Softball team’s return to action a hit

By Roger Moreano

It’s not easy to come back from a two-week layoff and perform as well as the NIU softball team did in Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep of Northeastern Illinois University.

NIU put it all together through the gusting winds and near freezing temperatures and collected a 6-0 and an 8-0 win to move its record to 9-14 on the season.

NIU head coach Dee Abrahamson felt that the Huskies had the key hits on Tuesday they did not have earlier in the season.

“We lost some games earlier where we outhit people, but we strung them out and didn’t get the key hit when we needed it,” Abrahamson said. “Some of it was bad luck, but some of it was also due to pressure.

“For some athletes, the pressure of some situations helps them. For some, the pressure is too hard. We just tell our players to just make good contact and to forget about the pressure.”

Defensively, NIU played as if they had been playing outdoors for the last two weeks. The Huskies were error-free and the play on the field was instrumental in assisting the pitching staff, which only allowed a total of five hits in the two games.

“We looked good on defense,” Abrahamson said. “We haven’t played with wind like that in quite a while and we handled the fly balls well.”

The Huskies hope that the confidence they’ve gained from Tuesday’s victory will carry over into today’s doubleheader against Loyola, a team which Abrahamson admits not knowing much about.

“I don’t know much about them, but we’re kind of at a stage where we need to do things for ourselves,” Abrahamson said. “We’re more concerned with knowing the teams that we play over and over again, like the teams in our conference.

“We try not to worry about teams we don’t see much of. It’s a one-time deal with those teams, so we’re going worry about what we have to do to win.”

Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Huskie Softball Diamond, weather permitting.