2014 - Junior: Appeared in 43 games on the season, making 32 starts ... A true utility player, Perkins made appearances at first base, third base, catcher and designated player, as well as going 1-for-5 with a bases-clearing double as a pinch hitter ... Hit .267 with a .364 on base percentage and a .515 slugging percentage ... Tallied 27 hits, five doubles, a triple, and six home runs in 101 at-bats, adding nine walks, seven HBP, 22 runs and 23 RBI ... Made six appearances behind the plate, throwing out her first career base stealer on Feb. 22, going 1-for-5 on the year ... Walked as a pinch hitter vs. Eastern Illinois, then stayed in the game and was hit by a pitch to lead off the eighth inning and scored the game-winning run ... Made her first career appearance at catcher against IUPUI, playing the final three innings behind the plate ... Hit a bases-clearing pinch hit double and scored against Binghamton ... Made her first start of the season against No. 1 Tennessee and singled to lead off the sixth inning while the Illini trailed 2-0 ... Hit a one-out single with a runner on second in the top of the seventh against USF when the score was tied 1-1, but was left stranded on base ... Threw out her first career runner at second base against UMKC and hit a two-run homer ... Jacked a two-run homer in the top of the eighth to lead Illinois past Hofstra in extras ... Hit a home run in her second-straight game against WMU, lauching a three-run bomb as part of an eight-run fourth inning ... Reached base four times against NDSU, going 1-for-1 with three walks and a run ... Hit safely in all three games of the Iowa series, with a single, a double, a triple and a home run on the weekend to go with three RBI and two runs scored, while making her first two starts of the year at first base ... Became the third first baseman in Illini history to turn three double plays in the second game of the Iowa series, teaming up with Ruby Rivera on all three; they became the seventh and eighth Illini overall to do so ... Hit a two-out, two-run double to lead Illinois to a 3-0 victory over No. 16 Missouri ... Went 2-for-3 with a walk and a two-run homer in game one against No. 15 Minnesota ... Went 2-for-3 with a double, a run and three RBI to help lead Illinois past No. 4 Michigan, 10-2 ... Scored in all three Penn State games, hitting a two-run homer in game one and an RBI double in game two ... Went 2-for-4 against Iowa, then singled and scored vs. No. 10 Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament.
2013 - Sophomore: Appeared in 46 of 49 games, making 45 starts ... Started the first 10 games of the year at first base, then split time between third base and right field for the remainder of the season ... Finished third on the team with a .278 batting average, slugging .452 and tabbing a .400 on base percentage ... Led the team with 34 RBI, seven doubles, five home runs and 11 HBP, adding 16 walks, two sacrifice flies, a sacrifice bunt and went 3-for-3 in steals ... Her 11 HBP ranks fifth all time at Illinois, tied for seventh in the Big Ten and 61st in the nation, and her career total 13 places her in seventh all-time as just a sophomore ... Led the team with nine multi-RBI games, including three games with four RBI ... Had a 12-game reached base streak from Feb. 24 to March 23 ...Was hit by a pitch twice and stole a base against No. 1 Alabama ... Had a two-run single vs. North Dakota State ... Went 2-for-4 with two RBI vs. UNI ... Hit a double in both games on Feb. 15, going 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI against the Cougars ... Hit a home run in back-to-back games at the Houston Invite; she was the first person to go deep against the No. 6 Longhorns in 2013, giving the Illini a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning and scoring the only runs Texas surrendered in the entire tournament. She followed with a solo homer in the seventh inning against Houston on Feb. 17 ... Went 1-for-3 against Oregon State, earning the Illini's only RBI of the weekend ... Was 2-for-3 with a double, a run and four RBI against Providence ... Had an outstanding weekend at the Fighting Illini Invitational, tabbing two hits in each game and leading the tournament with six hits, six RBI, two doubles and eight total bases. She was extremely clutch at the plate, manufacturing four two-out RBI ... Singled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh against Loyola, and came in to score the tying run. In her next at-bat, she had the game-winning RBI in the ninth inning for the Illini's first extra-inning victory of the season ... Went 2-for-4 with a run against Indiana State ... Hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to set the tone for the Illini's 8-0 run rule victory over Indiana on Apr. 21 ... Singled and scored in game one, then hit an RBI double in game two of the Iowa doubleheader ... Hit .800 with a 1.600 slugging percentage and an .818 on base percentage in the Michigan State series, going 4-for-5 with a double, a home run, four walks, six runs and five RBI ... Hit a key two-run single to begin the Illini's comeback in the series opener vs. OSU ... Drilled a game-tying two-run homer off Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament.
2012 - Freshman: Batted .275 (41-for-149) in her first season of collegiate softball, connecting on 10 doubles - tied for the team lead - and three homers while scoring the most runs of any Illini, 26, and driving in 15 more ... Slugged .403 while reaching base 36.6 percent of the time ... Drew 20 walks, stole two bases and was struck by a pair of pitches ... Appeared in 52 contests, making 50 starts split between right field, the designated player role and third base ... Made her college debut against Massachusetts on Feb. 10, going 1-for-3 with a run scored ... Showed plate discipline to earn her first collegiate RBI, walking with the bases loaded against No. 25 Louisville on Feb. 10 ... Went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI-double against Michigan State on Feb. 11 ... Batted 4-for-9 (.444) at the Texas Invitational, including going 2-for-4 with a run and RBI vs. No. 10 Tennessee All-American pitcher Ellen Renfroe on Feb. 19 ... Paced the Illini with a .429 batting average at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, including a 3-for-4, one-run performance against Boston U ... Had two hits in three at bats while scoring one run and drawing a walk at UNLV on March 3 ... Totaled her second three-hit game of the year, while notching two doubles and scoring two runs, as part of Illinois' six-run comeback victory over Florida Atlantic, 7-6, on March 4 ... Finished 1-for-3 with her fourth double of the year, one walk and a run scored against Minnesota on March 25 ... Went 1-for-1 with a run scored and a pair of walks at Iowa on March 31 ... Earned the first home run of her collegiate career at Eastern Illinois on April 12, tying the contest at 1-1 in the sixth inning with the long ball. Also contributed a double and a walk to the winning effort while scoring two runs ... Was 2-for-3 with a double in an April 14 game vs. Wisconsin, adding a pair of runs scored in the first game of a doubleheader on April 15 on two walks drawn ... Recorded her ninth RBI of the season on a single down the right field line against Western Illinois, also scoring a run ... Doubled in a run during the second half of Illinois' April 21st doubleheader with Purdue, tying her with Kelley Wedel for the most doubles on the squad ... Named Big Ten Co-Player and Freshman of the Week on April 30 thanks in part to a .455 (5-for-11) weekend against the Michigan pitching staff, including a double and a homer to go with three RBIs and three runs scored - slugging .818 against the Wolverines ... Knocked a two out, three-run home run to left-center field in the eighth innings at No. 22 Michigan on April 28, as part of a two-hit effort ... Capped the series at No. 22 Michigan with a 3-for-3 performance, including her team-leading 10th double of the season, while scoring both of Illinois' runs in the 2-0 win ... Went 1-for-3 with a solo home run during game one at Northwestern on May 11, her third home run of the season ... Tallied an RBI-single during the second contest of a May 11 doubleheader at Northwestern.
High School: 2011 all-state and all-conference ... 2011 Chicago Sun Times, Southtown Star and Orland Prarie All-Area honoree ... Earned all-state accolades after leading Carl Sandburg to a 39-2 record and the 2010 Class 4A State Championship in addition to a 2008 Conference Championship ... Totaled 125 RBIs to go with 39 doubles, seven triples and 16 home runs at Carl Sandburg while lettering all four seasons ... Tallied a .380 batting average to go with nine doubles, five home runs, a triple and 30 RBIs during her junior year at Carl Sandburg ... Earned team MVP after finishing 2011 with a .441 batting average (49-for-111) and .496 on-base percentage with 13 doubles, six home runs, 22 runs scored and 42 RBIs ... Led her club team, the Orland Park A's, to a ninth place finish a ASA Nationals out of 129 participating teams ... Three-time Sparks Exposure Tournament MVP ... Two-time Homer Hawk Tournament MVP ... Carl Sandburg Academic Scholar and Student Council Member ... Played in the Chicago Tribune/Chicago Bandits All-Star Game ... Volunteer softball coach for Century Junior High School.
Personal: Daughter of John and Carol Perkins ... Born February 10, 1993 ... Participated in Carl Sandburg Student Council and Culinary Club and was also an academic scholar all four years ... Volunteered with Erin's AAIM for Change 5k Run ... Openly set her goal to play Division-I softball during a freshman year English assignment at Carl Sandburg, completing it with her decision to play at the University of Illinois ... Majoring in Communications.
Getting to Know Jess:
On Choosing Illinois: "I fell in love with the campus and what the school has to offer. Illinois' athletic and academic reputation made it an easy choice for me."
Favorite Athletic Moment: Winning the 4A State Championship at Carl Sandburg
Favorite Book:The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Dream Job: Police Officer
Favorite Movies: Bridesmaids, The Proposal and Beauty and the Beast
Favorite Quote: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Favorite Athletic Teams: Chicago White Sox, Blackhawks and Bears