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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Softball drops home series against Buffalo

Huskies suffer fifth MAC series defeat
Totus Tuus Keely
Sophomore right fielder Fiona Crane (26) throws the ball infield after catching the foul against the fence line in right field while senior center fielder Ellis Erickson (23) and junior second baseman Jenna Turner (4) cheer her on in the field. NIU softball was defeated 9-3 by the University at Buffalo Bulls Sunday. (Totus Tuus Keely | Northern Star)

DeKALB – An afternoon’s worth of bullying by the University at Buffalo Bulls has left NIU softball, a team that had championship expectations entering 2024, with no chance of a winning conference mark.

NIU (13-29, 6-14 MAC) suffered its 14th conference loss of the season Sunday, as the Huskies fell 9-3 in their series finale against Buffalo (15-25, 7-12 MAC) at Mary M. Bell Field. With eight games remaining in NIU’s league schedule, the loss guarantees NIU will not have a winning MAC record for the third time in four years.

Sophomore pitcher Lily Cassell suffered her third consecutive loss at the mound in her sixth start of the season. Cassell permitted six hits, five runs and a walk before exiting the game in the fifth inning.

The visiting Bulls opened the scoring early with a first-inning 2-RBI single from sophomore first baseman Abbey Nagel. NIU sophomore pitcher/utility Danielle “Dee Dee” Stewart responded with a two-run shot into center field to even the game at 2-all.

The Huskies later used senior infielder Caitlyn Shumaker’s swipe of home plate in the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead.

In the fifth inning, Buffalo sophomore outfielder Mia Mitchell knocked a three-run dinger out of the park to sink the Huskies to a 5-3 deficit. NIU remained silent on the scoreboard for the rest of the contest as Buffalo poured on four more runs in the seventh inning. 

The Huskies’ weekend shortcomings drop them to 10th place in the MAC standings, ranking only above Bowling Green State University. 

Action resumes at 1 p.m. CT Tuesday as NIU begins a midweek doubleheader against Valparaiso University at the Valpo Softball Complex in Valparaiso, Indiana. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+. Live statistics will be presented by StatBroadcast.

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