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Illinois softball team plays in first home games of the season in double-header against IUPUI

Illinois%27+Carly+Thomas+%2825%29+attempts+to+make+contact+with+the+ball+during+the+softball+game+v.+Purdue+at+Eichelberger+Field+on+Sunday%2C+April+26%2C+2015.+Purdue+won+8-7.
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Illinois softball team plays in first home games of the season in double-header against IUPUI

Illinois' Carly Thomas (25) attempts to make contact with the ball during the softball game v. Purdue at Eichelberger Field on Sunday, April 26, 2015. Purdue won 8-7.

Illinois' Carly Thomas (25) attempts to make contact with the ball during the softball game v. Purdue at Eichelberger Field on Sunday, April 26, 2015. Purdue won 8-7.

Karolina Marczewski | Assistant

Illinois' Carly Thomas (25) attempts to make contact with the ball during the softball game v. Purdue at Eichelberger Field on Sunday, April 26, 2015. Purdue won 8-7.

Karolina Marczewski | Assistant

Karolina Marczewski | Assistant

Illinois' Carly Thomas (25) attempts to make contact with the ball during the softball game v. Purdue at Eichelberger Field on Sunday, April 26, 2015. Purdue won 8-7.

By Thomas Polcyn

Tweet: [email protected] looks to continue its strong play in its home opener Tuesday #Illini

After winning four out of five games in Tampa Bay last week, the Illinois softball team (12-7) will play in its first home games of the season. They will be taking on Indiana University Purdue-University Indianapolis (7-11) in a doubleheader.

Illinois has now won seven out of its last 10 games, and will have an opportunity to pick up two more wins on Tuesday.

The Illini have been led offensively by outfielder and leadoff hitter Carly Thomas, who is hitting .343 on the season. She leads the team in extra base hits, hits, and is also tied for the lead in homeruns.

Defensively, pitcher Jade Vecvanags has been a workhorse so far this season. She has started 11 of the team’s 19 games and currently owns a 2.58 ERA. Vecvanags has also thrown seven complete games and struck out 33 batters this season.

IUPUI is coming off of a 2-3 tournament in Ohio, where they picked up both of their wins against the hosting Miami (Ohio) Redhawks.

Roni Patterson has carried the Jaguars offensively, with a .389 batting average and three homeruns. She is second on the team in overall hits and leads in extra base hits.

Pitcher Brooke Boetjer has played a similar role for the Jaguars as Vecvanags has for the Illini. She has started 8 of the team’s 18 games and has picked up five wins so far. Boetjer has a 3.16 ERA and has struck out nine more batters than anyone else on the team.

The first game was originally scheduled for 2:00, but has been moved up to 1:30 in preparation for the forecasted afternoon rain. Game two will be played 20 minutes after the final pitch of game one.

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