Softball adds to winning streak, tops MAC

By Christopher Loggins

Softball bumped its winning streak to five games Tuesday with a 2-0 win over the University of Illinois at Chicago, bringing the team to 32-13 on the season.

Freshman pitcher Alex Frenz continued what has been an extremely successful first year, picking up her 14th win after pitching six innings, striking out five batters and giving up no runs. Sophomore pitcher Tara Thacker pitched one inning to pick up her fifth save of the season.

“Those two are a really nice one-two punch right now,” said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe, according to an NIU Athletics news release. “Tara’s been doing an amazing job coming in in late innings under a lot of pressure and being able to get us out of the innings. Her composure has been phenomenal and she’s done a really nice job.”

The Flames outhit the Huskies 6-4 in a game that turned out to be a pitcher’s duel between Frenz and UIC junior pitcher Elaine Heflin, who gave up one run in three innings.

NIU junior infielder Kayti Grable led the Huskies, going 2-3 on the day with an RBI. The win moved the team to 14-6 on the road.

“It’s also nice to beat a crosstown rival,” Sutcliffe said. “We pitched really well, played some good defense and did enough offensively to win.”

The Huskies remain the top team in the MAC following the victory, six games ahead of second-place Miami University. NIU has compiled a 12-5 record in the conference and is on pace to be the No. 1 team in the MAC with just eight games remaining in the regular season.

NIU’s next contest is set for this weekend — it will face off against the University of Toledo in a three game series, starting at 2 p.m. Friday in Toledo, Ohio.