friday. With the win, the Huskies move to 2-0 at the Capital Classic.

The Fighting Illini scored in the first frame, taking a 1-0 lead on two hits and an error. Janna Sartini led off the inning with a single up the middle of the infield. Pinch runner Jenna Hall then moved to second on a Washington throwing error and scored on a single to left field by Katie O'Connell.

UW answered in the second inning with four runs on four hits. Kristen Rivera (Perris, Calif.) and Dena Tyson (Corona, Calif.) got the rally started with line drives into the outfield. Aimee Minor (San Jacinto, Calif.) then belted a three-run home run over the right centerfield fence to put the Huskies up, 3-1. Sarah Hyatt (Sedro-Woolley, Wash.) followed with a solo shot to left field to give the Dawgs the 4-1 edge. It marked the seventh time this season that the Huskies have notched back-to-back homers.

Washington pushed its lead to six in the third inning with three more runs on four hits. Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.) led off with a bunt single and Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) followed with a single through the left side. Rivera then pounded her 14th home run of the season over the left field fence to put the Dawgs up, 7-1.

The Huskies put the game away in the fifth inning, scoring two more runs to invoke the mercy rule and force Illinois to walk off the field in defeat. Rivera kicked things off with a single up the middle and was replaced by pinch runner Traci Tawney (Fall City, Wash.). Tyson drew a full-count walk and Minor followed with a double to centerfield to score Tawney. Hyatt then reached base on an Illinois error, which scored Tyson to end the game.

Bollinger (15-1) notched the win as she held the Fighting Illini to four hits, while striking out six.

The Huskies return to tournament play on Saturday with a double header versus Morehead State and Utah. Game time for the MSU match-up is slated for 10 a.m.

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