URBANA (WCIA) — The Illinois softball team had a chance to get a first round bye in this week’s Big Ten tournament if they had swept Nebraska in the final series of the regular season. It didn’t happen, as the Huskers beat the Illini on Sunday, leaving the orange and blue with the No. 6 seed.
The loss might have actually helped the Illini (36-17, 13-8 B1G) who will face Maryland in the opening game Thursday, it’s a team they swept last month. A first round win gets Illinois a game with No. 3 Indiana, the Hoosiers come in with a sub-.500 overall record.
“I love where we are in the bracket right now,” Illinois junior Kiana Sherlund said. “I mean we had a chance to this weekend to get a four seed had we won our last game of the series but I really like where we are in the bracket, I think it’s favorable for us.”
“We’re feeling good. We’ve never won a Big Ten championship before so that’s what we’ve been talking about, we want to be the first,” Illinois senior Sam Acosta said.
First pitch between Illinois and Maryland is set for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.