Women's gymnasts reach nationals

MINNEAPOLIS — The No. 11 Illinois women’s gymnastics team earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships on Saturday night by placing second at the Minneapolis Regional.

With a score of 196.600, the Illini edged No. 14 Minnesota by 0.25 point for the runner-up spot. No. 2 Oklahoma won with a 197.725.

Eggleston wins title on floor

LINCOLN, Neb. — Illinois gymnast Chandler Eggleston finished first in floor exercise Saturday at the Big Ten Championships.

Eggleston posted a 15.725 in the event.

C.J. Maestas was second on the rings for the Illini, who received second-place showings from Jordan Valdez on the parallel bars and horizontal bar.

Maestas earns rings title

LINCOLN, Neb. — Illinois gymnast C.J. Maestas won the rings title Friday night at the Big Ten Championships.

Maestas posted a 15.900, and Penn State’s Trevor Howard was second at 15.700.

The Illini finished fourth in the team standings at 435.350. Michigan won the team crown, totaling 448.200.

In softball:

Sunday Conversation: Chandler Eggleston

When the University of Illinois athletic department selects its Men’s Newcomer of the Year for the 2013-14 academic year, surely Chandler Eggleston will receive serious consideration. Beginning in mid-January, the native of Jamestown, N.C., won five consecutive Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards in men’s gymnastics. It’s the longest Big Ten award streak in program history.

Hawkeyes win softball series

URBANA — The Illinois softball team has work to do in the Big Ten race after dropping a conference-opening series to Iowa this weekend at Eichelberger Field.

The Illini lost two of three to the Hawkeyes, salvaging the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader with a come-from-behind 4-3 victory in eight innings.

Iowa built a 10-4 lead in the opener and held on for a 10-7 victory.

Bloch-Jones ties for 14th at nationals

Albuquerque, N.M. — Illinois freshman Kandie Bloch-Jones tied for 14th in the women’s high jump and earned second-team All-America honors Saturday at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Women's gymnasts set scoring mark

CHAMPAIGN — Senior Day for the Illinois women’s gymnastics team also was a history-making day.

The No. 13 Illini scored a program-record team total Saturday in a 197.100-194.450 victory against Lindenwood at Huff Hall. The previous mark of 196.975 was set March 12, 2011, at the State of Illinois Classic.

Duchene, Illini blank No. 23 Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kevin Duchene scattered three hits in nine innings, leading Illinois to a 6-0 baseball victory against No. 23 Florida on Friday night.
Duchene struck out six and walked two.
Earlier Friday, Ryan Castellanos picked up his first win of the season, allowing two runs in seven innings, as the Illini edged Florida Gulf Coast 3-2.

Booker hits for cycle in softball victory

ARLINGTON, Texas — Left fielder Alex Booker became the first Illini softball player to hit for the cycle, leading Illinois to a 9-1 victory against Creighton on Sunday.

Illinois (11-3) concluded the UTA Hilton Invitational with a 4-2 victory against Texas-Arlington.

Women's gymnasts take title

NORMAL — Amber See won the vault Friday night with a perfect 10.000, helping the Illinois women’s gymnastics team to the State of Illinois Classic, held at Illinois State’s Horton Field House.

The Illini finished at 195.825 to beat Illinois-Chicago (194.300), Northern Illinois (193.625) and Illinois State (193.200).