Illini softball hosts Minnesota, Wisconsin

LeeAnn Butcher plays her final games at Eichelberger Field this weekend.
LeeAnn Butcher plays her final games at Eichelberger Field this weekend.

April 28, 2005

Urbana, Ill. -

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MINNESOTA (25-21, 6-8) at ILLINOIS (20-23, 1-11)

WISCONSIN (20-20, 6-8) at ILLINOIS (20-23, 1-11)

When: Minnesota -- April 29, 6 p.m.; April 30, Noon; Wisconsin -- May 1 Noon (DH)

TV: Insight Marketplace, Sunday, replay dates, times, TBA

Radio: WDWS AM-1400 (Steve Layman)

World's Largest Softball Tailgate on Saturday: Illinois is holding the World's Largest Softball Tailgate II on Saturday at Eichelberger Field. The details you need to know:
• Gates open at 7 a.m.
• Events start at 9 a.m.
• Admission and parking are free.
• Todd Thomas, the entertainer/deejay from the St. Louis Cardinals, will be here to entertain the crowd.
• Tailgaiting will be judged in three categories -- most unique, most Illini Spirit, and largest tailgate.
• Celebrity judges will be Sarah Addison, morning show host for MIX 94.5; Luther Head, All-American for Illini men's basketball team, and Tara Hurless, All-American for the women's soccer team.
• Last year an estimated crowd of 1,500 filled the parking lots with a crowd of 756 inside Eichelberger Field. The goal this year is 3,000.
• Busey Bank serves as a corporate sponsor.
• Bruce Weber will throw out the first pitch.

Bringing a crowd: Minnesota has been responsible for two of the top three and three of the top ten largest crowds in Illini history. The biggest crowd was 809, set april 19, 2003. Last year's Tailgate crowd of 756 vs. Ohio is second with the April 21, 2001 Minnesota game ranking third. The Illini also drew 533 vs. the Gophers on April 22, 2001.

Minnesota Series Notes:
• Illinois leads the all-time series, 6-3.
• The team's split games in Minneapolis last year, winning 8-0 and losing 3-1.
• The longest game in Illini history was a 2-1, 15-inning victory on April 21, 2001.

Wisconsin Series Notes • Illinois has more wins over the Badgers than over any team in school history with a 10-1 mark all-time, including the last six in a row.
• The Illini went 4-0 vs. the UW in 2001.
• Illinois swept Wisconsin 2-0 and 1-0 in Madison.

Illinois posts win 200: The Illini, in their sixth year as a program, picked up their 200th career victory on Thursday with a 5-2 victory over Bradley. Illinois now has a record of 200-125-2.