TULSA, Okla. – Seattle University softball pounded out a season-high 15 hits and Carley Nance pitched her second complete game in two days as the Redhawks beat No. 25 Illinois, 5-2, at Tulsa Saturday. The victory marks SU’s first-ever win over a nationally-ranked opponent.
“This was a great team effort today,” said Coach Geoff Hirai. “We were outstanding in all facets of the game and our energy was amazing.”
SU (11-7) used a steady offensive attack to take control of the game, knocking at least two hits in every inning on the day. Nance was sharp in the circle, keeping the Illini off-balance throughout the contest.
In the top of the first, Illinois got a runner to third with just one out. Nance responded with a comebacker and then a looking strikeout to end the frame.
She allowed a leadoff single in the second, but retired the next three hitters to get the Redhawks back to the plate.
In the bottom of the second, Cherise Silvan tallied a bunt base hit and Breanna Timmons singled. Alyson Matriotti followed with a two-run triple to left for a 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, Ally Choate drilled a home run over the right centerfield fence, making it 4-0.
Illinois answered with a single run in both the third and fourth, but Seattle U came back with a key insurance run in the fifth. Grace Dudden led off with a walk and Silvan again claimed a bunt single. With one out, Matriotti reached on a bunt hit of her own, loading the bases. Olivia Viggiano earned a walk to plate a run and give SU a 5-2 margin.
In the sixth, Nance walked the leadoff hitter. The Illini looked to move the runner ahead, but Bailey Thompson's throw to second forced the runner to turn back for first. Timmons caught the throw and threw to Kaylee Ree, who tagged out the runner for the first out of the frame.
After another walk, Nance induced a 6-4-3 double play to close the frame.
Nance capped the day with a 1-2-3 seventh to get her seventh win of the year.
Nance threw all seven innings. She allowed one earned run on five hits, while striking out four hitters. Choate went 3-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Silvan recorded three hits and scored twice, while Matriotti, Viggiano, and Dudden each had two hits on the day.
The Redhawks are scheduled to take on Northern Iowa tomorrow. First pitch is slated for 9 a.m. Central (7 a.m. Pacific) at Oklahoma State.