Softball squad anxious to play again

By Roger Moreano

The recent weather in the Midwest has done nothing to help the NIU softball team as it anxiously awaits another opportunity to take the field.

It’s now been two weeks since NIU has played with the recent cancellation of a double-header scheduled to take place last Sunday at Indiana State.

However, NIU head coach Dee Abrahamson isn’t too bothered by the weather.

“Most of the kids know it (the weather) is a given and we just have to put up with it,” Abrahamson said. “It’s just like when basketball players have to deal with fans when shooting free throws.

“We were disappointed going all the way to Indiana State and having that long ride just for a study break. But we’re excited to play again (hopefully) this weekend.”

In the meantime, NIU has been practicing indoors at Chick Evans Field House, trying to stay active during gameless periods.

“We’re practicing in the (fieldhouse) which doesn’t really affect the hitters but it does affect the pitchers a little,” Abrahamson said. “It takes a bit of an adjustment but we do it (practice indoors) all of January and February, anyway.”

As for the weekend, NIU will be at the Ball State Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The tourney’s field includes host Ball State, Iowa State, and NIU’s scheduled opponent from last weekend, Indiana State.

Abrahamson feels that the stiffest challenge may come from the host team, but isn’t taking any opponent lightly.

“It’ll be our only chance to see Ball State all year … so we see that game with a little more importance,” Abrahamson said. “Iowa State is usually a good team with good hitters.

“Indiana State played well in the fall under their new coach. We beat them both times we played them in the fall, but we caught them at a good time because they had a new coach and they had to adjust to a totally new style of play.

“They have improved quite a bit since then and have adjusted to that new style the new coach put in. It should be a tough game,” Abrahamson added.

The Huskies enter the weekend’s action with a 7-14 record and will host Northeastern Illinois next Tuesday.