URBANA — Emily Oestreich needed some help from her teammates on the Illinois softball team to record a win in the final home opener of her Illini career.
The help arrived in the fourth inning.
The Illini brought across five runs in the frame, wiping out an early deficit, and pulled away from there for a 9-4 victory over IUPUI on Tuesday afternoon at Eichelberger Field in Urbana.
Trailing 1-0, Illinois (17-5) tied the game up and later took the lead on RBI singles from Bella Loya and Kailee Powell. Carly Thomas, who finished 3 for 4, struck for the biggest blow of the fourth inning on a three-run double.
The Jaguars (6-21) closed to within 5-4 using a three-run fifth inning. The Illini again answered, however, with a run in the fifth and three more in the sixth innings to gain a comfortable margin.
Oestreich (4-2) picked up the win despite allowing seven hits and four runs (three earned) in five innings.
Bullpen leads way in win. A battle of the bullpens favored Illinois on Tuesday afternoon.
The Illini's four pitchers threw a combined five-hitter, allowing Dan Harteb's team to continue its fast start to the 2019 season. Illinois' 4-1 win at Saint Louis extended its winning streak to seven straight and the Illini (14-3) also tied their best 17-game start since 1959.
Ryan Schmitt (1-0) put up scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth for Illinois, allowing two hits. Sean Leland followed Schmitt with an impressive three innings, striking out six and permitting only one hit (a bunt). Garrett Acton closed it out for the Illini by working around a pair of ninth-inning walks.
Illinois was led by Jeff Korte's two-hit, two-RBI game and Cam McDonald's two RBI and two runs against SLU (9-10).
In women's golf
Freshman records top-10 result. Crystal Wang's steady play across 54 holes was rewarded with a top-10 finish.
The Illinois freshman golfer, who led the field in pars (40), tied for eighth overall in the Briar's Creek Invitational at The Golf Club at Briar's Creek in Johns Islands, S.C.
Wang finished at 1-under 215 for the tournament following a final round 2-under 70 on Tuesday afternoon. Fellow freshman Kornkamol Sukaree also had a strong showing (tied 20th, 3-over 219).
The Illini, however, placed 11th overall out of 17 teams with a three-round total of 23-over 887.
In women's tennis
Illini suffer road defeat. Illinois' early lead quickly evaporated with Texas sweeping all six singles matches, eventually handing the Illini a 6-1 loss on Tuesday afternoon in Austin, Texas.
The Illinois tandems of Jaclyn Switkes and Sasha Belaya and Emilee Duong and Daniela Pedraza Novak won 6-0 and 6-3, respectively, in doubles, putting the Illini ahead 1-0.
But, the 18th-ranked Longhorns took five of the six singles matches in straight sets, with Duong the lone Illinois player to force three sets. Duong won the first set, 6-4, before dropping the next two to lose her match.
In women's gymnastics
Four rate Big Ten honors. Mary Jane Otto headlined the four Illini who received Big Ten accolades, with the redshirt senior from Akron, Ohio, earning First Team All-Big Ten recognition.
Otto has won nine individual titles this season in collecting the third All-Big Ten accolade of her career. Junior Karen Howell, along with sophomores Kasey Meeks and Kylie Noonan, added Second Team All-Big Ten accolades.
The Illini now focus their attention on the Big Ten Championships, which begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday in University Park, Pa.