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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Softball splits home doubleheader against Buffalo

Totus Tuus Keely
Junior middle infielder/outfielder Avery Carnahan high fives NIU assistant coach Alaynie Woollard on March 27 at Mary M. Bell Field. Carnahan hit a 3-run single against the University at Buffalo as NIU softball split Saturday’s doubleheader. (Northern Star File Photo)

DeKALB – NIU softball (13-28, 6-13 MAC) split Saturday’s doubleheader with the University at Buffalo (14-25, 6-12 MAC), winning 11-3 and losing 4-1.

Game 1 brought 13 hits for the Huskies en route to a mercy rule victory in the sixth inning. Senior infielder Caitlyn Shumaker and sophomore pitcher/utility Danielle Stewart led the way at the plate as they each notched 3-for-3 performances with multiple runs scored.

The Bulls flipped the script in Game 2, lighting up the hit column with a 13-spot of their own. Four pitchers entered the circle for the Huskies, none of which recorded more than six outs.


After scoring one run in a road doubleheader Tuesday, the Huskies opened Saturday’s action with a bang. Junior third baseman/first baseman Madison Mathews drew first blood with an RBI-double, and Shumaker followed with a two-run home run to leave the first inning up 3-0.

After Buffalo responded with a pair of runs in the third inning, junior middle infielder/outfielder Avery Carnahan extended the lead with a three-RBI single. Carnahan came around to score on a single by freshman middle infielder/outfielder Alana Powell to bring the lead to 7-2.

One more unearned Buffalo run came across in the fourth inning, but then it was all Huskies from there as three more NIU runs came across in the fourth and fifth innings, setting up a potential mercy rule victory.

With runners on second and third and no outs, Shumaker put a ball in the gap in right field to secure the sixth-inning win.

“Seeing that pitcher four times in that game, (I was) just looking for a good pitch to drive on the outside,” Shumaker said. “She had been hitting a little flat on the outside, so I was looking for an outside pitch to drive.”


NIU’s bats quickly went cold following the dominant win, recording five hits in Game 2 and going scoreless until the sixth inning.

Senior catcher/outfielder Ellis Erickson produced the Huskies’ first three hits of the game. Erickson finished the game 3-for-3, while the rest of the lineup went 2-for-23.

The Huskies finally entered the run column in the sixth inning with an RBI single off the bat of freshman outfielder Katy Ramage, but NIU failed to find another hit before the game’s end.

Buffalo senior second baseman/shortstop Tianna Williams led the charge for the Bulls, driving in two runs on a 3-for-4 performance. Both of the runs driven in by Williams were scored by junior infielder Alyssa Wasielewski, who also went 3-for-4.

Senior pitcher Emily Dato started in the circle for the Huskies, allowing five hits and two runs in two innings pitched. Sophomore pitcher Lily Cassell and senior pitcher Claire Norred followed Dato, each allowing a run in less than two innings pitched.

Junior pitcher Madison Carlson closed out the game from the circle, allowing one hit and no runs in the final two innings.

I think what we did a better job of today is it was two runs, one run, one run,” said NIU softball head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “We’ve had quite a few games where they’re putting a four or five spot up in one inning. (Today) the next pitcher was able to come in and kind of shut them down and do what they needed.”


The Huskies close out the home series against Buffalo at noon Sunday at Mary M. Bell Field. Live streaming will be available on NIU All-Access and live stats will be found on SIDEARM Stats.

“I think our team is coming out tomorrow with a lot of fire, and we want to win this series,” Erickson said. “I think we want it more, and I think we deserve it. We’re going to put the work in tomorrow and string some hits together and win the series.”

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