Illinois softball splits doubleheader against Ohio State amid inconsistencies


Candice Zhou

The illini come together celebrating halfway through the game on date. Though they did not display the strongest performance on day but were able to pull the win against team.

By Shawn Sloan, Contributing Writer

The Illini (24-20, 11-3) wrapped up a doubleheader in Champaign on Saturday with the Ohio State Buckeyes (27-14, 8-6), finishing 1-1 throughout the day.

The Illini have dropped six of their last eight games, with their struggles clear. There are many flaws throughout the team and making it out of tough innings has been a weakness lately.

This first game was high scoring, as Ohio State was able to drive in nine earned runs against Illinois. However, the Illini bats were able to successfully respond, as they matched their third-highest run total of the season with 13. The offense carried the Illini to the win in game one. Junior infielder Megan Ward led the way with three runs, with freshman infielder Sydney Malott following with two runs and four RBIs.

Game one saw the Illini end their eight-game losing streak when the pitching staff allowed five or more runs.  However, the second game did not go in their favor.

The Buckeyes are among the Big Ten’s best offensive teams, but their pitching has been problematic that got them into trouble in the first game. However, they have shown plenty of signs that they are a threat in the conference. It showed later in the day.

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Illinois dropped the second game of the doubleheader as they lost to Ohio State 9-1, as the bat just was not hitting this game. Head coach Tyra Perry continued to make changes to the lineup, but that didn’t stop some of the inconsistent problems for Illinois. Sophomore designated player Zoie Howard was able to secure the only run, but the rest of the team was quiet for the whole game.

The Buckeyes usually count on their hitting to help them in big games, as they showed in the second game as they were able to show their strength every inning. If the Illini have postseason plans, they must figure out an answer to right the ship so that they are prepared for a stretch of intense and competitive games late in the season.

Illinois is back in action on Tuesday versus Illinois State at 5 p.m. CDT as it looks to get a much-needed win.


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