WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Danielle Zymkowitz went 3 for 4 and drove in three runs to lead the Illinois softball team to a 9-3 win against Purdue in the first game of a Big Ten doubleheader Wednesday. Ashley Conrad went 2 for 2 with two RBI for the Illini in support of pitcher Pepper Gay (13-9), who scattered six hits and struck out four.
The Illini lost the nightcap 11-6 despite three hits, a homer and three RBI from Meredith Hackett. Zymkowitz and Hollie Pinchback (RBI) each had two hits for Illinois (19-15, 6-2).
CHAMPAIGN — Apparently, the news that Jereme Richmond has left the Illinois basketball program did not, in fact, shake the hoops world from its axis.
"Are you serious?" Illini recruit Devin Langford said Wednesday when told Richmond had announced he would enter the NBA draft. "That's crazy, man. But good for him. Best of luck to him."
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Illinois women's gymnastics team finished second in the Tuscaloosa Regional on Saturday to advance to the NCAA Championships.
Illinois scored 195.925 to edge third-place Penn State (195.850) for the final qualifying spot. Alabama won the regional at 197.275. The national meet is April 15-17 in Cleveland.
CHAMPAIGN — It probably should come as no surprise that an Illinois gymnast won the Big Ten pommel horse title Saturday night at Huff Hall. Or that senior Daniel Ribeiro was the guy who did it.
The two-time U.S. champion and 2009 NCAA titlist in the event earned the third league crown of his career.
Justin Spring's Illini had a banner weekend at the Big Ten Championships at Huff Hall. The News-Gazette's Robert K. O'Daniell and Robin Scholz were there with their cameras.
Minutes after his Illinois men's gymnastics team had clinched its third straight Big Ten title, Justin Spring already had his eye on a bigger prize.
An NCAA title that last belonged to the Illini in 1989.
Illinois men's coach Justin Spring was kind enough to weigh in with his thoughts on this weekend's Big Ten Championships:
Tyler Mizoguchi had reason to pay attention to the recent grim news out of Japan.
Relatives of the Illini junior gymnast were among the thousands directly affected by the massive offshore earthquake and tsunami March 11 that continues to cripple parts of the Asian nation.
URBANA — It's one thing to be a member of the U.S. men's gymnastics team and participate in its training program. Illinois junior All-American Tyler Mizoguchi had been there and done that.
It's another to represent your home country in an international meet, something that until recently was missing from Mizoguchi's Team USA resume.