Softball squad takes 3rd at WIU Invite

By Marc Wesner

The NIU softball team ended its “preseason” play last weekend when it finished third in a pool of six teams at the Western Illinois Westerwind Invitational.

The Huskies narrowly missed a chance to play for first place in the championship game but lost due to a tie-breaker to host Western Illinois, who went on to take first in the tournament.

Preseason refers to the fact that the ladies will start off again in February with a blank slate as far as records go, but they have gained quite a bit of experience in game situations and, of course, practice never hurts.

These “exhibition matches” are also helpful to the coaching staff in determining who can play particular positions and who can fit into certain roles that the club needs to have filled.

“We had a chance for a lot of our hitters to see what they could do in clutch situations,” said NIU head coach Dee Abrahamson. “Defensively, we had to play with a lot of (opposing runners) on base and had to come up with the plays.

“It also gives us more of an idea of what we want to work on and what we think we need to do before we play again in February.”

Sporting a 7-5 preseason record, the Huskies are looking really good right now. One standout has been freshman left fielder Angela Porcelli, who owns a 12-game hitting streak and has done a great job for the team defensively.

The season resumes for the squad on Feb. 20, when it competes in the University of Southwestern Louisiana Tournament at Lafayette, La. Also taking part will be McNeese State.

The Huskies’ first home game won’t be played until April 6 against the University of Iowa.