CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Zoe Schafer homered twice and Bailley Concatto added her first home run of the season Wednesday, but the SIUE softball team couldn't overcome an early surge in a 13-4 loss at Illinois.
SIUE dropped to 12-19 and returns home Friday for a 2 p.m. doubleheader against UT Martin. Illinois improved to 27-14.
Schafer took over the team lead in home runs with her fourth and fifth of the season. She belted solo homers in both of her first two at bats during the second and third innings.
"I was just looking for quality at bats and was trying to get on base," said Schafer. "I wasn't looking for home runs."
"She worked hard this past week on her fundamentals, and it paid off," said SIUE Interim Head Coach Jessica Jones. "She had a good day today."
Concatto added a one-out solo home run in the fourth inning.
"She ripped one down the line. She cleared her hands, and it was beautiful," added Jones.
Illinois pushed hard early with a four-run rally in the first inning and six more in the second. Katie Wingerter led the Fighting Illini with three RBIs.
Jones said the Cougars have some work tomorrow before taking on the Skyhawks Friday.
"We'll work hard tomorrow and clean up some mental mistakes," said Jones.
"We have the ability," said Schafer. "We just need to go in and take care of business.