Class project attempts to up team’s following

By Carl Ackerman

Tickets to a Chicago Cubs game, a hitting contest and a number of other prizes will be just some of the highlights at NIU’s 3 p.m. softball doubleheader against long-time rival Illinois State.

Beating the Redbirds will be one goal for the Huskies, but another will be an effort to draw a surplus of fans.

A group of six students in a Sports/Fitness Leadership class is promoting the game for a class project.

“We’re really excited about it,” said junior Karen Lucitt, a journalism major with a public relations emphasis. “I think we’ll get a lot of people out there. The team deserves a lot of support.”

Lucitt said the project was one of four that was available in the class, and all of the members wanted to be a part of it because of their interest in public relations.

Softball coach Dee Abrahamson believes the project, which has been held in previous years, should be very beneficial to the students as well as the team.

“It’s a great idea. Certainly, for us it will help. Some of the things they’re doing have never been done before,” said Abrahamson.

The group is optimistic that it can reach its goal of doubling normal game attendance. Lucitt said she is hoping for 100 fans.

“We want to see people going to these games more often to show the softball team some support. They certainly deserve it,” said sophomore group member Sheryl White.

“There’s probably a lot of students that are not aware of how good (NIU) is. Maybe if we get the people out there, they’ll start showing up more,” said Lucitt.

NIU is 11-16-2, and Abrahamson hopes to have her team provide plenty of excitement on the field.

“We’ve talked to our players about being exciting enough for people to come back to us. Our job is to provide,” said Abrahamson.

Everyone that attends the doubleheader has a chance of winning four tickets to a the June 28 Cubs game against the Montreal Expos.

The tickets and other prizes will be raffled for one dollar between games. The home-run hitting contest will consist of volunteers from the crowd, and refreshments will be provided throughout the games. The NIU mascot Victor E. Huskie will also make an appearance.