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NORMAL, Ill. -- Northern Iowa rallied late, but the Panthers' bid for a Missouri Valley Conference weekend softball sweep at Illinois State came up short Sunday, 6-5.

Illinois State (12-23, 6-2) built a 6-2 lead after four innings before UNI (17-14, 8-3) charged back. The Panthers cut their deficit to 6-4 in the fifth on a two-run homer by Courtney Krodinger, then climbed within a run in the top of the seventh on Sammey Bunch's league-leading 13th round-tripper.

Bunch homered in all three games of the series and has gone deep in five straight games.

Brittney Krodinger also homered for UNI while Kamryn Shaffer had a pair of hits.

The Panthers play a doubleheader at Drake Tuesday before returning home to host Valparaiso Saturday and Sunday.

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