Softball takes 3-of-5 at Souteastern Louisiana Tournament

By Brian Belford

NIU softball won three out of its five games at the Southeastern Louisiana Tournament.

Behind solid run production and hot bats, the Huskies (3-2) beat Southern University 8-4 and Nicholls State 9-8 in back-to-back games Friday.

In the first game NIU trailed Southern 4-3 before getting five runs in the fifth inning to get the win.

Huskies’ junior Jennifer Barnett’s double to center scored the winning two-runs. NIU freshman pitcher Megan Dortch took the mound in the sixth and shut down the Jaguars, allowing one hit while striking out three.

The second game Friday was much closer. NIU survived a late four-run rally in the last inning by the Colonels to earn its second win of the day. The Huskies second victory came courtesy of 13 hits and sophomore Stephanie Tofft’s two home runs.

“The top of the line up did a really good job setting the tempo for us,” said NIU coach Lindsay Chouinard said. “The seniors, Carly and Dani, had a really good day from the plate. We just found a way to get it done.”

NIU fell behind to Nicholls State 4-0, but after scoring three runs in the third, NIU pushed two more across in the bottom of the fourth to take a 6-4 lead.

Tofft’s second home run of the day closed out another three-run inning for the Huskies, pushing their lead to 9-4. The Colonels lit up NIU freshman pitcher Allyson Hecht for four runs, on four hits to come within one run of tying before sophomore Nicole Gremillion came in and got the last two outs.

The Huskies split their two games Saturday, losing 10-2 to Troy before beating Tennessee Martin 7-5 for its third and final win of the weekend.

In an effort to get some experience, Hecht pitched the whole game against Troy. The Trojans scored ten runs on 12 hits off of Hecht.

The Huskies cranked-out 12 hits against Tennessee Martin. Dortch pitched a complete game, striking out 11 Skyhawk batters and allowing six hits over seven innings.

The Skyhawks had tied the game at 2-2 in the third inning, but NIU scored five runs in the final three innings to take the lead for good at 7-3.

“We’ve been fighting. It’s been really nice to see,” Dortch said. “We’ve been coming from behind and showing our character.”

In their final game of the weekend series, the Huskies lost to the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions 10-2.

Gremillion went 3-3, and Tofft went 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored. That would be all the offense NIU could muster, as the Lady Lions had 10 hits, including eight off of Dortch, and closed the game with a six-run sixth inning.