CLEARWATER, Fla. — A three-run third inning and some steady late pitching from Taylor Murray and Sydney Sickels resulted in a sweep of Saturday’s games for the Illinois softball team at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.
The Illini knocked off 21st-ranked Mississippi 3-1 before Illinois rallied for a 5-4 victory against South Alabama in the nightcap.
Trailing 3-1 to the Jaguars, Illinois (3-0) scored four runs on RBI singles from Bella Loya and Danielle Davis and a two-run double by Shelby Stauffenberg.
After the Illini added an insurance run in the fifth inning, Murray and Sickels made sure that Illinois lead held up, combining to allow one run and three hits across the final four innings.
In the first game against the Rebels, Addy Jarvis, a Youngstown State transfer now in her first season at Illinois, pitched well. The sophomore scattering six hits and one run across 5 2 / 3 innings to pick up her first win as an Illini.
Illinois scored all three of its runs in the first two innings to back up Jarvis.
Track and field
Wells wins again. Jonathan Wells made it two event titles on the weekend. The Illinois redshirt senior — and winner of Friday night’s men’s long jump — added a high jump title during Saturday’s final day of the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.
Wells jumped 7 feet, 1 / 4 inch (2.14 meters) to claim the high-jump title.
Illinois also saw Olivia Howell place second in the 800 meters and Grace Rodgers finish third in the 3-kilometer race. Jason Thermostat, Jaden Jackson, Robert Williams and Declan Rustay were also the runners-up in the men’s 1,600-meter relay.
Illini fall in Chicago. Emilee Duong got Illinois on the board with a 6-4, 6-1 victory in her singles match, but the Illini didn’t have enough firepower to knock off No. 5 Texas in a 4-1 loss on Saturday night at the 2020 ITA National Indoor Championships in Chicago.