COLUMBIA, Mo (WCIA) — Illinois was looking for a win over Missouri State for the NCAA Regional round. After losing to Arizona day 1, they needed this win to move forward in the tournament.

Illinois softball needed to break out of their offensive slump to keep their season alive against Missouri State, but the Illini could only muster one runner for the whole game as their season comes to an end in the NCAA Regional Round.

“I think we kind of stayed stubborn a little bit and ended up having the same at-bay over and over and not making the adjustment that needed to be made, and I think teams took advantage of that and I think experiences like this help support the narrative of growth mindset, as opposed to being comfortable and comfort mindset,” Illinois head coach Tyra Perry said.

The Illini got an outstanding performance from Sydney Sickels, holding the Bears to just three hits in six innings, but one of those, a third inning home run by Olivia Krehbiel was the difference.

The Illini end 34-22 on the season, but with five straight losses the finish leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of the Illini.

“I think a word that almost kind of grinds my gears is potential,” Illinois senior pitcher Sydney Sickels said. “We have the skill, we don’t have the potential. We have it. Just need to take advantage of that next year.”

“It’s not the ending that we wanted,” Perry said. “I think our team was capable of more. As the coaching staff, we’re going to sit down and take a look at that and come up with a plan to prepare for next year.”

Looking ahead there are still positives for this Illini team as they return almost their entire team next season, with many players first taste of postseason play taken care of, the team is already focused on getting back here next season.