Softball squad anxious

By Roger Moreano

Finally, it seems, the NIU softball team will be able to screw in the cleats and play ball tomorrow.

NIU is scheduled to host Northeastern Illinois University in a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Huskie Softball Diamond.

The Huskies have eagerly been awaiting their opportunity to play a game since their last outing over two weeks ago in Texas, and NIU head coach Dee Abrahamson and her team are excited about being able to get some game-time in.

“The kids are excited to play,” Abrahamson said. “It’s been two weeks and this is the longest that I’ve waited (in between games).

“It’s been hard for (the players) to have to wake up early and put on their uniforms only to have to wait hours to see if the field is dry enough to play.”

It’s been that kind of two week stretch for the Huskies who have spent their practice time indoors at Chick Evans Field House. Abrahamson hopes that the time away from the outdoors doesn’t have any serious effects on her team’s performance when they return to the diamond.

“It’s hard to come off of the flat floor (at the fieldhouse) and play,” Abrahamson said. “(Monday) was the only outdoor practice we’ve had in the two weeks, so we’ve got to go out there and do the best we can.

Assuming NIU finally does get a game in, Abrahamson mentioned several areas that need work if the Huskies are to improve on their 7-14 season record.

“We need to put together more rallies,” Abrahamson said. “We’ve scored some runs, but we haven’t put together any big rallies where we get a runner on, move the runners over and keep hitting the ball well.”

Abrahamson also stressed the importance of getting good pitching which has been a strong area for the Huskies in the past.

“We got to have the pitching, and our pitching staff has been brilliant at times,” Abrahamson said. “But, then we give up that one big inning that costs us the game.

“There’s a fine line (in pitching), and you let yourself get set up for a big inning if you let the first two people get on base in an inning. If they bunt to advance the runner, we are still going to try to get the lead runner. We need to stay aggressive.

“But, if it’s too late to get the lead runner, we have to be ready to make the sure out (at first base).”