One step forward – four back

CHAMPAIGN – Jimmy Conroy hardly missed a beat in his much-awaited return to the mound Sunday.

Meanwhile, Illinois'' batting attack remained missing in action.

Illini make new Big Ten memory

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Brian Wilson, Michael Calkins and Phil Stolt remember the last time the Illinois tennis team had an unsuccessful outcome in Big Ten action.

The year was 2001. The four-time defending league tournament champion Illini were facing Ohio State in the title match, and freshmen Wilson, Calkins and Stolt were in the lineup. The result was a painful loss to the Buckeyes.

Illinois golfers second

Illinois'' Patrick Nagle and Joe Affrunti finished sixth and seventh, respectively, leading the men''s golf team to a second-place finish at the Bruce Fossum/TaylorMade Invitational on Sunday in East Lansing, Mich.

Affrunti (219) shot a team-best 72 in the final round, and Nagle (218) shot a 73 Sunday. The Illini finished 4 strokes behind Indiana, the team''s best finish in five events this spring.

Tate: Basketball program sees another repeat

Let''s see now. A product of the Chicago Public League, Aaron Spears, encountered multiple difficulties – not the least of which was a bad knee – at this institution of higher learning and elected to leave the Illinois basketball program.

Did somebody express surprise? Was somebody fooled because he told the coach one thing and did something else? Is nobody paying attention to history?

Spring gleaning

Staff writer Bob Asmussen, with the help of colleagues from across the Big Ten, takes a look at good and the bad of the spring football season, which wrapped up last week:

UI Roundup

With their season winding down, Erin Jones and Janna Sartini kept the Illinois softball team on a roll.

Jones'' sacrifice fly in the 10th inning scored Sartini and gave the Illini a 1-0 win Saturday at Wisconsin. It was the fifth consecutive win for Illinois, which plays a doubleheader today at Minnesota.

UI''s Gorski can''t stop team''s slide

CHAMPAIGN – This was one time Tim Gorski couldn''t play the role of stopper.

Not with one run of support from Illinois'' anemic attack.

Tiley''s team ready for rematch

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The last time the two got together, it was a closer-than-expected 4-3 Illinois win. In today''s Big Ten men''s championship match, Craig Tiley''s team can''t wait for another shot at Ohio State.

"I think we can do better than we did," Tiley said. "We''ll be ready for them."

Rain goes away, pain stays

CHAMPAIGN – The wait wasn''t worth it for the Illinois baseball team.

Trailing 5-0 in the second inning when heavy rain interrupted play for nearly two hours, the Illini couldn''t mount a comeback and lost another Big Ten series opener Friday night, 8-1 to Penn State.

Women''s tennis stumbles

Sujay Lama''s third-seeded Illinois women''s tennis squad probably would have rather stayed outside in the rain.

The Illini lost 4-2 to sixth-seeded Ohio State on Friday in Evanston, where light rain and cool temperatures forced Big Ten tournament matches to be shifted indoors.