Illinois softball to host Southern Illinois Edwardsville


The Daily Illini File Photo

Illinois’ Breanna Wonderly (20) pitches the ball during the softball game v. Purdue at Eichelberger Field on Sunday, Apr. 26, 2015.

By Erich Fisher, Staff writer

The Illinois softball team will take on Southern Illinois Edwardsville at Eichelberger Field on Wednesday.

The Illini are coming off a sweep of Purdue. The 3-0 victory over Purdue improved Illinois’ record to 27-10 and 7-2 in the Big Ten.

Illinois is now ranked No. 25 in the nation. 

Head coach Tyra Perry said that her team has been close to meeting its expectations at the midpoint of the season so far.

“We want to be the best team that we can be, and I would say we are pretty close to that,” Perry said. “At this point, we are playing the best ball that we can play.”

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The Illini continue to be hot at the plate this season with six of nine players in the lineup batting above .300.

One player who has a hot bat for Illinois is sophomore Stephanie Abello. In her freshman year, she batted .238 while hitting no homers and 12 RBIs.

This year, she is batting .361 with the second-most home runs on the team with 10 and the third-most RBIs with 28.

“This year, my teammates have really inspired and have given me a lot of confidence in myself,” Abello said. “I think that whole dynamic is spreading around to everyone, and that is why we are having so much success.”

On the mound, the duo of senior Breanna Wonderly and sophomore Taylor Edwards have been dominant so far in the season. Wonderly is 13-9 with a 2.55 ERA and a no-hitter, while Edwards is 11-1 with an ERA of 2.36.

Perry has nothing but praise to hand out to her top-two pitchers.

“The stability that Wonderly gives us is awesome; we need her. She is a self-made person,” Perry said. “Edwards has a tremendous amount of talent that we haven’t even seen yet. She’s just a sophomore, so when she is fully developed, we are going to have a power house in Taylor Edwards.”

If Illinois wins tomorrow against SIUE, this will be its fourth-straight before the team visits Michigan State this weekend.