Patrick Murphy | Northern Star
DeKALB — NIU softball defeated the Valparaiso University Crusaders 9-3 Wednesday to wrap up a five-game home stand.
A seven-run third inning sparked NIU to victory. With the score tied at 2 after two frames, junior infielder Bianca Barone hit an RBI double into left field to start the scoring rally.
Catcher/infielder Carley Goetschius reached on the second single of the inning and then scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher/infielder Kira Mickelson.
Barone reached home on a wild pitch, pushing the Huskies’ advantage to 5. Sophomore infielder Megan Guericke singled to left with two outs to give NIU the 6-2 lead.
The scoring wasn’t over yet, as sophomore infielder Kelly Walinski cleared the bases with a double to left center field later in the inning. To end the inning, infielder/catcher Katie Keller cleared the bases with a double to score Walinski.
First-year pitcher Claire Norred recorded her sixth win of the season, allowing two runs on two hits while getting three strikeouts in three innings of work.
NIU has its next match in conference play starting 2 p.m. Friday, when the Huskies battle the Central Michigan University Chippewas in a four-game series in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.