Softball goes 1-1 in rain shortened tournament

By Frank Gogola

Softball split a pair of games Saturday at the Evansville Tournament, as it had a hard time finding the all-around consistency it has looked for this season.

The Huskies (6-5) beat the Northern Kentucky Norse (1-10), 4-3, Saturday in Evansville, Ind. They then lost to the Evansville Purple Aces (6-4), 12-7, in the second game of the doubleheader.

Northern Kentucky

The Huskies defeated the Norse, 4-3, as Shelby Miller drove in Nicole Gremillion on a two-on, one-out single to center field in the bottom of the seventh inning. They trailed 2-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth inning and were tied 3-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh inning, but they pulled out the win.

“It’s been really nice to see that fight,” said head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “They have the confidence that they can see themselves coming back no matter the score. They’re doing a really good job at staying focused and staying in the zone.”

Gremillion reached base on a leadoff bunt single and moved to second base on an Ashley Kopp sacrifice bunt. The Norse then intentionally walked Emily Naegele to set up a force at third base prior to Miller’s walk-off single.

Rebecca Rupard (1-2), who went 2-3 with one RBI, picked up her first win of the season, surrendering three runs on six hits and one walk while striking out three in a complete-game effort. Rupard started in place of Jessica Sturm, who Sutcliffe said needed to rest after pitching six of the Huskies’ first nine games.

“Rebecca [Rupard] had [a] great day offensively and then pitching,” Sutcliffe said. “She stepped up with Jess [Sturm] not being able to throw. … It was an opportunity for our other pitchers to step up, and Rebecca took advantage of it.”

Rupard gave up a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game, 3-3, and a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning that put Northern Kentucky ahead, 2-1. She aided her own cause, as she tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning with a RBI single prior to a Kali Kossakowski RBI single that put NIU up, 3-2.

The Norse got on the board in the fifth inning on a RBI single. It was the first run scored by either team since the Huskies grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a Naegele RBI single.


The Huskies got on the scoreboard when Kayti Grable drove in Gremillion and Kopp with a two-out single to right field in the top of the first inning; however, things quickly turned south for NIU.

The Purple Aces responded with a four spot in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back.

The Huskies were forced to play catch-up the remainder of the game. They got within 7-5 and 10-7, but they ultimately lost, 12-7.

The Huskies committed three errors, which led to three unearned Evansville runs. Skylar Weinstein (0-1) picked up her first loss of the season.

“[The Purple Aces] definitely came out swinging their bats and putting balls in play,” Sutcliffe said. “We fell short in making some defensive plays, committing errors in the big-run innings. When you’re playing teams that put the ball in play, you have to be able to get off field; you can’t give them extra outs.”