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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

NIU and Bowling Green swap wins in doubleheader

Totus Tuus Keely
Sophomore catcher/utility Cara Cruthers (16) makes contact on March 29 at Mary M. Bell Field. NIU softball split Saturday’s doubleheader with Bowling Green State University as each game was ended by mercy rule. (Northern Star File Photo)

NIU softball (17-30, 8-15 MAC) wrapped up its three-game series against the Bowling Green University Falcons (6-34, 3-19 MAC) trading blowout wins in Saturday’s doubleheader. 


Faulty Huskie pitching and efficient Falcon batting led to an 11-3, five-inning loss for NIU in Game 1. Senior outfielder Peyton Dolejs led Bowling Green with four RBIs, including a homerun. 

Huskie senior pitcher Emily Dato opened the mound for NIU. Dato gave up seven runs and walked three batters in 0.1 innings pitched. Senior pitcher Claire Norred took over and closed the game, allowing four runs across four innings pitched. 

Bowling Green cycled through three pitchers with senior pitcher Taylor Turner, junior pitcher Ellie Price and freshman pitcher Emma Denison all contributing. The trio gave up eight hits and walked two batters. 

The Falcons started hot, leaving the first inning with a 7-0 lead. With bases loaded, Bowling Green struck the first run off a walked batter and then created a 3-0 lead following a two-run single by sophomore catcher Marti Henkel. 

The Falcons’ dominance persisted with RBIs by senior catcher Reagen Williamson, junior utility Wynnie Reid and Dolejs to close the first inning. 

Huskie senior infielder Caitlyn Shumaker trimmed NIU’s deficit to 7-1 in the top of the third inning thanks to an RBI single sending junior middle infielder/outfielder Jenna Turner home. 

The Falcons ran away with the game in the bottom of the third inning after Dolejs aimed for the fences, rocketing her three-run homerun to left field. Williamson and freshman middle infielder Taylor Behrendt scored as a result, putting Bowling Green up 10-1.

After a pair of NIU runs in the fourth innings, the Falcons sealed the 11-3 mercy rule victory in the bottom of the fifth inning after senior outfielder Makailah Dees keyed an RBI single. 


The Huskies dismantled the Falcons 14-4 across six innings in Game 2. Freshman middle infielder/outfielder Alana Powell led the pack in batting, recording five RBIs. 

“We had a lot of Huskies have a great weekend,” said NIU softball head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “Alana Powell came up big today for us at the plate in key situations.” 

Senior catcher/outfielder Ellis Erickson, junior first baseman/third baseman Madison Mathews, junior middle infielder/outfielder Avery Carnahan, sophomore catcher/utility Trinity Jones Estrada and Powell each recorded at least one RBI. 

Sophomore pitcher Lily Cassell pitched a complete game for the Huskies. Cassell finished the game striking out four batters. 

The Huskies struck early, leaving the first inning with a 4-0 advantage. Erickson kicked the run off on the first at-bat of the game, rocketing a home run to center field. 

Mathews parlayed Erickson’s homer later in the top of the first inning with a RBI single. Jones Estrada capped off the inning with a single RBI, bringing Mathews in for the score. 

NIU extended its lead to 7-0 in the top of the second inning thanks to Powell logging a two-run single and Mathews stealing home plate. 

Behrendt gave Bowling Green its first run in the bottom of the third inning, logging a two-run single and bringing Reid and sophomore outfielder Delaney Davis to home plate. 

Later in the third inning, Behrendt reached home after Dolejs was grounded out. Dees closed the inning with an RBI double, slimming the deficit to 7-4. 

The Huskies responded in the top of the fourth inning, recording three runs. Powell kicked off the run with a two-run single, bringing in Turner and Erickson for the score. Powell closed the top of the fourth scoring on a fielding error, giving the Huskies a 10-4 lead. 

In the top of the sixth inning, Powell logged an RBI triple and proceeded to seal the 14-4 mercy rule victory after reaching home plate, capitalizing on a ground out. 


The Huskies’ next series is against Ball State University, with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday at Mary M. Bell Field in DeKalb. The games will be streamed through NIU All-Access and live stats will be available on SIDEARM Sports.

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