Penn State bombs UI

   ANN ARBOR, Mich.  Illinois lived by the home run and died by the home run Friday at the Big Ten softball tournament.

   The Illini, who defeated Wisconsin 2-1 on Alicia Hammel''s home run in the sixth inning Friday morning to stay alive, were eliminated 5-3 by Penn State. The Nittany Lions (32-23) scored two runs in the sixth on Jennifer Tripken''s home run.

Tiley''s gang happy to share glory in NCAA hunt

URBANA – This time last year, you could make a case for Chris Martin as the nation''s best high school tennis player.

These days, he shows up for Illinois'' tennis matches unsure if he''ll even crack the top six in singles.

Hamma, Butcher set UI precedent

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – It''s a good thing Illinois qualified for the Big Ten softball tournament.

Otherwise, Linsdey Hamma and LeeAnn Butcher wouldn''t have been on hand to pick up their All-Big Ten honors at Thursday''s banquet.

Buckeyes blank UI; Jones adds shortstop

Four scores and two errors in the second inning were too much for Illinois'' softball team to overcome against Ohio State on Thursday at the Big Ten tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Nothing finer than Illini opponent

   CHAMPAIGN  On the whole, Illinois'' men''s basketball schedule won''t pack the same punch in 2002-03 that it did in 2001-02.

   But the highlight is a real knockout.

Illini Insider

   News-Gazette staff writer Jeff Huth''s weekly review and preview of Illinois sports:

Former Illini injured

   Guard Anne O''Neil, who left the Illinois women''s program after one season, sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in a knee, the Ames (Iowa) Tribune reported.

Freshman wise beyond years in racing tactics

   CHAMPAIGN  In the midst of test-taking and studying for final exams, Tim Hobbs is finding welcome refuge this week at the Illinois Outdoor Track Stadium.

   For the UI freshman, practice is a chance to temporarily clear a mind on academic overload.

Illinois loses aide to Duke

Illinois women’s basketball associate head coach LaVonda Wagner moved closer to home Tuesday, accepting a similar job with Duke after eight seasons with the Illini.

Illinois softball team back to business after Big Ten calls

   Mike Larabee was mowing his yard.

   Larry Crews was planting flowers.

   Sherri Taylor was shopping for a Mother''s Day card.