NIU’s softball team finished second int he Illinois State University/Subway Classic for a second straight year.
But NIU coach Dee Abrahamson preferred this year’s version much more. After an 8-2 Sunday semifinal win over Creighton University, the Huskies dropped a 5-1 decision in the championship contest to the University of Missouri. Missouri, ranked 7th in the coaches poll, was able to climb to 26-9 on the year.
While the loss snapped NIU’s nine-game winning streak, at least there was a streak to break, thanks to the Huskies sweeping all three contests in Saturday’s first day of action at Maxwell Park. NIU downed ISU 7-3, surprised Missouri 2-1 and beat Creighton, 3-0.
“I think the experience from this weekend will pay off ofr us down the road,” Abrahamson said. “We got an opportunity for several people to get a lot of good experience.”
In the championship, Missouri tallied a run in the opening frame while NIU tied the contest with a run in the bottom of the third. Missouri scored once in the top of the fourth and added three in the upper half of the sixth. Tracy Meade got the loss and slipped to 5-6. “Unfortunately we made several errors in that game,” Abrahamson said. “You can’t make errors in the outfield against a team that’s ranked in the top 10 and not expect it to cost you.”
In Sunday’s semifinal, the Huskies got on the scoreboard in the top of the second as Dawn Worden hit a solo home run over the center field fence. With the score tied, NIU went up to stay in the third.
NIU hopes to improve on its 15-15 mark when it hosts Notre Dame in a Tuesday 2 p.m. doubleheader at the NIU Softball Diamond.