After giving up two unearned runs in the opening frame, the Fighting Illini softball team scored seven unanswered runs en route to a 7-2 win over Wisconsin on a wet and rainy Friday (April 28) night at Eichelberger Field.
With rain playing a major factor in schedule changes, the Illini and the Badgers were originally set for a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m., before weather forced the games to be moved up to 3 p.m. The two teams were finally able to take the field for a single game beginning at 7:30 p.m.
With the win, the Illini improved to 35-11 and 13-3 in the Big Ten, while the Badgers drop to 28-13 and 7-11 in the league standings.
Wisconsin jumped out to an early 2-0 lead as an infield single, combined with an Illini error brought in two unearned runs home in the opening inning.
The Illini wasted little time in tying the score with a two-RBI double to left center from sophomore Stephanie Abello in the bottom of the first, before the Batavia, Ill., added her second double of the contest in the third to drive in junior Annie Fleming for the 3-2 advantage.
A four-run fifth frame, highlighted by a two-run double through the left side from junior Leigh Farina, then sealed the Illini victory.
Senior Breanna Wonderly (18-9) earned the win after giving up just two unearned runs on five hits and three walks and striking out three in a complete game effort.
As a team, the Illini registered five hits – all going for doubles – and two errors in the win. Abello paced the Orange and Blue with a 2-for-2 performance with three RBI and a run, while Fleming and senior Nicole Evans added two runs and a hit on the night.
Wisconsin's Kaitlyn Menz (19-8) took the loss after allowing seven earned runs on five hits and seven walks in four and a third innings.