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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 swept in series versus No. 25 RedHawks

Huskies finish 2024 with 18-34, 9-19 MAC record
Totus Tuus Keely
Senior catcher/outfielder Ellis Erickson dives back to first base on Tuesday at Mary M. Bell Field. NIU softball dropped all three games of its regular season finale against Miami University on Saturday. (Northern Star File Photo)

DeKALB – NIU softball (18-34, 9-19 MAC) mustered four total runs in weekend action against the 25th-ranked Miami University RedHawks (45-7, 26-1 MAC) on Saturday and Sunday at Mary M. Bell Field to conclude the regular season.

The Huskies were blanked 7-0 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader before getting mercy-ruled in six innings to end the day with a 11-2 defeat. On Sunday, NIU fell once again by a margin of 5-2.

We would have loved to see a different result on the scoreboard but, as always, I am so proud of this team for battling on both sides of the ball,” said NIU softball head coach Christina Sutcliffe via NIU Athletics. “I’m so proud of our seniors for competing to their fullest and for leaving everything they had on the field. Their dedication and commitment to NIU softball will be missed.”


Sophomore pitcher/utility Danielle “Dee Dee” Stewart succumbed to the RedHawks’ hot hitters during her stint in the circle. Stewart surrendered six hits, seven runs and four walks before she was relieved by senior pitcher Claire Norred in the sixth inning.

Both teams remained silent on the scoreboard through the first three innings. Miami graduate student catcher/outfielder Allie Cummins broke the ice in the fourth inning with a single to bring home teammate junior outfielder Jenna Golembiewski.

The visitors proceeded to add one more run in the fourth inning, one in the fifth and two in the sixth to put Miami ahead 7-0. A scoreless final frame left NIU in the loss column to close out the opening contest.

GAME 2: MIAMI 11, NIU 2 (6 innings)

Like the game before, NIU’s army of arms – led by senior pitcher Emily Dato – was plagued by Miami’s arsenal of elite hitters. In total, the circle surrendered 11 runs, 10 hits and six walks while striking out two batters. 

The RedHawks opened the scoring in the second game with a pair of runs in the first inning. Miami senior infielder Karli Spaid knocked her 100th career home run in the third inning to put NIU at a 3-0 deficit.

The opposing scoring spurt continued until freshman middle infielder/outfielder Alana Powell and freshman outfielder Katy Ramage each scored off a fielder’s choice in the fifth inning. Miami added four more runs in the top of the sixth inning to extend NIU’s losing skid to three games.


Stewart started in the circle for the Huskies again Sunday. She gave up four hits, four runs and three walks while recording three strikeouts in 3.2 innings of service. Stewart was credited with her 10th loss of the season to finish the year with a .500 record (10-10).

Miami put up the game’s first five runs, including a pair of two-run innings in the first and fourth. Trailing 5-0 after five innings, senior catcher/outfielder Ellis Erickson and Stewart each posted an RBI-double in the sixth inning to trim their deficit.

Each squad recorded one hit in the final inning of play with neither scoring, leaving the Huskies swept to end their 2024 campaign.


The weekend’s results guarantee NIU a ninth-place finish in the MAC standings, three spots below its preseason projection. The Huskies are eliminated from postseason contention for the fourth consecutive year, signifying a shortcoming of its championship expectations before the season.

The MAC-leading RedHawks finish the regular season 45-7, 26-1 MAC and will advance as the top seed in the MAC tournament. NIU ends 2024 at 18-34, 9-19 MAC.

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