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The Fighting Illini women’s softball team was set to welcome the Loyola Ramblers to Champaign-Urbana yesterday, but persistent rains caused Illinois’s home-opening doubleheader to be canceled. The game hasn’t been rescheduled.

The unranked Illini will have a few days to rest before they march into Columbus to face the 22nd-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in Sunday’s Big Ten opener. The doubleheader will begin at 11 a.m. and will be rebroadcast on the Big Ten Network starting at 5 p.m. Sunday.

After finishing the 2007 season with a 7–8 overall Big Ten record, the Illini are looking for a 2008 season that lifts their conference record above .500 — and this weekend in Ohio is a great time to start.

The team inaugurated the season Tuesday night with two wins against the University of Illinois at Chicago. But these triumphs came off the heels of a five-game skid that saw the Illini lose every competition in the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif.

Michigan (6) and Northwestern (16) join Ohio State as the other ranked Big Ten teams. The Illini will meet Michigan in Ann Arbor in early April and Northwestern at home a week later. The team’s next home match up, at Eichelberger Field, is a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 2 against Eastern Illinois.