ILLINOIS KNOCKS OFF THE HORNETS, WINS 2007 CAPITAL CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIP
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Illinois scored 16 runs in the first inning on the way to an 18-3 victory over Sacramento State in the fifth and final round of the Capital Classic Softball Tournament Sunday morning at the Sacramento Softball Complex.
With the victory, Illinois wins the Capital Classic championship by virtue of its 5-0 record at the three-day tournament. Purdue also finished 5-0, but Illinois was crowned champions after winning the run differential tiebreaker over Purdue. In fact, Illinois, who improved to 16-9 overall this season, mercy ruled four of its five opponents at the tournament.
Iowa State lost to Illinois, 9-2, on Friday and the seven run differential in that game was the closest any team got to the Illini. Illinois outscored its five opponents at the tournament by a 58-7 margin. Illinois wins its first Capital Classic championship in its fourth trip to the tournament.
Sacramento State, which was hosting the Capital Classic for the 15th straight year, concluded the tournament with a 1-4 record. The Hornets dropped to 6-18 overall with the loss, the team’s worst mark after 24 games since joining the Div. I ranks in 1990.
In the top of the first inning, Illinois scored 16 runs with 14 hits. In fact, Illini leadoff batter Angelena Mexicano went 3-for-3 in the inning with two home runs and a single. The 16 runs were the most ever scored in an inning by a Sacramento State opponent in the program’s history. Mexicano finished the game 4-for-4 with three runs scored and a game-high four RBIs.
Sacramento State scored its three runs in the top of the fifth as the game was called after five innings because of the mercy rule. The Hornets got their runs on an RBI-double from Kayla Meeks, and RBI-singles from Amy Jo McKenzie and Whitney Loomis.
McKenzie finished the game 1-for-3, and extended her career-high hitting streak to seven games. During that seven-game span, the senior third baseman is batting .391 (9-for-23) with nine RBIs. Loomis and Meeks both finished the game with two hits and an RBI.
Vicky Brown (10-3) picked up the win for the Illini, while freshman Brittani Clifford (1-4) got the loss for the Hornets.
Sacramento State returns to action for one game as the team hosts Kansas on Tuesday, March 20, at 1 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to be a doubleheader, but the teams will now play just one game.