A look at Illinois baseball and softball heading into the College World Series

Illinois baseball and softball are gearing up for the home stretch of the 2022 campaign.

  • Illinois Baseball

The Illini baseball team has had an up and down season, but they are hoping to turn it around heading into the Big Ten Tournament.

After a slow start, going 3-7 in the first ten games, the Illini fought back to get above .500. The momentum really shifted for this team in April. They won six straight games between April 9-17. From there, they played around .500 ball for the rest of April. Illinois then dropped the first game in May but won five straight games from May 3-13.

Currently, the Illini sit with a record of 28-20 with a three-game series against Penn State being the only remaining game on the schedule before postseason play begins.

The Big Ten Tournament begins May 25 at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. As of May 12, the NCAA D1 RPI Rankings list Illinois as the No. 79 overall team in the country. With only 64 teams able to make the College World Series, they will need a strong finish to the regular season, as well as a deep run in the conference tournament, in order to be solidly in the field this June.

The Illini seem to be peaking at the right time as the team’s overall play has been trending upwards in the latter half of the season. This should make for a fun and very exciting finish to the 2022 campaign.

If interested in watching Illini baseball make a late-season push for the College World Series, you can watch them on the following dates and channels. May 19 on the Big Ten Network and May 20-21 on Big Ten+, all slated to begin around 1 p.m. CT at Penn State.

  • Illinois Softball

Moving on to the Illini softball team, they have had a strong season as well. So far this season, the team has posted a solid .307 batting average with a team on-base percentage of .366.

These strong hitting stats are backed up with great defensive numbers as well. As a team, Illinois allows a .219 opponent batting average with an on-base percentage of .288. Sustaining these important margins has helped the team achieve a current record of 34-20 heading into the first found of the Women’s College Softball World Series.

Currently, the NCAA.com D1 Softball Rankings list the Illini Women as the No. 34 overall team in the nation.

The Illini play in the regionals of the College World Series on Friday, May 20 in Columbia, Missouri. Given that it is a semi-local game for many St. Louis metro-area-based Illini fans, we highly encourage you to come out and support the team as they begin regional play in the first round against the Arizona Wildcats. The game begins at 3:30 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN+ and additional audio will be available on many local Illini affiliated radio stations.

If Illinois advances, the next day they will play against the winner of Missouri State and Missouri.

Any updates to the game schedules for Illinois baseball or softball can be found on the Illini athletics site page for each of the teams.