UI Roundup: Illini push win streak to 7

UI Roundup: Illini push win streak to 7

CALEDONIA, Mich. — The Illinois softball team swept Michigan State on Saturday in a doubleheader at Davenport University’s Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex.

The Illini (31-10, 10-2 Big Ten) won Game 1 6-5 in eight innings after pinch hitter Rowan McGuire’s RBI single in the eighth. Breanna Wonderly went the distance, allowing just two earned runs.

In Game 2, Illinois broke a 5-5 tie in the fifth inning by plating four runs, highlighted by a home run from senior Nicole Evans — putting her just two longballs behind the program record for a career.

Arcola product Taylor Edwards earned the win after relieving starter Erin Walker in the second inning. Edwards allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings of work.

“Breanna Wonderly and Taylor Edwards did a great job in their respective games,” coach Tyra Perry said. “I am very proud of my team’s overall effort to take (Saturday’s) doubleheader and ultimately earn the sweep against Michigan State.”


In baseball

Wildcats roll. Illinois allowed 10 runs in the first four innings Saturday, as Northwestern beat the Illini 11-4 at Illinois Field.

Matt Hopfner hit an inside-the-park home run and Joe Hoscheit blasted a grand slam for Northwestern.

Cyrillo Watson allowed 10 runs in 3 1/3 innings pitched for Illinois (13-19, 2-6 Big Ten).
Pat McInerney had three hits and an RBI, while Dan Rowbottom hit his third home run of the year.


In men’s tennis

Illini beat Wolverines. Illinois went on the road and defeated No. 14 Michigan 4-2 on Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Despite dropping the doubles point, the Illini (13-9, 6-2 Big Ten) won four of five completed singles matches to clinch the win.

Aleks Vukic, Aron Hiltzik, Aleks Kovacevic and Noe Khlif won their respective singles matches for Illinois.

“It’s always tough to get road wins in the Big Ten, so we take those and move on,” Illinois coach Brad Dancer said. “Michigan dismantled us in doubles. There is really nothing left to say about that.

“In singles, we had some guys stay very focused (Saturday), and that helped put up a quick two points. That gave a bit of breathing room for the other guys and (Kovacevic) turned his match around with a gritty performance.”


In women’s golf

Illini in third place. At its final tournament of the regular season, the Illinois women’s golf team was in third place as a team after the first two rounds of the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.

Illinois shot 297 in both rounds, putting its total at 18 over for the tournament. Texas leads at 13 over.

Individually, the Illini were led by Tristyn Nowlin and Chayanid Prapassarangkul, who both were 2 over and tied for sixth. Nowlin posted the second-lowest score in the first round after shooting 70.


In men’s track and field

Kendziera wins pair. At the Mt. SAC Relays, Illini hurdler David Kendziera won both the 110- and 400-meter hurdles on Saturday. The junior won the first event in 13.71 seconds, while taking the 400 hurdles in a season-best 50.35 at Torrance, Calif.

“Dave was a star among a lot of really good athletes,” Illinois coach Mike Turk said. “I think he’s exactly where he needs to be right now. I think he’ll continue to improve as we move through the rest of the season and into the championships season. Dave is a great competitor, so I think he’s in a perfect spot right now.”


In women’s track and field

Driver wins long jump. Illinois’ Briana Driver won the long jump by clearing 19 feet, 3/4 inch at the Gamecock Invite on Saturday at Columbia, S.C.

Teammate Janile Rogers was the runner-up at 18-7 3/4.

At the Bryan Clay Invite in Asuza, Calif., Valerie Bobart set a personal best (10 minutes, 27.46 seconds) in the steeplechase. Her time, along with Nicole Choquette’s 800-meter finish (2:06.56) on Friday, will likely qualify for the NCAA West Prelims.

“We want to continue to increase the number of people that we can take to the NCAA first round,” Illinois coach Ron Garner said. “Our belief as a staff is that if we can qualify and get to the NCAA first round, then we should also have athletes that can contend and score points at Big Ten Championships.”


In volleyball

Illini win pair. Illinois’ spring schedule continued with a pair of matches Saturday at Redbird Arena in Normal.

The Illini defeated Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 25-18, 25-14 in their first match, then beat Illinois State 18-25, 25-21, 16-14.

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