Big Ten softball tournament

When: Wednesday through Saturday

Where: University of Illinois' Eichelberger Field

TV: Big Ten Network

Gophers outlook: The third-seeded Gophers (36-16, 18-6), riding an 11-game winning streak, open tournament play Thursday against Ohio State, which defeated Rutgers 7-4 in Wednesday's first round. To finish Big Ten play, senior righthander Autumn Pease picked up two victories in the U's first series sweep against Michigan since 1983. Last season, the No. 9-seeded Gophers lost 2-0 to No. 8 seed Wisconsin in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament in Michigan.

Big Ten outlook: Top-seeded Northwestern (35-11, 20-3) won the outright Big Ten regular-season title. No. 2 seed Indiana (40-15, 18-5) is on a nine-game win streak. The Gophers join Nebraska to round out the top four seeds with first-round byes to start Thursday.