Huskies swept in three softball games at Akron


Courtesy of NIU Athletics

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

By Jordan Radloff

DeKALB — The NIU softball team lost both games of a doubleheader Saturday and another game Sunday at the University of Akron.

Saturday, game one: Akron 12, NIU 2

The Huskies only scored a total of three runs on Saturday compared to Akron’s total of 21.

The first game of the day started off tied as both teams each put a score on the board in the first inning. The Zips put together a five-run rally in the second inning and then extended their lead with another run in the third.

NIU was only able to find one chance to respond in the fourth inning with a run scored off of a double by senior designated-hitter Bianca Barone. Akron followed up with another five-run rally in the fifth and final inning for a 12-2 win over NIU.

Senior infielder Katie Keller led the Huskies with two hits, including an RBI single that scored senior outfielder Kara Apato in the first inning.

Saturday, game two: Akron 9, NIU 1

The Zips continued their superiority in the second game of the day with seven total runs scored in the first two innings. NIU did not get on the scoreboard until Barone hit a solo bomb in the third inning. The home run was NIU’s only hit and run of the game.

Akron closed out their 9-1 victory with a pair of runs in the fourth inning, followed by a quiet final inning for both sides.

Sunday: Akron 4, NIU 3

Akron started Sunday off hot, scoring four of their runs for the game in the first inning. The Huskies responded later in the game with a pair of runs in the fifth inning and a close comeback attempt in the seventh inning that fell short.

Sophomore outfielder Courtney James led NIU with two hits. All three RBIs in the game came from Keller, who hit a single in the fifth and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Looking ahead

“Our pitchers held their own today and this weekend,” head coach Christina Sutcliffe said in an NIU Athletics news release. “We were able to get out of a couple of tough jams and Claire (Norred) and (Emily) Dato settled in and did well. Hopefully they can take that confidence in against Ball State this week.”

The Huskies will return home for a midweek series against Ball State University starting Tuesday at 3 p.m. in DeKalb with a doubleheader scheduled for Wednesday.