Softball heading down south


Northern Star File Photo NIU’s Stephanie Toft delivers a pitch during a game against UIC last season.

By Brian Belford and Sean Anderson

NIU softball will travel to Texas to play in the Fairfield Inn and Suites Classic hosted by North Texas.

After the Huskies won three-out-of-five at the Southeastern Louisiana tournament last weekend, they will look for another successful series this weekend in Denton, Tx. NIU had solid run support in its previous tournament, scoring eight, nine and seven runs in three of those games.

NIU’s Megan Dortch said the Huskies were little fatigued after playing in the tournament.

“It was the first time we’ve ever played five games in three days,” Dortch said. “I think this weekend will be way better since we all have been through it once.”

NIU coach Lindsay Chouinard said even though the season is young, the team is still looking for more improvements to build on.

“Whoever the next opponent is, so right now that’s Creighton,” Chouinard said. “That’s how we do it; one game at a time, staying focused on that.”

The Huskies will play games against North Texas, Wichita State, Missouri State and two games against Creighton at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Classic.

NIU has seven freshmen on this year’s team, but pitcher/outfielder Nicole Gremillion said it hasn’t affected the team playing like veterans.

“I think we are really good as a team.” Gremillion said. “We have really good chemistry, so I think that’s really going to give us a big advantage.”

NIU looks to use that chemistry to win more games throughout the year.

Through their first-five games, the Huskies’ offense has been led by sophomore Stephanie Tofft, who is batting .611 with two home runs and seven RBI. On the mound, NIU has relied on Dortch, who has earned all-three of its wins this season in the pitcher’s circle.