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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Extra-inning walk-off sends softball over Butler

Drake blows out Huskies in second game of the day
Landon Wirt
Senior infielder Caitlyn Shumaker prepares for a pitch against Western Illinois University at the Doc Halverson UNI-Dome Classic on Friday. Shumaker blasted a walk-off RBI double against Butler University Sunday. (Landon Wirt | Courtesy of UNI Athletics)

An eighth-inning walk-off double by senior infielder Caitlyn Shumaker gave softball (2-3) a 6-5 win over Butler University (1-4) before Drake University (4-1) delivered the Huskies a 7-2 loss


A pitcher’s duel was in full swing early in Game 1 as junior pitcher Madison Carlson and Butler freshman pitcher Katie Petran allowed a combined 0 hits, 2 walks and 0 runs through three innings of play.

The game took a sharp turn with Butler’s four-hit fourth inning, including back-to-back homeruns by senior catcher Teagan O’Rilley and redshirt junior infielder Paige Dorsett that put the Bulldogs up 3-0.

The Huskies broke up Butler freshman pitcher Katie Petran’s no-hitter and evened the score with a five-hit, three-run inning in the bottom of the fifth.

No runs were recorded in the final two innings of regulation as the game extended to extras.

RBI singles by Butler freshman infielder Makena Alexander and sophomore catcher Kieli Ryan put the Bulldogs up 5-3 in the eighth.

An RBI double from senior catcher/outfielder Ellis Erickson and run on a fielder’s choice hit by freshman outfielder Katy Ramage tied the game at 5-5.

With two outs and a runner on second, Shumaker drilled a double to right-center to win game one in walk-off fashion.

“I think I just need to rely on the training that I had done before this,” Shumaker said. “We always compete at practice, and I think that really paid off in that (eighth) inning, coming together as a team, just feeling the encouragement of my team behind and really getting it done in that moment.”

The Huskies finished the game with six runs driven in by six different players.

“In a good way, we don’t have just one standout player,” said NIU softball head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “We’ve got one through nine throughout the batting order that can do some damage at any given time.”


The Huskies’ momentum quickly derailed in Game 2, as Drake put up 5 hits, 2 walks and 4 runs against sophomore pitcher Kiley Conner in the opening frame.

The Huskies and Bulldogs traded one-run blows in the third and fourth innings, bringing the score to 6-2.

A solo homerun by Drake junior infielder Destiny Lewis in the seventh inning made it 7-2 in favor of the Bulldogs, where it would stay through the final out.


The Huskies finished the Doc Halverson UNI-Dome Classic with a 2-3 record, losing three games by three or more runs.

“I think we underperformed a little bit,” Sutcliffe said. “I think we are better than 2-3. I’m pretty sure most of our players would agree with that.”


The Huskies will return to action for their first game of the South Alabama Tournament in Mobile, Alabama against Eastern Kentucky University at 10 a.m. Friday. Live stats will be available on StatBroadcast.

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