Spencer, Riley double up at Big Ten meet; baseball splits in Texas

Spencer, Riley double up at Big Ten meet; baseball splits in Texas

LINCOLN, Neb. — Freshman Ashley Spencer won a pair of races Saturday, helping Illinois to a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten Indoor track championships.

Spencer took the 200 in 23.24 seconds and won the 400 in 53.49. She was also a member of the winning 1,600 relay team, joining Asia Thomas, Latoya Griffith and Ashley Kelly to clock a 3:34.89. That was almost a full second faster than second-place Penn State.

The Illini finished with 79 points, trailing Nebraska (114.5), Ohio State (106) and Penn State (99).

In men's track & field:

Riley leads the way. For the fourth consecutive year, Riley is the Big Ten indoor hurdles champion. For the first time, he is the 60 dash champ, too.

Riley won the 60 hurdles in 7.62 seconds, edging teammate Cody Wisslead. Riley won the 60 dash in 6.62.

"Winning the 60 (dash) for the first time meant a lot to him and I am so happy for him," Illinois coach Mike Turk said. "He was dominant in both events."

Riley scored 20 of Illinois' 49 points, which was good for seventh. Indiana won the team race, scoring 104 points to edge Minnesota (100) and Nebraska (99).

Wisslead ran a personal-best time to finish second in the 60 hurdles. It was the fifth-year senior's final college meet.

"He inspired a bunch of guys today," Turk said.

In baseball:

Illini knock off hosts. After dropping its first game against Gonzaga 7-3 in the YMBL Cardinal Classic, Illinois beat host Lamar 9-2 at Beaumont, Texas.

Willie Argo had five hits and Brandon Hohl was 4 for 9 during the game, including a home run.

"In game one, I was disappointed because we came out in the first inning and just didn't make plays," Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb said. "We didn't have a lot of quality at-bats in that game and we didn't keep them off the board in the middle innings. In the second game, we shuffled the lineup and guys responded."

The Illini are scheduled to play the hosts again this morning. Freshman John Kravetz will make his first career start.

In softball:

Back to .500. Illinois took a pair of games in Clearwater, Fla., to even its record at 6-6. In the opener, the Illini held Winthrop to four hits in a 3-2 win, Kelley Wedel contributing two hits for the Illini.

In the second game, Illinois pounded out 10 hits in a 4-2 win against UMass. Brittany Sanchez led the way with three hits in the second game.

In women's tennis:

Alabama edges Illini. Illinois went 1-1 in the weather-delayed Blue-Gray Invitational at Montgomery, Ala. The Illini blanked Princeton 4-0 before losing 4-3 to Alabama.

Freshman Melissa Kopinski won both of her singles matches for Illinois.