EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Illinois women’s gymnastics team placed fourth during Saturday’s Big Ten Championships, compiling 196.475 points. Nebraska won the eight-school meet with a score of 197.800.
The Illini won their afternoon session.
“We have been talking about momentum all year long and continued to build it in the month of March,” Illinois coach Kim Landrus said.
Alina Weinstein finished fifth in the all-around (39.450) to pace the Illini. Weinstein’s highest finish came when she tied for second in the floor exercise at 9.950, which was the same score teammate Amber See recorded.
See and Weinstein made the 2013 All-Championship Team.
In men’s gymnastics
Yoshi Mori of Illinois came away with a first-place finish in all-around, but Nebraska beat the Illini 425.400-424.250 during a Big Ten dual meet at Huff Hall.
“We just had big misses everywhere,” UI coach Justin Spring said. “Our hit percentage was very low once again. In this unforgiving format, we can’t allow these things to keep happening. I’ve seen every guy hit his routine this season. We just can’t get it together on the same day.”
Mori scored 85.050 to win the all-around despite not winning an individual event. He placed second in the floor exercise (15.200) and third in the parallel bars (14.800).
Chad Mason won the pommel horse (14.550), Mike Wilner the rings (15.600) and Austin Phillips the horizontal bar (14.750) for the Illini.
Illinois lost its first Big Ten series of the season against Nebraska after splitting a doubleheader at Illinois Field.
The Illini won the first game 8-7 in walkoff fashion before losing the second game 6-4.
In Game 1, the Illini (14-6, 1-2) loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning before Alex Lincoln laid down a suicide squeeze to score Thomas Lindauer (2 for 4, RBI).
“Alex did a very good job to get us in the win column in the Big Ten,” UI coach Dan Hartleb said. “We put pressure on him in the very last inning with that call by coach (Eric) Snider, but he laid down the perfect bunt that wasn’t defendable.”
Illinois collected 15 hits in the first game. Will Krug (3 for 5), David Kerian (2 for 4, two RBI) and Reid Roper (1 for 5, two RBI) led the way.
Bryan Roberts (3-0) pitched two innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit while striking out one and walking one.
In Game 2, the Cornhuskers pushed across two unearned runs in the top of the eighth to break a 4-4 tie.
Tyler Jay (1-3) suffered the loss in relief while Justin Parr and Kelly Norris-Jones each finished with two RBI.
Illinois lost twice to Wisconsin at Eichelberger Field, 5-1 and 5-2.
Alex Booker had a hit in each game while Linnea Detrick drove in both runs during the second game for Illinois (10-15, 0-3).
Pepper Gay (6-9) struck out six in a complete game in the opener. Shelese Arnold (4-5) was tagged with the loss in the second game, giving up four runs on seven hits to go along with five walks and five strikeouts.
“We cleaned up some things (Saturday), defensively and in the circle, which was a needed quick fix,” Illinois coach Terri Sullivan said. “I like that we scored first in both games, but we need to put up more than one run at this time of the year. We have to have production at the plate.”
In men’s tennis
Illinois bounced back from losses to the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 teams, shutting out Nebraska 7-0 at Atkins Tennis Center. Stephen Hoh and Ross Guignon won in straight sets for the Illini.
In men’s golf
Illinois was 22 over in the final round to finish in 12th place at the Desert Shootout at Goodyear, Ariz.
Junior Thomas Pieters tied for third overall at 3 under after a final-round 76.
“We never got into it from the start today,” Illinois coach Mike Small said.