Softball goes 2-3 over weekend

By Rick Green

DeKALB — The softball team earned its first two wins of the young season in the College of Charleston Tournament.

“There is a lot of room for improvement, but we are in a better spot this week than last week,” said Head Coach Christina Sutcliffe.

Friday Morning — Lancers 7, Huskies 2

The Huskies fell to the Longwood Lancers 7-2 to open the tournament. The Lancers came out on fire in the first inning, as they scored four runs. The Huskies couldn’t comeback, as they finished the game with only two runs and batting .285.

The Lancers had 11 hits and batted .379. The Huskies struggled offensively and defensively, as they couldn’t keep Longwood from scoring. Senior shortstop Alaynie Woollard and senior catcher Bekah Harnish were the only two Huskies to score a run.

Friday Afternoon — Huskies 5, Cougars 3

The Huskies notched their first win of the season as they defeated the College of Charleston Cougars 5-3. The Huskies saw impressive pitching in the win over the Cougars. NIU jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Junior outfielder Jessica Rio scored on a fly out in the first inning.

The Cougars came back and took the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning. After Jordin Jones of the Cougars hit a 2-run home run, the Huskies roared back in the fifth inning, as junior outfielder Jenny Van Geertry slammed a three-run home run.

Junior pitcher Alex Frenz pitched four innings and only allowed one hit. Frenz grabbed the win for the Huskies and is now 1-1 on the season.

Saturday Morning — Blue Demons 4, Huskies 2

The softball team failed to grab its second consecutive win and fell to the DePaul University Blue Demons 4-2. The Huskies grabbed an early lead in the first inning from a triple from Woollard, leading to Rio scoring for the Huskies. The Blue Demons answered with two runs in the third inning.

With the game tied at 2-2 in the sixth inning, DePaul closed the game with two runs in the seventh inning to seal the win.

Saturday Afternoon — Huskies 6, Gaels 2

The Huskies secured their second win of the season with a win over the Iona College Gaels. NIU turned their offensive switch on and scored six runs. The softball team batted .375 and played error-free defense.

Junior infielder Sam Schmidt got the scoring started when she singled home Van Geertry to give NIU the early lead. The Huskies scored three runs in the fifth inning while the Gaels scored two. NIU scored one more run to put the game away in the sixth inning and take a 6-2 win.

Senior pitcher Tara Thacker pitched a complete game. She allowed just five hits, two runs and struck out seven on her way to her first win of the season.

Sunday Morning — Lancers 7, Huskies 2

The softball team had a rematch against the Longwood Lancers for the conclusion of the Cougar Classic. Unfortunately, NIU found themselves on the losing end again, falling 7-2.

“We didn’t play our best game,” Sutcliffe said.

The Huskies couldn’t control the Lancers offense as they had 13 hits. NIU couldn’t get going offensively, only scoring two runs on three hits. Thacker allowed four hits and three runs in two innings.

“Being on the road is taking a toll on the team,” Sutcliffe said. “I’m happy we will be closer to home.”

The Huskies will be back in action 10 a.m. March 2 in Carbondale for the SIU Tournament.