Softball wins doubleheader at Ohio University


Wes Sanderson

Senior outfielder Kara Apato assumes her batting stance during a game against Ball State University April 6 in DeKalb.

By Jordan Radloff

The NIU softball team won two games in a doubleheader Saturday in Athens, Ohio, at Ohio University but lost the series finale on Sunday.

Saturday, game one: NIU 10, Ohio 7

The first game of the day on Saturday was a close one as the Huskies mounted a comeback effort that paid off with a 10-7 win. The score was 6-3 in favor of Ohio by the end of the fifth inning, but NIU put together a six-run rally in the top of the sixth inning to put them ahead until the end of the game.

The Huskies had 14 hits in the game, including a two-run home run by junior infielder Sam Mallinder in the third inning. Mallinder and senior catcher Katie Keller each had three hits in the game while Mallinder had three runs-batted-in.

Saturday, game two: NIU 10, Ohio 5

NIU followed up with another win later in the day, beating Ohio 10-5 in the second game. It was another close game as the Huskies had to overcome a 5-2 lead held by Ohio in the fourth inning. NIU was able to score eight runs in the final three innings.

Junior infielder Kelly Walinski was the offensive leader for the Huskies in hits and RBIs with three tallies in both categories. There was one NIU home run in the game that came from the bat of senior infielder Bianca Barone.

Sunday: Ohio 9, NIU 4

Ohio was able to take the lead and not give it up in the final game of the series on Sunday. The Bobcats beat the Huskies 9-4.

The home team led the visiting Huskies 12-7 in hits. NIU once again had one home run hit in the game, this time by Keller.

Looking ahead

After winning two of three games for the weekend, the Huskies are now 7-13 in the Mid-American Conference.

“We’ve got (to) crawl our way back in the conference,” head coach Christina Sutcliffe said in an NIU Athletics news release. “So we’ve got to throw some good weekends together – unfortunately we’ve dug ourselves into a hole – but we’ve just got (to) take it game by game and work ourselves back into the conference conversation.”

NIU’s next matchup will be a single non-conference game at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which was postponed from its original date last month. The team will return to conference play next weekend with a three-game home series against the University of Toledo starting at 3 p.m. on Friday.