Baseball team turns on power in loss

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois is still a pitching and defense team. The Illini entered their weekend series against South Florida with the lowest ERA in the Big Ten and tied for third in fielding percentage.

Small ball isn’t out of the picture, either. Illinois checked in at second in the Big Ten in stolen bases before taking two of three from the Bulls.

Errors ruin softball gem

URBANA — Illinois softball pitcher Jade Vecvanags did not allow an earned run Sunday.

Vecvanags struck out 10 batters.

She limited Minnesota to three hits.

And somehow lost the game.

The 15th-ranked Gophers (27-4, 3-0 Big Ten) took advantage of two second-inning errors and edged the Illini 3-2 in the Big Ten series finale.

Sunday's prep highlights: Snider, Central shine in Florida

COCOA BEACH, Fla. —  Jake Snider had four hits and five RBI, leading Champaign Central to a 19-0 baseball victory against St. Agnes, Minn., on Sunday.

N-G preseason baseball rankings: No. 3 SJ-O

WHY NO. 3?

Two power pitchers with Division I futures, Eastern Illinois University recruit Cole Berry and junior Dalton Parker, who is receiving interest from multiple schools, headline the pitching staff. Lake Land recruit Clayton Slifer is a hard-throwing reliever. Coach Josh Haley has 10 players who can pitch. Never a bad option to have.

U of I vs Minnesota Softball

University of Illinois Softball vs Minnesota, Sunday, March 22, 2015 at Eicrhelberger Field. The Illini fell to the Golden Gophers 3-2. 

U of I vs South Florida Baseball

University of Illinois Baseball vs South Florida, Sunday, March 22, 2015 at Illinois Field. 

All-Area Girls' Basketball POY: STM's Lexi Wallen

CHAMPAIGN — Lexi Wallen’s greatest impact depends on which basketball teammate is talking about the St. Thomas More senior.

Her value goes beyond the school-record 2,209 points she scored in her prep career or the 118 games she helped the Sabers win during her tenure.

Room may run out for season ticket-holders

SPRINGFIELD — Ticket prices for the five Illini games in Springfield next November aren't final, but with fewer seats available they could cost a bit more than what fans pay at State Farm Center, one official says.

All-Area Girls' Basketball: Meet the '14-15 first team

Taylor Bauer
Watseka, Sr., F

The numbers: Parkland College volleyball recruit top scorer (14.1 average) and three-point marksman (45) on a 21-win team. Also had a team-high 68 blocked shots and second in rebounding at 4.8 per game. Made team-best 64.7 percent of free throws. Career points: 1,042.

Capital gain

Hear John Groce's thoughts on this deal Monday at 5:10 on WDWS.