Senior Day even sweeter with win

By Jarrod Rice

Their numbers were painted on the outfield grass so nobody would forget whose day it was, and, just as last year, history repeated itself.

On last season’s Senior Day, NIU softball beat Toledo 1-0 on a two-hit shutout, and won their second game in seven tries.

Before Saturday’s game, the Huskies again celebrated Senior Day, and afterward NIU celebrated its first win in six tries

This time it was Central Michigan the Huskies beat 1-0 in their home finale behind junior pitcher Lindsey LaChiana’s three-hit shutout.

“We were pumped up for this game,” NIU coach Donna Martin said. “We weren’t overly emotional, but we really wanted to play hard and get a win.”

Although it was a junior on the mound for the Huskies, it was the seniors who provided the offense.

Seniors Kathy Dearborn and Therese Harper combined for three of the Huskies five hits, and Dearborn scored the game-winning run in the third inning.

“It’s good that we all got in the game,” Dearborn said. “We’ve had some injuries, but we all got in and we all had a part in the win.”

LaChiana, who had six strikeouts on the day, said she was happy to send the seniors off with a win.

“This was a really exciting win for everyone,” LaChiana said. “It was good to get a win in our last home game, and for them to go out that way.”

Martin said she was proud of her team for tuning out the distractions.

“It’s a tough day to keep your focus knowing it’s their last game, but they really stepped up.”