Fisher pitches Illini to ranked win

Fisher pitches Illini to ranked win

CHAMPAIGN — Andy Fisher got the Illinois baseball team off to the perfect start.

The left-hander tossed eight shutout innings Friday night and the Illini cashed in for a 4-0 victory over No. 19 Indiana at Illinois Field, marking the eighth win for Illinois in the past 10 conference games.

"We knew Andy was a good matchup," Illini coach Dan Hartleb said. "He is a guy that pounds the zone, stays ahead in the count and locates down. He did an outstanding job against a really good hitting team."

Illinois (30-15, 9-7 Big Ten) finally broke through on the scoreboard against Pauly Milto in the fifth inning on Jeff Korte's sacrifice fly. Grant Van Scoy followed with an RBI double in the sixth, and Korte brought in another run on a fly ball later in the inning to put the Illini ahead 3-0.

The Hoosiers (30-15, 11-5) had only two base runners reach second base all night, as Fisher retired 14 batters in a row from the third through seventh innings. He finished with nine strikeouts and permitted only three hits and two walks.

In softball

Illini end skid. Veronica Ruelius led the offense with three RBI, Taylor Edwards and Sydney Sickels pitched well inside the circle and the Illinois softball team snapped a nine-game Big Ten losing streak with a 7-2 win over Purdue on Friday night at Eichelberger Field.

The Illini (29-22, 7-14 Big Ten) received 4 2 / 3 steady innings from Edwards, who allowed five hits and two runs, before Sickels took over against the Boilermakers (30-24, 6-15). The freshman lasted the final 2 1 / 3 innings, permitting only two walks, to pick up her fifth save, a single-season program record.