Jess Perkins paced the offense at Michigan to secure the first Big Ten weekly honors of the freshman's career.
April 30, 2012
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - After taking two games on the road at No. 22 Michigan, Illinois softball tallied a trio of Big Ten Player of the Week honors on Monday afternoon. Freshman third baseman Jess Perkins received Big Ten Co-Player and Freshman accolades while junior Pepper Gay took home Co-Pitcher of the Week. Illinois is the first team to secure at least a share of each award in the same week during the 2012 season. The accolades mark the first weekly conference honors for Perkins and Gay.
Perkins went 5-for-11 (.429) against the conference-leading Michigan pitching staff, knocking in three runs and scoring three more while connecting for a double and a home run to secure a .818 slugging percentage. Perkins came through in the clutch during Illinois' 5-1 extra inning victory on Saturday, April 28, hitting a three-run home run over the left-center field fence to put the Illini ahead by five runs. The Orland Park, Ill., native followed up Saturday's performance with a 3-for-3 outing in the series-clinching 2-0 victory on Sunday, scoring both runs while adding her team-leading 10th double of the season.
Gay went 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in two appearances, including a pair of complete game performances, at Michigan. Gay tossed 15 innings while facing the Wolverines, only allowing one earned run and one extra base hit, a double, while holding a Michigan lineup that hit .393 at Alumni Field entering the weekend series to a .185 batting average.
Illinois continues its season with a 4 p.m. CT Wednesday, May 2 game on Eichelberger Field against Southern Illinois. Orange and Blue women's basketball head coach Matt Bollant will throw out the first pitch while kids will be given the chance to run the bases following the game. There will be a University of Illinois student home run derby after the contest, with five participants who sign up at the game chosen following the fourth inning. The winner will be given a VIP World's Largest Softball Tailgate experience, including a reserved parking spot, dinner with a guest at the On-Deck Circle barbeque and a clubhouse tour.