Huskies add Ramblers to list of scoreless victims

By Roger Moreano

The NIU softball team continued its superb defensive play and pitching Thursday with back-to-back shutouts of Loyola, 2-0 and 3-0, at the Huskie Softball Diamond.

In game one, the Huskies (11-14) scored when they had to, and NIU held the Ramblers at bay with a four strike out performance by senior ace Kristin Vandenhouten.

The game was scoreless until the Huskies’ half of the sixth inning.

With one out, Mary Borem reached first base safely on an error. Dawn Worden followed with a single, moving Borem to second. Niki VanHooreweghe added an RBI single, and with runners on first and second, Vandenhouten followed with an RBI single.

That’s all the runs the Huskies needed as they went on to post a 2-0 victory on nine hits.

In game two, Tracy Meade pitched a nearly flawless game,

striking out five and allowing only two hits.

This time the Huskies scored early. In the third inning, Mandy Clothier drove in the first of her two RBI’s on a single to left that allowed Mary Borem to cross the plate.

The Huskies added a run in the fifth and Clothier knocked in her second run of the game in the sixth inning when her single drove in Ann Colgan, who had doubled with one out in the inning. The Huskies went on to win 3-0 on 10 hits.

NIU’s head coach Dee Abrahamson was a bit surprised that the Huskies have blanked their last five opponents and attributes the success to her pitching.

“When it’s this cold, it’s unexpected for a pitcher to go the distance … but we are doing such a good job,” Abrahamson said. “We caught a lot of line drives and I was pleased with our defensive effort. That’s the kind of (play) we need.”