Softball tops Bradley, Saint Louis to open Saint Louis tournament

By Eddie Miller, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – NIU softball extended its win streak to three games, defeating the Bradley University Braves and the Saint Louis University Billikens on day one of the Saint Louis University tournament Saturday.


Clutch hitting helped the Huskies (7-9) down Bradley (7-12) by a final score of 4-3 in the first game of the day. NIU totaled nine hits, four of which were with two-out RBIs (runs batted in) – including a home run from junior infielder Caitlyn Shumaker. 

Shumaker got the Huskies going in the first inning, cracking a two-run home run off Bradley graduate pitcher Grace French for an early 2-0 lead. 

Junior pitcher Claire Norred started in the pitcher’s circle for the Huskies. Norred held Bradley scoreless until the top of the sixth inning when sophomore outfielder Angela Cirone hit a two RBI double to even the game at 2-2.

French hit a double later in the inning, allowing Cirone to score and give the Braves a 3-2 lead. Norred gave up three earned runs and two strikeouts in five innings of work. 

The Huskies took a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning after sophomore utility player Madison Mathews doubled to score junior catcher Ellis Erickson and senior infielder Kelly Walinski. 

Junior pitcher Emily Dato sealed the victory for the Huskies, holding Bradley scoreless in the seventh inning. 


Despite hitting 2-for-22, NIU pulled off a 3-1 victory over the Billikens. Freshman utility player Danielle Stewart pitched a complete game, allowing just one run with three strikeouts.

Shumaker recorded the first hit for either team with a base hit in the fourth inning. Mathews opened the scoring when a sacrifice fly drove in freshman utility player Cara Cruthers and Shumaker. Later in the inning, the Huskies scored another run when Erickson stole home off a throwing error to third base. 

The Huskies’ 3-0 lead held going into the sixth. Saint Louis got on the board when graduate outfielder Gabbie Kowalik doubled to score sophomore outfielder Natalie Sullivan.

Stewart closed the door on the Billikens in the seventh to complete the Huskies’ second win of the day. 

NIU continues the Saint Louis tournament at 11 a.m. against Bradley University and at 1 p.m. against Saint Louis University Sunday. Live stats for day two of the tournament will be available on SidearmSports.