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Illinois baseball, softball off to rocky Big Ten starts

It’s not going so hot on the diamond.

Twitter: @IlliniBaseball

It’s not going great on the diamond so far this spring for the Illini.

Illinois Baseball and Softball both dropped series this weekend as they continue to struggle early on in Big Ten play.

The baseball team sits at 3-6 in the Big Ten after losing two out of three to a dismal Northwestern team in Evanston. The Wildcats entered the weekend just 3-20 overall (1-2 Big Ten), but Illinois couldn’t capitalize, even when it outscored Northwestern, 14-13, over the three games.

Illinois has won just three games since March 21 — one of which was head coach Dan Hartleb’s 519th-career win with the Illini (most in program history). Sitting at 13-15 overall, Illinois is in position to miss out on the NCAA Tournament for the third season in a row (last appearance in 2019).

One right spot: senior Cam McDonald, following up a Second Team All-Big Ten campaign with another strong season (.315, 4 HR, 23 RBI).

Illinois softball is also struggling mightily in April, now 23-17 this season, but just 2-8 in the Big Ten after falling 2-1 in eight innings on Sunday to Michigan. The Illini have lost 5 of their last 7 games.

The Illini made the NCAA Tournament last season.