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Illinois falls to Ohio State in final regular season game, 3-2

The Fighting Illini softball team wrapped up regular season play with a 3-2 setback to Ohio State on a sunny Saturday (May 7) afternoon at Eichelberger Field.

With the setback, the Illini finish the regular season with a 36-17 overall record and a 14-8 mark in the Big Ten Conference, while OSU wraps up play at 33-15 record and 15-8 in the league standings.

The Buckeyes grabbed an early 2-0 advantage on back-to-back RBI singles in the top of the third, but the Illini got one back as senior Alyssa Gunther knocked a one-out single to centerfield and was brought home on an RBI double to left field from Ruby Rivera in the bottom half of the frame.

Junior Maddi Doane then knotted the score at 2-2 an inning later with an RBI single to right center to score junior pinch runner Jill Nicklas from second.

The tie lasted until the top of the seventh frame when OSU's Lilli Piper hit a solo home run to right center to put the Buckeyes ahead by one. The Illini then failed to rally in the bottom of the inning to fall 3-2 in their regular season finale.

Offensively, the Illini were held to four hits, with Gunther leading the team with a 2-for-4 effort plus a run scored.

Junior Erin Walker (3-2) took the loss after giving up just one earned run on five hits and striking out two in four innings of work. Senior Breanna Wonderly started the contest and went three innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and two walks and striking out one in the outing.