Huskies place second

By Marc Wesner

The NIU softball team held its annual Huskie Invitational Tournament over the weekend.

Taking part in the two-day event with the Huskies were Ball State, Loyola and Western Illinois.

The tourney was won by the Cardinals of Ball State with the Huskies coming in second.

Third and fourth place could not be decided between Loyola and Western Illinois as rain caused the cancellation of that game.

Coincidentally enough, the Huskies started the weekend against the Cardinals on Saturday but suffered their first loss of the season in a 7-2 defeat.

After the rain caused the rest of Saturday’s games to be postponed until Sunday, the Huskies picked it up a notch by beating Western Illinois 4-3. Starting pitcher Kim Compton got the win and Tracy Meade came on to pick up the save.

Immediately following that game came the NIU-Loyola matchup. It was a 0-0 deadlock until the fourth inning when the Huskies broke open the game with a seven-run, seven-hit inning.

NIU went on to shut out the Ramblers 9-0 with Tracy Meade earning the win.

The 2-1 record was good enough to earn the Huskies a berth in the championship game as well as a rematch against Ball State, who also went 2-1 before the tourney final.

It was a see-saw battle and the most exciting game of the weekend. The lead changed four times and the game, ultimately, went into extra innings tied at five.

The contest ended when April Champlin drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth to give the Cardinals a 6-5 victory.

The Huskies (4-2) conclude their fall season this weekend at the three-day Western Illinois University Westerwind Invitational.