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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Softball blows lead in Game 1 against Braves, splits doubleheader

Totus Tuus Keely
Sophomore pitcher/utility Danielle Stewart throws to first base leading to an out against Kent State University on March 29. Stewart blasted a grand slam in a 5-3 victory over Bradley University Wednesday. (Totus Tuus Keely | Northern Star)

NIU softball (10-24, 3-9 MAC) found retribution in Game 2 after blowing a lead in Game 1 to split Wednesday’s doubleheader against Bradley University (19-20, 8-6 MVC) on the road.

“Our offense showed up today no doubt about it,” said NIU softball head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “I love that bounce back.”


Bradley shocked the Huskies with a late surge to overcome a 5-run deficit and steal Game 1 of Wednesday’s doubleheader 11-10. 

Despite the sour ending, five Huskie batters registered two hits and two base runners made it to home twice. 

Senior catcher/outfielder Ellis Erickson ignited a scoring surge in her second at-bat, smashing a double that drove junior third baseman/first baseman Madison Mathews across home plate. Erickson would score herself and four others would follow soon after to distance the margin 6-1.

Erickson finished 2-for-5 at the plate and tallied two2 RBIs as part of the Huskies third-inning slugfest. 

Junior pitcher Abbott Badgley and junior infielder Bailey Sample were the wicks to Bradley’s comeback flame, aiding in their fifth and seventh inning explosions. 

Badgley narrowed the deficit to three scores by airmailing a double in the fifth inning to send two runners home. Badgley led both teams in RBIs, with four total. 

The Braves mounted a 10-4 run across innings five through seven, behind Sample’s right field double RBI that sent three runners home.


The Huskies maintained composure to hang on to a 5-3 lead after Bradley bats came to life in the fifth inning.  

In her first at-bat, Erickson launched a solo home run straight down Broadway towards centerfield, drawing first blood of Game 2 and adding to a stellar evening. 

NIU mirrored the explosive third inning of Game 1, scoring four runs on three hits after sophomore pitcher/utility Danielle Stewart blasted a grand slam to left field. 

When Bradley responded with runs in the fifth and sixth innings, NIU was able to halt the Braves’ momentum by leaving the bases loaded in the seventh inning.


Softball returns home to face the University of Toledo with the first of a three-game series starting at 3 p.m. Friday at Mary M. Bell Field. Live stats can be found on SIDEARM stats and a stream will be available on NIU All-Access.

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