Zymkowitz sparkles in softball split
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Danielle Zymkowitz went 3 for 4 and drove in three runs to lead the Illinois softball team to a 9-3 win against Purdue in the first game of a Big Ten doubleheader Wednesday. Ashley Conrad went 2 for 2 with two RBI for the Illini in support of pitcher Pepper Gay (13-9), who scattered six hits and struck out four.
The Illini lost the nightcap 11-6 despite three hits, a homer and three RBI from Meredith Hackett. Zymkowitz and Hollie Pinchback (RBI) each had two hits for Illinois (19-15, 6-2).
"In the first game, we pitched solid, and we took the lead and kept scoring," Illinois coach Terri Sullivan said. "I like that we had different people step up. However, in the second game, we knew we were going to have to compete offensively, and we didn't have great discipline at the plate."
SIU 3, UI 0. Justin Parr, Casey McMurray, Brandon Hohl, Pete Cappetta and Davis Hendrickson all had hits for the Illini in a 3-0 loss to visiting Southern Illinois.
Matt Milroy, Luke Joyce, Will Strack and Wes Braun combined to pitch 41/3 innings of scoreless relief for the Illini (11-17).
Since scoring 19 runs on 31 hits in taking two of three games against Iowa over the weekend, the Illini combined for one run and nine hits in back-to-back losses to Eastern Illinois and Southern Illinois.
Coaches honored. On the eve of the NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio, Illinois coach Justin Spring was named the Central Region's Coach of the Year at the College Gymnastics Association/NCAA awards banquet. Assistant coaches Ivan Ivankov and Luke Stannard were honored as the region's Assistant Coaches of the Year.
"It's very unexpected, but it's great to be chosen by other coaches who combine for over 100 years of experience in gymnastics," Spring said. "It's truly an honor. For Ivan and Luke, the award is a testament to the help they give me, and they deserve every bit of recognition they get."