Women's gymnasts set scoring mark
CHAMPAIGN — Senior Day for the Illinois women’s gymnastics team also was a history-making day.
The No. 13 Illini scored a program-record team total Saturday in a 197.100-194.450 victory against Lindenwood at Huff Hall. The previous mark of 196.975 was set March 12, 2011, at the State of Illinois Classic.
“It’s exciting for the team; it’s exciting for the program,” UI coach Kim Landrus said. “We had a lot of stuck landings (Saturday). We’ve really been working on that.”
Sunny Kato won two events for Illinois, and senior Sarah Fiedler claimed the first all-around title of her Illini career.
Kato placed first in uneven parallel bars and balance beam. Fiedler, who placed second in balance beam and tied for second in uneven parallel bars, totaled 39.325 points. She edged teammate Giana O’Connor by 0.025 point for the all-around crown.
Other Illini event winners included Erin Buchanan (vault) and Amber See (floor exercise).
In men’s gymnastics:
Depth on display. Six individuals won events for seventh-ranked Illinois, which rolled to a 427.850-401.900 victory against Illinois-Chicago at Huff Hall.
Illini freshman Chandler Eggleston scored a 15.400 to finish first in the vault. Other UI winners included Fred Hartville (floor exercise), Cole Smith (pommel horse), Joey Peters (still rings), Cameron Rogers (parallel bars) and Jordan Valdez (high bar).
Illini swept. The Illini had their four-game winning streak halted in a doubleheader sweep by Western Kentucky at Bowling Green, Ky.
David Kerian’s two-run home run in the third inning of the nightcap gave Illinois a 3-2 lead, but the Illini (6-6) were shut out thereafter in a 5-3 loss.
In the opener, Illinois’ bullpen couldn’t preserve a 3-1 lead as the Hilltoppers (9-5) rallied in the eighth inning to pull out a 4-3 victory. Ronnie Muck (0-2) threw two run-scoring wild pitches in the eighth, and Tyler Jay yielded an RBI single that put WKU ahead for good.
Illinois outhit the Hilltoppers 14-11. Leadoff hitter Will Krug went 4 for 5 and scored twice. Michael Hurwitz was 3 for 4 with an RBI.
Homer sinks Illinois. Illini pitcher Brandi Needham gave up a two-out, two-run home run in the sixth inning as No. 14 South Alabama broke a 3-3 tie en route to a 5-3 victory in the Florida Atlantic tournament at Boca Raton, Fla. Alex Booker had three of Illinois’ six hits, and teammate Ruby Rivera slammed a solo homer.