Softball ventures out of MAC

By Jarrod Rice

The game might not mean anything in the MAC standings, but that doesn’t mean the NIU women’s softball team won’t play to win.

At 4 p.m. today the Huskies will play at Northwestern, which NIU softball coach Donna Martin said will be valuable despite the fact that it is a non-conference game.

“This is a good opportunity for us to work on some things, but we’re still after a win,” Martin said. “We’re going to get some people who need at-bats some work, and work out some kinks.”

The Huskies (21-24) will get to work out those kinks against the top team in the Big Ten.

Northwestern (35-12) is 15-1 in conference play this season and is coming off of a 14-2 win over Michigan State.

“It will be great to play the top team in the Big Ten,” Martin said. “It’s good for us to play a quality opponent in the same state and have a tune-up for the final weekend.”

If the Huskies hope to win, they will have to find a way to penetrate the Wildcats’ pitching.

Northwestern has a team ERA of 1.30, and has allowed 84 runs in 47 games.

The Huskies have scored more than one run in just three of their last 10 games.

“When we play an opponent on their field we have a tendency to be tentative,” Martin said. “We don’t want to do that. We want to see the pitcher the first time through the order and then make adjustments.”

The Huskies will likely send junior pitcher Lindsey LaChiana to the mound to get some work before the last weekend of the season.

LaChiana leads NIU with an ERA of 1.89, but has a 13-13 record to show for it.