Softball drops weekday tilt with Ball State

By Zachary Bertram, Sports Reporter

DeKALB –  Bats went cold as NIU softball (14-14, 5-3 MAC) dropped its final game of a three-game series against the Ball State University Cardinals (16-13, 6-2 MAC) 5-1 Wednesday. 

After scoring 14 runs in game two of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Huskies offense mustered just one run. 

Coming off of a huge series against Miami University – in which she earned two wins, one save and was named MAC Pitcher of the Week – NIU freshman utility player Danielle Stewart struggled in the pitcher’s circle. Stewart gave up five earned runs on six hits and lasted just three innings. 

Sophomore pitcher Angelina Russo was dominant for the Cardinals, pitching a complete game while allowing just one earned run on five hits. Russo also picked off two Huskie runners at first base. 

NIU junior infielder Caitlyn Shumaker led off the game with a home run to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead. Freshman outfielder Kiley Conner singled in the first inning, but the Huskies were unable to add to the lead. 

The Cardinals jumped on Stewart early with five first-inning runs. Redshirt sophomore utility player McKayla Timmons launched a two-run homer to give Ball State a 2-1 lead. Redshirt freshman utility player McKenna Mulholland added to the lead in the first with a three-run homer to put the Cardinals ahead 5-1. 

After the first three innings, both teams’ offenses shut down. Russo retired 12 consecutive batters between the third and seventh innings. After Stewart’s exit, NIU junior pitcher Claire Norred allowed no hits in her three innings of work.

Conner picked up her second hit of the day with a two-out double in the top of the seventh inning before Russo got Stewart to ground out, securing the 5-1 win for Ball State. 


The Huskies will be in action next with a doubleheader against Central Michigan University. Game one is at 1 p.m. and game two is at 3 p.m. Saturday at Mary M. Bell Field. 

The games will be available to watch via NIU All-Access and live stats will be available via SideArm Stats