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CHAMPAIGN (JG-TC) -- Junior pitcher Emily Oestreich was outstanding in the circle as she led the Illinois softball team to the Coach B Classic title after registering five-straight wins over the weekend in Carbondale and as a result earned the Big 10 Conference Pitcher of the Week honors. Oestreich is a Lake Land graduate who played on back-to-back National Tournament teams under Nic Nelson.

The Napa, Calif., native went 3-0 with an impressive 0.57 ERA after giving up just two runs on 10 hits and six walks and striking out 25 batters in 24.2 innings. Oestreich started all five contests on the weekend, giving up just two extra-base hits while holding opposing batters to a .120 average. She is the first Illinois player to earn Pitcher of the Week honors since Brandi Needham in May of 2014. 

She threw 6.2 innings on Friday (3.2 innings pitched vs. Northern Illinois, three innings vs. SIU), while not allowing a hit or a run, walked just three batters and struck out 10, including a weekend-high seven strikeouts against Northern Illinois.

Oestreich allowed just one earned run on four hits and two walks and struck out 11, while securing a pair of complete game wins over Murray State and Southern Illinois on Saturday.

The 5-6 pitcher earned her third-straight win of the weekend on Sunday after giving up just one earned run on six hits and a walk, while striking out four in 4.0 innings of work against Northern Illinois.

Oestreich is currently 5-2 on the season with a 2.33 earned run average for the Illini, who are 8-6 and play at Bradley at 6 p.m. Wednesday. She has pitched 51 innings and allowed 43 hits and 17 earned runs with 19 walks and 42 strikeouts. She  also recorded wins over Providence and North Carolina. 

At Lake Land as a freshmen she pitched 188 1/3 innings and struck out 276 batters and had a 1.90 earned run average, while helping the Lady Lakers to a 52-15 record. Last season she had 274 strikeouts in 211 1/3 innings and had a 1.76 earned run average. The Lady Lakers went 57-14 and finished fourth in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament. 

Also on the team is Arcola graduate Taylor Edwards, who is also a pitcher and utility player. she is 2-4 on the season with a 3.73 earned run average. She picked up victories over Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Southern Illinois. 


Sports writer

Mike Monahan covers area sports for the JG-TC.

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