Huskies topple Indiana, fall to FAU in second day at Boca Raton

NIU’s softball team earns its first win of the season against the Indiana University Hoosiers Saturday


Courtesy of NIU Athletics

Senior infielder and catcher Katie Keller assumes her batting stance during a game. (NIU Athletics)

DeKALB — The NIU softball team came back strong for their second day at the Florida Atlantic University First-Pitch Classic Saturday in Boca Raton, Florida. The evening of softball action saw the Huskies secure a big win against Indiana University, followed by a close game loss to the tournament host team, Florida Atlantic University.

Game one: NIU 14, Indiana 3

NIU won their first game of the evening by mercy rule after a dominating performance against the Indiana University Hoosiers. Softball games are decided early if a team is ahead by eight runs after five innings, according to the NCAA softball rule book.

The Huskies gained the lead early in the first inning due to Indiana fielding errors and never let it go. NIU increased its lead from 3-2 to 11-3 in an action-packed second inning, where they had an 8-run rally. A pair of triples from senior first-baseman Katie Keller and freshman shortstop Avery Carnahan were just a part of the critical hitting success that kept the Huskies running around the diamond.

The Hoosiers were unable to answer back for the remainder of the shortened five-inning game, while the Huskies earned a single run in each of the next three innings to bring the final score to a 14-3 blowout.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Emily Dato pitched all five innings for NIU while Indiana had four pitching changes.

A solo home run from junior second-baseman Sam Mallinder in the fifth inning was the cherry on top for the NIU upset victory.

Game two: FAU 4, NIU 3

The action was more evenly paced for the second game of the evening. The Owls scored a run in each of the first two innings and the Huskies answered back with a run in the second and third innings, followed by another run in the top of the fourth inning to gain a 3-2 lead. This lead was spoiled later by FAU in the bottom of the sixth inning when they scored two runs, resulting in a 4-3 loss for NIU.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Claire Norred started the game for the Huskies and was replaced by junior right-handed pitcher Delaney Ostrowski after the fourth inning.

The Huskies saw more hitting production and runners-batted-in from Keller and Carnhan once again for the day, along with graduate student infielder Maddie Mackey.

Preparing for the final day of the tournament

NIU will spend their third and final day in Boca Raton, Florida playing Indiana University once again at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Live stats for the game can be viewed on the FAU Athletics website.