Softball loses 2 of 3 in weekend tourney


Senior catcher Emily Naegele receives a new ball during a game against Central Michigan University on Friday. The Huskies lost the game 5-4.

By Christopher Loggins

Softball (33-18) ended the regular season with a three-game series against Central Michigan University, losing two out of three games but sealing its first division title since 2000.

The Huskies dropped the first game of the series Friday by a score of 5-4. They trailed 4-1 for much of the game and gave a comeback in the final inning, but the Chippewas held on to the lead late.

The teams followed the contest with the second game of a doubleheader, and NIU evened the series after a strong offensive showing. The team tallied a total of 10 hits, led by senior catcher Emily Naegele, who went 3-3 with a home run in the 8-3 victory.

Central Michigan controlled much of the final game of the series Saturday, holding the Huskies to only three hits on its way to a 4-1 win. The loss placed NIU in fourth place for the MAC Tournament.

“[Rachael Knapp] is a good pitcher,” said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe, according to an NIU Athletics news release. “She changed her game plan a little bit [Saturday] and we didn’t counter it soon enough. I think their offense impressed me more [Saturday] than their pitching.”

We are going to have to play a little better defense [at the MAC Tournament], and clutch-up a little more hitting. So far our pitching has held up good enough to get us through games, so we need to put a couple more runs on the board and play better defense.”