NCAA Softball News

Midweek Contests against No. 25 Missouri and Valparaiso Await Fighting Illini

Midweek Contests against No. 25 Missouri and Valparaiso Await Fighting Illini


Illinois softball gets prepared for midweek contests against No. 25 Missouri and Valparaiso this week. The Fighting Illni take on the Tigers in a doubleheaders on Tuesday, beginning at 1 p.m. CT. The home opener against Valpo on Wednesday is slated for 1 p.m. CT.


Missouri enters the doubleheader at 16-9 having lost three-straight games to No. 16 Kentucky. The Tigers were outscored 16-0 during the series with the Wildcats. Alex Honnold paces the squad, batting .473 this season. The West Des Moines, Iowa, native holds 21 RBI for her junior campaign, adding five home runs and six doubles. Cierra Harrison leads the squad this year with a 2.81 ERA including 45 strikeouts.

Valparaiso sits at 3-14 this season, losing five straight. The three triumphs for the Beacons this season came against Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois and Bellarmine.The team ranks 24th nationally with 0.47 double plays per game. Regi Hecker owns a team-high .33 batting average while Easton Seib holds a 5.35 ERA.


The Illini went 4-1 at the USF Tournament last weekend, including wins against all four teams in attendance. Illinois closed out its weekend with a 3-0 triumph over Saint Francis on Sunday. Lauren Wiles tossed a complete game shutout, fanning four batters during the victory. At the plate, the Fighting Illini were led by Avrey Steiner, who went 1-for-3 on the day with a triple. Gabi Robles compiled a noteworthy performance at the dish as well, going 1-for-1 with an RBI.


The Fighting Illini’s season opener served as a family reunion as head coach Tyra Perry faced off against younger sister Brittney Williams in a battle of the head coaches. Williams is in her second season at the helm for Southern.

The Illini’s 14-2 triumph over the Jaguars marked first meeting between the two teams and the two head coaches. Williams played under Perry at WKU in Perry’s first four years leading the program. With the Hilltoppers, Williams played in 168 games, making 104 starts. She logged 45 hits, 53 runs and 21 stolen bases during her four-year career. 


Sydney Sickels continues to etch her name in the Illinois softball record books. During the Fighting Illini’s 6-4 extra innings victory over Fordham, Sickels fanned 21…

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