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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Softball goes cold in home opener, loses 6th straight

Totus Tuus Keely
Senior pitcher Claire Norred (19) throws the opening pitch at Mary M. Bell Field Tuesday. The Huskies lost their home opener 17-5 to DePaul. (Totus Tuus Keely | Northern Star)

DeKALB – NIU softball (7-19, 1-5 MAC) was pummeled 17-5 in five innings by the DePaul University Blue Demons (7-20, 2-4 BEC) in its first home game of the season Tuesday.

DePaul’s 13 hits and three home runs, as well as NIU’s seven errors, lit a fire under the Blue Demons amidst chilling temperatures at Mary M. Bell Field.

“I think when you combine the homeruns with the errors, it’s just not going to be a good result for you,“ said NIU softball head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “We’re a little banged up in that circle, but our pitchers that are able to get the innings and just need to figure out how to do a little bit better job.”

Three different pitchers entered the circle for the Huskies, all allowing at least four runs.


After the Blue Demons and Huskies traded one-run blows in the opening frame, DePaul promptly broke the game open with a seven-run second inning.

The second inning was capped off with a three-RBI triple by DePaul sophomore infielder Bibianna Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the offensive powerhouse for the Blue Demons, finishing the day 2-for-4 with a triple, home run and 8 RBIs.

DePaul senior catcher Riley Pool and junior infielder Baylee Cosgrove each belted a home run and picked up three RBIs apiece. Pool finished the game 4-for-4.

The Blue Demons were blanked in the third inning before plating five runs in the fourth inning and four runs in the fifth inning, earning a mercy rule victory.


The Huskies searched for a comeback bid in the third inning, bringing home three runs off the bats of sophomore pitcher/utility Danielle Stewart and junior middle infielder/outfielder Avery Carnahan to make the score 8-4.

NIU’s last run of the day came on a sacrifice fly by Stewart in the fifth inning, scoring senior infielder Caitlyn Shumaker on the penultimate at-bat of the contest.

Shumaker provided one of few sparks for the Huskies, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored.

Stewart drove in four of NIU’s five runs despite failing to record a hit.


The Huskies look to snap their losing streak as they begin a three-game set against Kent State University at 3 p.m. Friday at Mary M. Bell Field. Streaming will be available at NIU All-Access and live stats will be found on SIDEARM Stats.

“We just have to be tougher,” Sutcliffe said. “I think that’s what it comes down to. We just gotta work. What we’re doing isn’t good enough. We’ve gotta be able to work harder and be tougher and figure something else out.”

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