The Drake softball team returns to Missouri Valley Conference action this weekend by hosting league-leader Illinois State. The Bulldogs have taken a big step under first-year coach Rich Calvert. They are 17-18 on the season and surpassed last year’s victory total of ten back on March second. After a quick start the Bulldogs went through a stetch where they lost nine of ten games. Calvert feels they have bounced back from that slump. Calvert says they expect a tough series against Illinois State. Because of the weather Drake will have had a week between games but Calvert says the unexpected time off is really not that bad.