SB: Weekend Preview

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It's Senior Day in Evanston as the Northwestern Wildcats welcome Wisconsin. The 'Cats are currently in fourth place at 9-5 in Big Ten play. Overall, NU leads the teams' all-time series with a 22-8 margin, including a 9-5 advantage in Evanston. The Badgers are looking to snap an 11-game losing streak to the Wildcats, having last won a game in the series in 2004. NU took both games last season in Madison by scores of 3-1 and 2-0. Northwestern faces the Badgers coming off of a 4-2 loss at DePaul on Wednesday, snapping a five-game winning streak NU. The Wildcats have won six of their last eight games though, and hold a 24-19 record overall and a 9-5 Big Ten mark. Wisconsin enters the game winners of seven of their last nine games, as the Badgers look to continue their winning ways and extend last week's conference sweep of Indiana.
IOWA at MINNESOTA    2 p.m.   Big Ten Network
It's a border battle as Iowa travels to Minnesota this weekend for a two-game series. Iowa leads the all-time series, 51-37. The Hawkeyes have won eight of the 10 previous meetings, with their only losses coming in 2004 (2-0) and 2008 (1-0 in 13 innings) over the 10 game stretch. The Gophers dropped a pair of games last weekend and fall to 15-33 overall, with a 1-13 mark in Big Ten action. Their conference record leaves them alone in 11th place in the Big Ten standings. The Hawkeyes have lost a season high seven straight to sit at 23-21 on the year and 8-7 in conference play. In the Big Ten, Iowa currently sits in fifth place.
The No. 19 Ohio State softball team (33-12, 12-2 Big Ten) will pack its bags for its second-consecutive Big Ten road series, this time facing Penn State. The Scarlet and Gray are 12-1 in their last 13 games after recording a 10-game winning streak, including a 5-3 victory over the second-ranked Wolverines April 28 at Buckeye Field. OSU's run was snapped with a 4-3 loss to Michigan in game two of a doubleheader. Penn State will play its final games at Nittany Lion Field this weekend as construction continues on a new facility--Nittany Lion Softball Park to open for the 2011 season. The Nittany Lions are currently on a four-game losing skid after dropping two games each to Northwestern and Syracuse (April 27). Penn State broke its last four-game losing streak with a series sweep of Iowa, 7-1 and 5-3, at home April 24-25. Ohio State leads the all-time series record vs. Penn State, 41-25. The Buckeyes are 6-1 vs. the Nittany Lions in the last three seasons.
INDIANA at PURDUE    4 p.m.   Big Ten Network (tape delay airing at 7 p.m. ET)
It's rivalry weekend on the softball diamond as in-state foes meet up. Purdue (26-24, 7-7 Big Ten) looks to add to its four game-win streak and continue to move up the Big Ten rankings when they face off against in-state rival Indiana this weekend.The Boilermakers went 4-0 last week against Michigan State and Minnesota. Purdue swept the Spartans 2-0 and 10-2 (6) in a doubleheader on Wednesday and downed the Golden Gophers 7-0 and 11-2 (6) in Minneapolis over the weekend. Indiana looks to snap a seven-game losing streak this weekend. The Hoosiers have lost their last seven games, all in Big Ten Conference play. The team went 0-4 against No. 18 Illinois and Wisconsin last week. IU fell to the Fighting Illini 5-4 and 9-0 (6) on Wednesday, before dropping 4-1 and 8-0 (5) decisions on the road in Madison last weekend. Purdue leads the all-time series 20-12 that began in 1994.Purdue was won the last six contests, including a pair of extra-inning wins last season. The Boilermakers are 11-5 against the Hoosiers when playing in West Lafayette.
In-state rivals will meet this weekend in a home-and-home series. Michigan State (20-28, 4-12) travels to No. 2 Michigan (42-6, 15-1) for the first game of the series. The Wolverines are looking to clinch at least a share of the conference crown this weekend. The Spartans are coming off two losses to then-No. 18 Illinois last weekend. Michigan rides a three-game win streak as the Wolverines downed two non-conference foes during the week and rebounded after its first conference loss of the season vs. then-No. 19 Ohio State. Michigan leads the all-time series 67-27. Last season the two teams split with U-M winning the first game and the Green and White taking the second. 

INDIANA at PURDUE    1 p.m.     
OHIO STATE at PENN STATE    1 p.m.   
IOWA at MINNESOTA    2 p.m.   Big Ten Network

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