Softball drops late game lead to DePaul

The Huskies had four home runs in the 11-8 loss

Senior+utility+player+Mackenzie+Mahy+fields+and+throws+a+ball+during+a+game+against+Kent+State+April+16+in+DeKalb.

Mingda Wu

Senior utility player Mackenzie Mahy fields and throws a ball during a game against Kent State April 16 in DeKalb.

By Jordan Radloff, Sports Editor

The NIU softball team lost a home game matchup against DePaul University on Wednesday. The final score was 11-8 for the visiting Blue Demons.

How it happened

NIU held a significant 6-2 lead going into the sixth inning, but DePaul was able to put together a nine-run rally and take the game after the Huskies only responded with two more runs in the final inning.

“We knew DePaul was going to come back later in the game,” head coach Christina Sutcliffe said in an NIU Athletics news release. “Historically they’ve always done that in the past against us and they’ve done that to their opponents this year so their hitters are just too good not to make adjustments throughout the game.”

Sophomore Emily Dato was the starting pitcher for NIU. DePaul had 16 hits in the game compared to NIU’s eight hits. 

Despite not being able to regain the lead, the Huskies had multiple home runs to celebrate during the game. Senior catcher Katie Keller hit a lead-off solo home run in the first inning, sophomore shortstop Caitlyn Shumaker homered in the second inning, junior infielder Sam Mallinder had a two-run home run in the fourth inning and sophomore pinch hitter Ellis Erickson hit a solo home run in the seventh inning.

“It was nice to see how well we hit the ball,” Sutcliffe said. “I told them after the game that we need to be that relaxed during conference games as well and we have the ability to do that every game but we’ve just unfortunately gotten into a funk lately and we just need to get that out of heads.”

Keller led the Huskies with two runs, three hits, and three runs-batted-in.

Looking ahead

The NIU softball team now has an 11-22 overall record.

NIU’s next action will come this weekend as the Huskies travel to Athens, Ohio, Saturday to face Ohio University in a three-game Mid-American Conference series.

The Huskies will have another non-conference single game matchup at the University Illinois at Chicago on Wednesday.