Huskies’ winning streak cut short by Notre Dame


For three and a half innings Wednesday, it looked as if the NIU softball team was going to continue their four-game win streak with a road win against Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

But then came the fourth inning, and it was all Notre Dame from there on as they defeated the Huskies 11-4.

With the Huskies (9-18) leading 4-2 after the top of the fourth, Joreigh Landers replaced starter Morgan Bittner, who gave up two runs (one earned) but walked three through three innings. The Fighting Irish (18-11) responded by putting up four runs on five hits.

“That’s the move you’re supposed to make,” said NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard of replacing Bittner with Landers. “You’re supposed to be able to roll the ball down to your next pitcher, and they’re supposed to get it done, and clearly Joreigh didn’t get it done.”

The Huskies couldn’t respond in their half of the fifth.

But the Irish picked up right where they left off by adding another five runs on three hits, highlighted by a three-run home run by Christine Lux. It was Lux’s seventh homer of the year. An unearned run after the blast would make the score 11-4 — the final score.

“We didn’t play our best,” Chouinard said. “We didn’t come out ready to play, that was evident from the first inning, so that’s what happens when you don’t come ready.”

Beneath the rubble of the loss was freshman Ashley Cann. In the top of the fourth, after an RBI single by Jenna Roberts, Cann pinched hit for Andrea Colosimo and hit a two-run double down the left-field line to put the Huskies up 4-2.

“I just went up there with nothing to lose, I guess, and just did what I could,” Cann said.

It was only Cann’s eighth at-bat of the year, but she is now batting .500 with 4 RBI. And after starting two games in conference play, plus the pinch-hit double, Cann is making Chouinard’s decision to get her more at-bats easier.

“She has been getting more at-bats,” Chouinard said. “Ashley has been doing a good job of hitting the ball and stepping up when we need her,”

The Huskies now have four-game home stand against Toledo and Bowling Green. The first pitch of a doubleheader with Toledo is set for 1 p.m., Friday.