Huskies, Rockets split doubleheader


Tim Dodge

Huskie second baseman Sam Mallinder (18) and freshman outfielder Ally Rodriguez (1) scream and cheer as CMU redshirt senior catcher Samantha Mills (3) walks in to the dugout at the end of their game on April 1. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

By Eddie Miller, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – NIU Softball (21-20, 10-8 MAC) took on the University of Toledo Rockets, (17-22, 10-11 MAC) splitting wins in a doubleheader. NIU took game one, but dropped a 6-3 lead in the second game to lose 12-6.


A three-RBI single from senior utility player Sam Mallinder helped NIU overtake Toledo 4-1 in game one. Freshman utility player Danielle Stewart picked up her ninth win, giving up only one run. 

Freshman pitcher Lily Cassell opened the game, pitching two innings. Cassell gave up one hit and walked one batter before being replaced by Stewart to start the third inning. Stewart closed the game, giving up two hits, one run and striking out two batters.

Graduate student pitcher Erin Hunt pitched a complete game for the Rockets. Hunt gave up four runs on four hits and walked three batters. 

The Huskies got off to a strong early start, tallying the first run of the game in the top of the second inning. Freshman outfielder Brianna Pechman notched an RBI single that sent Mallinder to home plate with a 1-0 lead. 

Toledo put their first run on the board in the bottom of the second inning when graduate student catcher Aubrey Reed homered, scoring herself and tying the game 1-1. 


Toledo took game two 12-6, overcoming a four-run deficit and forcing NIU to use four pitchers. Rockets junior shortstop Jenna Kroll tallied three RBIs, including a home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. 

The Rockets came back from a 6-3 deficit, scoring eight unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Senior first baseman Riley Mohr started the comeback in the bottom of the fourth inning with an RBI single that scored fifth-year outfielder Anna Dixon and senior outfielder Leah Munson. 

Toledo took a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with an RBI double from Munson that scored graduate student second baseman Aleah Marra and junior outfielder Lauren Erickson. 

After Munson and Dixon scored on a wild pitch, Toledo extended its lead to 10-6 after Kroll rocketed a solo home run. 

In the top of the second inning junior catcher Ellis Erickson gave NIU the 2-1 edge, advancing to home on a wild pitch. Senior infielder Kelly Walinski parlayed the score, notching her second RBI of the game and scoring freshman outfielder Ally Rodriguez. Stewart closed a busy second inning with an RBI single, scoring both Walinski and Mallinder, giving NIU a 5-1 lead. 

Sophomore pitcher Sophia Knight pitched a complete game for Toledo. Knight finished giving up six runs on 10 hits and struck out four batters. 

NIU made three pitching changes Saturday afternoon. Junior pitcher Emily Dato started the game, but was replaced by junior pitcher Claire Norred in the top of the fourth inning. After giving up two hits for two runs in the top of the fourth, Norred was replaced by Cassell. 

Cassell closed the fourth inning, giving up three hits for five runs prior to freshman outfielder Kiley Conner closing the game for the Huskies. Conner finished the contest, giving up two runs off three hits and striking out three batters. 

Sophomore infielder Kendra VanderLugt sealed the 12-6 victory for Toledo with an RBI single that scored Munson. 


The Huskies will take on Toledo at 11 a.m. Sunday at Scott Park in Toledo, Ohio. Live stats will be available on SidearmSports