Huskie softball drops weekend series


Junior Alex Frenz picked up the win for the Huskies on Friday. Frenz is 8-6 on the season. The Huskies are 18-28 and fifth in the MAC East division.

By Rick Green

DeKalb — The Huskies softball team lost the series to the Western Michigan Broncos 1-2, taking game one Friday and falling in games two and three Saturday at Mary M. Bell Field.

“They’re playing well overall,” said Head Coach Christina Sutcliffe. “We just have to go back to what we do and keep fighting.”

Friday – Huskies 2, Broncos 1

The Huskies and Broncos both struggled offensively. Senior pitcher Alex Frenz allowed one hit in five innings to go along with four strikeouts.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. NIU had two runners on base with one out before sophomore infielder Anne Allen singled, and freshman catcher Kira Mickelson was hit by a pitch.

Junior outfielder Katie Lamich reached base on an infield single to Broncos shortstop Brooke Wyman. Wyman attempted to get Mickelson out at second, but her throw went into the outfield, allowing the game’s first run.

Frenz’s record improved to 8-6 on the year, allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts.

“I was really excited,” Frenz said. “The first couple innings I was really hyped, and I needed to calm down a little bit. I just needed to go back to what I know and know what you needed to do.”

Saturday game one – Broncos 5, Huskies 4

The game went into extra innings but the Broncos scored one run in both the eighth and ninth innings to seal the win.

Western Michigan started the scoring when Aspen Williams hit a solo home run in the top of the second inning. The Huskies tied the game in the bottom of the second half with a hit from Mickelson to allow sophomore outfielder Kayla Scaperrotta to score.

The Huskies had a chance to add to the score in the third inning, but Broncos starting pitcher Sydney Stefanick retired Lamich and junior outfielder Jenny Van Geertry.

“We left too many runners in scoring position,” Sutcliffe said. “We couldn’t get a hit when runners were on second and third.”

The Broncos and Huskies combined for 26 hits and nine runs.

Saturday game two – Broncos 5, Huskies 3

The Huskies tried to win the series against the Broncos in the finale after splitting the first two games.

The Broncos got things going in the first inning with a two-run home run to take the early lead. Senior infielder Alaynie Woollard hit a home run in the bottom of the second inning to put the Huskies on the board.

Western Michigan University struck again in the top of the third inning when Broncos player Samantha Coffel hit a triple, allowing Mackenzie Swinehart to score.

NIU struggled in the bottom of the third inning. Mickelson and Van Geertry struck out, and Lamich popped out to right field.

The Broncos came back again in the top of the fourth inning scoring two more runs and raking in two more hits, increasing the Western Michigan lead to four.

Junior infielder Dominique Greeno scored in the bottom of the fourth inning from a single hit by senior infielder Bekah Harnish. The Huskies closed the gap to three runs.

Neither team scored in the fifth inning. The Broncos loaded the bases up with three hits but failed to capitalize, going scoreless in the top of the sixth inning. Two runners were left on base after Harnish flew out to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, junior Abby Howlett hit her second home run of the season to decrease the lead to two runs. The Huskies did not tally any more runs in the game.

“We just have to play our game,” Sutcliffe said. “We’ll try a different lineup and see if that works going into Central [Michigan]. We have to make the MAC tournament.”

The Huskies will be back on the diamond at 2 p.m. Wednesday with a doubleheader against the Valparaiso Crusaders in Valparaiso, Indiana.