Softball players focus on opponents as MAC matchups resume

By Keelen Holcomb

Softball (22-8) will resume MAC matchups this weekend as it faces off against Kent State University (20-7) in a three-game series.

The Huskies have hit the ball well as of late, scoring at least eight runs in five of their last nine games. They’ve also improved vastly on defense from the beginning of the year, picking up five shutouts on the year. The Huskies and the Flashes are both ranked first in their respective divisions in the MAC. Both teams are also undefeated in conference play.

Freshman pitcher Alex Frenz, who held Bowling Green State University hitters to a .171 batting average last weekend, has been a big part of the Huskies’ defensive improvement. She was honored with MAC Pitcher of the Week after her performance, allowing just one run in 12 innings.

NIU was riding a 14-game winning streak until it ran into Loyola University on Wednesday, taking a 9-6 loss in the first game of the double-header. Loyola outhit the Huskies 12-8. The second game was called due to rain.

“We honestly aren’t really talking about it,” said head coach Christina Sutcliffe of the Huskies’ recent winning streak. “We’ve just [been] talking about the opponent.”

Junior first baseman Kayti Grable was honored as the MAC Co-Player of the Week after her performance last week. She had three home runs, including nine RBI’s and five runs scored, batting .625.

“[Winning the award] was nice. We had a really good weekend and we hit a lot of balls hard,” Grable said. “But it was a good feeling.”