Huskies shutout out DePaul behind dominant pitching


Mingda Wu

Then junior catcher Ellis Erickson (23) tosses the ball to the pitcher as CMU batters switch out on April 2, 2023. (Mingda Wu | Northern Star)

By Eddie Miller, Assistant Sports Editor

DeKALB Three RBIs from senior infielder Kelly Walinski helped NIU softball (20-19, 9-7 MAC) take down the DePaul University Blue Demons (12-25, 4-11 Big East) 6-0 at Cacciatore Stadium in Chicago. Efficient batting led to four Huskies logging RBIs. 

Junior outfielder Courtney James, senior utility player Sam Mallinder and freshman infielder Trinity Jones Estrada all recorded RBIs in the victory.

The Huskies had the most success in the fifth inning, scoring four runs starting with an RBI single from James. Walinski added on with an RBI single, scoring James and junior infielder Caitlyn Shumaker. 

James Estrada scored NIU’s last run in the top of the sixth inning after an RBI groundout that scored freshman utility player Cara Cruthers.

Junior pitcher Emily Dato got the start for NIU. Dato pitched one inning before freshman pitcher Lily Cassell finished the game. Cassell picked up her fourth win, giving up four hits, no runs and striking five batters out. 

Sophomore pitcher Katey Pierce started the game for DePaul, giving up two hits and one run. Pierce was replaced by freshman pitcher Abbey Pochie in the third inning. Pochie closed the game giving up five runs off seven hits and walked one batter 

The Huskies put the first run on the board in the top of the third inning when Walinski hit an RBI groundout to score Shumaker.

NIU got back to work at the plate in the fifth inning when James put the Huskies up 2-0 with an RBI single to right field to score junior catcher Ellis Erickson. 

Walinski extended NIU’s lead to 4-0 after an RBI single to left field that scored Shumaker and James. Mallinder helped the Huskies run away with a 5-0 lead after logging an RBI double, sending Walinski to home plate. 


At 2 p.m. Friday, the Huskies will travel to Toledo, Ohio and take on the University of Toledo Rockets. Live scoring will be available on SidearmSports and streaming will be available on ESPN+