CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois softball is headed to the Big Ten Tournament this weekend in East Lansing, the first one held in two seasons.

Illinois is in the topside and gets a bye out of the first round. The tournament starts Thursday and the Illini will play the winner of Ohio State and Purdue. It is the first Big Ten Tournament since 2019 after it was canceled for COVID the last two years. For most girls on the team it will be their first postseason experience.

“We didn’t remember anything. We were like, ‘Do we do this? Do we do that? When do we leave?'” head coach Tyra Perry said. “Seeing all the teams in the Big Ten in one place is really exciting.”

“The familiarity of it is still pretty new since I’ve only done it one other time,” senior Avery Steiner said. “But just the confidence in the preparation, what are team has done this season is definitely a comfort going into the tournament.”

Perry and the Illini will be looking for their first ever Big Ten title.