The Northern Iowa Panthers look to take another step toward a spot in the Missouri Valley Conference post season tournament when they open a four-game series with Illinois State tonight in Waterloo. At 12-12 in the conference, the Panthers are in fifth place. The top six make the league tournament. UNI coach Rick Heller says they are in a dogfight to make it to the tournament. Heller says they want to avoid the mentality of just hanging on to a spot in the tournament. But Heller does feel there is a magic number to get to in the last couple of weeks. Heller says winning three to four games is almost a guarantee to grab a spot in the tournament. Tonight’s opener features a great pitching matchup between Illinois State’s Neal Cotts and U-N-I’s Nick Ungs.
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