NIU softball: Huskies swept by Western Michigan Broncos

By Christopher Loggins

Softball is on a three-game losing streak after being swept by the Western Michigan Broncos this weekend.

The loss marked the first time the Huskies were swept in a series since March 11 against the University of Central Florida.

The Huskies (19-17, 5-3 MAC) dropped game one to the Broncos (14-17, 6-2 MAC) 8-5, before having the lead in game one, but they eventually lost 5-4 after a late game rally by Western Michigan.

 Game 1

How it happened

The Broncos got the action started early with first inning triples and home runs by infielder Ivy Schaaf and outfielder Jenny Rohn. They continued their strong hitting in the second inning with back-to-back home runs by first baseman Marlee Wilson and shortstop Sabrina Gamboa.

The Huskies fought back in the top of the fourth, tying the game at 4-4 with a four-hit, four-run inning. The Broncos went on to have another four-run inning in the fifth, which was highlighted by Schaaf’s second home run of the day, pushing the lead to 8-4 in a game the Huskies were never able to bounce back in.

In the circle

Freshman Keegan Hayes took the loss for NIU, pitching 4.2 innings and giving up 10 hits and four runs, bringing her season total to 10-6.

Freshman Anissa Sanchez got the win for Western Michigan, pitching three innings and giving up only one run in her third win of the season.

At the plate

Catcher Emily Naegele and center-fielder Caitlyn Warren went 2-3 for the Huskies with one RBI a piece.

Infielder Schaaf was huge for the Broncos, going 2-4 with two big home runs and three RBIs on the day.

Game 2

How it happened

The Huskies got off to a better start in game two, scoring the first run of a game that was 1-0 until the fourth inning. NIU was able to snatch the lead back on a sac fly in the fifth along with a home run by catcher Naegele in the sixth.

Western Michigan fought back in the bottom of the sixth with a three-run home run by pitcher Erin Binkowski, giving the Broncos a 4-3 lead and the eventual 5-4 win.

In the circle

Hayes took the circle for the Huskies, giving up five runs in 6.2 innings for her second loss of the weekend. Junior pitcher Allyson Kus got the win for the Broncos, giving up one run in her only inning of pitching.

At the plate

Naegele had a big day for the Huskies, going 3-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Usual pitcher Jessica Sturm played designated hitter and went 3-3 on the day.

For Western Michigan, pitcher Binkowski also played the designated hitter position and went 2-3 and drove in four of the Broncos’ five runs.

Up next

The Huskies will face off against Valparaiso on Tuesday in a double-header beginning at 2 p.m. at Mary M. Bell Field. It’ll be the first of three series for the week as they play two series over the weekend against Miami (Ohio) and Ball State.