Huskies start quickly in win over Loyola

By Andrew Hanson

NIU softball coach Donna Martin has a theory about Wednesday’s win over Loyola-Chicago.

“Maybe it’s the weather,” Martin said. “When the weather warms up, so do our bats.”

NIU defeated LCU 8-4 in DeKalb.

The Huskies (15-16) came out offensively against LCU (9-30) and didn’t stop.

A leadoff double by freshman Bailey Ouellette and a bunt by junior Kelly Park that scored Ouellette started the first-inning run for the Huskies.

Four more Huskies hit safely and scored two more runs to end the six-hit, three-run first inning.

“We put them back on their heels,” Martin said. “It gave us confidence to go out there and play defense.”

NIU repeated the performance in the second inning, scoring another three runs on five hits.

LCU started to get a feel for starting pitcher Taryn Hagemann and scored three runs on her off four hits. Hagemann allowed only three hits in the previous two innings.

In the fourth inning, Hagemann was replaced by senior Lindsey LaChiana, who would face her former team in LCU.

With the lead in her favor, LaChiana said that she wasn’t as nervous as she would have been if the score was 0-0.

LaChiana retired her first five batters she faced.

The Huskies extended the lead by scoring two runs in the fifth inning.

Sophomore Jenna Mitchell loaded the bases off a throwing error on a bunt for Park, who singled into left and hit in one run.

LCU attempted a late comeback with one out in the seventh inning off a freshman Nora Schober walk.

Schober was able to steal second and scored off a junior Raven Gengler double, but LaChiana was able to retire the last two batters.

LaChina got the win with 3.2 innings pitched, one earned run, two hits, one walk and three strikeouts.

Hagemann pitched 3.1 innings, had three earned runs off seven hits, three walks and one strikeout.

Leading the way offensively for NIU was Park who went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Ashley Clement also went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.