Broncos sweep Huskies over weekend

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Northern Star File Photo

By James Cantagallo

NIU softball went to Western Michigan this weekend with hopes of claiming a spot in the MAC Tournament. However, the Huskies were swept by the Broncos and lost by 5–3 Saturday and 4–2 Sunday, bringing their season to an end.

In game one Saturday, WMU (25–23, 11–9 MAC) put up two runs in the third and they never trailed after that.

NIU (19–34, 7–15 MAC) would respond with a run in the fifth on a Carly Norton double, but the Broncos answered with two more runs in the bottom half of the inning.

In Sunday’s game, WMU jumped out to a 1–0 lead in the first. NIU responded with two runs in the second on an Amanda Sheppard sac fly and a Bryanna Phelan single to take a 2–1 lead.

The Broncos would go on to score single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, while holding the Huskies scoreless for the rest of the game.

“I thought we did a great job of fighting back and keeping ourselves composed,” said NIU’s Nicole Gremillion. “I thought we played pretty hard.”

Looking back on the season, the Huskies did not have as good of a season as they would have liked to.

“It was a season with a lot of injuries, and honestly just a season of disappointment for us,” said NIU coach Lindsay Chouinard.

The Huskies season may have ended early, but they had some bright spots throughout the season.

One bright spot was Gremillion, who led the NIU offense this spring by leading the team with a .395 batting average and 70 hits.

Shelby Miller was another bright spot for the Huskies this spring. She led the team with 10 home runs, one shy of the school record, and led the team with 36 runs batted in.

Megan Dortch came in and became the ace of the pitching staff as a freshman. She led the team in wins, earned run average, starts, complete games, opponent batting average and strike outs.

The team now looks to move forward in the offseason and work hard so they can have a better result next season.

“We are returning a lot of players, it is going to be up to them with how they move forward, how hard they work this summer, and what kind of culture they create in the program,” Chouinard said. “It’s really in their hands.”