CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois softball team fell out of the latest rankings, released Tuesday. The Illini (36-17, 14-8 B1G) had been ranked No. 22 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll but after losing five of six games last week, they dropped out. Overall, Illinois has lost six of its last seven games.
“We’re staying positive,” Illinois sophomore catcher Stephanie Abello said. “We’re all about the team, the process, coming into Big Ten’s strong despite whatever has happened recently. I think we’re all very positive and very amped for this weekend.”
“We’re hoping to steal a few from some teams that stole a few from us,” Illinois senior outfielder Nicole Evans said. “So we’re going out to crush some teams this weekend and just have fun.”
Illinois earned a first round bye in the Big Ten tournament and awaits the winner of No. 5 Nebraska and No. 12 Penn State Friday at 12:30 p.m. CT. Michigan is hosting the three-day tournament.