Softball earns one win in opening MAC play

By James Cantagallo

Opening its MAC play this weekend, NIU softball came away with one victory.

The Huskies (13 – 19, 1 -3 MAC) battled in both games Friday, but were unable to come away with a win falling to Miami (Ohio) 8–5 and 7–6 in extra innings.

In game one, Miami (19–12, 2–2 MAC) took the lead in the first off a three-run home run and never relinquished it. Every time the Redhawks scored, NIU answered, but it was not enough.

In game 2, the Huskies fell behind 5–0 in the first inning, but battled back to take the lead in the fifth. Miami tied the game in the sixth, sending it to extras where they eventually won.

NIU turned things around Saturday and picked up its first MAC win beating Ball State 12-5.

The Cardinals (20–10, 1-1 MAC) started the game by scoring one run in the top of the first, but NIU answered with two in the bottom half and never gave up the lead.

Saturday, the Huskies were led by junior designated player Jennifer Barnett who was 3-for-4 with five runs batted in.

“We have been struggling lately and we just came together as a team,” Barnett said. “We have been doing a lot of team building activities and we needed to find a way to get it done today and we did.”

“Up and down we did a good job of being patient and crushing those pitches that were a good height,” said NIU coach Lindsay Chouinard. “That’s what we need to continue to do.”

The Huskies did continue to hit the ball well on Sunday, but Ball State did, as the Cardinals won 11–10 in eight innings.

“The reality of this game is it doesn’t come down to what happened at the end of the game,” Chouinard said. “The reality is we went four innings after we scored seven, scoring none.”