Softball team stuns Michigan

Softball team stuns Michigan

URBANA — Brandi Needham scattered five hits in six innings, leading Illinois to a 10-2 Big Ten softball victory Friday against fourth-ranked Michigan at Eichelberger Field.

Brittany Sanchez went 3 for 4 with three RBI for the Illini, who received two hits and three RBI from Jess Perkins.

Alex Booker and Ruby Rivera each added two hits for Illinois, which scored three runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings.

In men’s tennis:

Illinois moves on.
Ohio State might be the team to beat, but Illinois coach Brad Dancer’s squad is peaking at the right time.

The Illini, who have won a season-high eight consecutive matches, defeated Indiana 4-1 on Friday in a Big Ten tournament quarterfinal in East Lansing, Mich., and advanced to a semifinal today against Michigan.

Illinois won its 14th doubles point of the season Friday. Jared Hiltzik and Farris Gosea won their match 8-1. Blake Bazarnik and Alex Jesse won 8-6 to clinch the opening point.

“We showed some resiliency in doubles (Friday),” Dancer said. “The guys stayed focused when events turned against them.”

Top-seeded Ohio State defeated eighth-seeded Michigan State 4-2 on Friday.

In women’s tennis:

Illini bounced.
Melissa Kopinski was Illinois’ lone singles winner, and fourth-seeded Purdue defeated fifth-seeded Illinois 4-2 on Friday in a Big Ten tournament quarterfinal at Evanston.

“By winning doubles, we put ourselves in a good position to walk away with the win,” UI coach Michelle Dasso said. “I feel like we might have let this one slip through our fingers. I am so proud of our girls’ efforts.”

Illinois’ Misia Kedzierski and Louise Kwong won their doubles match 8-2, and Jerricka Boone and Alexis Casati won 8-3.

In men’s track & field:

Klein, relay take third.
Illinois’ Cody Klein placed third in the pole vault at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, leaping 16 feet, 43/4 inches. Eastern Illinois’ Peter Geraghty cleared 18-01/2 to take the title.

The Illini’s 3,200-meter relay team was third in 7 minutes, 23.07 seconds. Washington won in 7:18.50.

In women’s track & field:

Ejesieme, Wallace-Sipp show way.
Jesica Ejesieme was fourth in the 400 hurdles at the Drake Relays, clocking 58.38 seconds. Jazjuan Wallace-Sipp was third in the discus, throwing 166-7.

In women’s golf:

Schuldt in the hunt.
Ember Schuldt carded a 5-over-par 77 and was tied for 17th place, 5 strokes off the lead, after the first round of the Big Ten Championships in French Lick, Ind.

The Illini were tied for ninth at 316.

“It was a challenging day for everyone,” UI coach Renee Slone said. “The golf course played tough.”