Illinois Softball: Eastern Illinois Game Preview

On Tuesday, the Illini will face a very tough challenge when they play the Panthers of Eastern Illinois University on Tuesday.

June 5, 2011; Fullerton, CA, USA; A detailed view of a composite barreled bat that meets the new NCAA guidelines as of January 2011 before the start of a game between the Cal State Fullerton Titans and the Illinois Fighting Illini in the Fullerton regional of the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament at Goodwin Field. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Illinois, a school located 45 minutes south of Champaign, is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference. The Panthers are having a great season, as they are 25-10, having won 18 of their last 20.

The Illini, on the other hand, have not fared quite as well. They are sporting a record of 11-21, losers of 9 of the last 10.

Head coach Terri Sullivan should rely heavily on her two top hitters, Alex Booker and Jess Perkins.

Booker is one of the bright spots on this Illini lineup. She is batting .359 with a .422 on base percentage. Perkins is bringing the runs home, pushing 22 RBI’s on the year.

When the Panthers travel to Champaign on Tuesday, Illinois’ number one problem will be keeping Hannah Coloe in check.

She is batting .408 for the Panthers and has brought home 25 RBI’s.

The pitching duo of Hanna Mennenga and Stephanie Maday has to also be a concern for Illinois. Mennenga is sporting a 1.30 ERA, Maday has a 1.61 ERA, and they combine for 293 strikeouts on the year.

If the Illini hope to win, it may come down to limiting mistakes in the field, and maximizing the chances with runners on base. If Illinois can find a way to get to Eastern Illinois early, they may be able to edge out the Panthers in what could be an exciting game to watch.

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Tags: Alex Booker B1G Big Ten Eastern Illinois Panthers Hanna Mennenga Hannah Coloe Illinois Fighting Illini Jess Perkins Softball Stephanie Maday Terri Sullivan

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