Softball bests UIC in non-conference bout

Senior+catcher+Katie+Keller+%28left%29+assumes+her+batting+stance+during+a+game+against+Ball+State+University+April+6+in+DeKalb.

Wes Sanderson

Senior catcher Katie Keller (left) assumes her batting stance during a game against Ball State University April 6 in DeKalb.

By Jordan Radloff, Sports Editor

The NIU softball team beat the University of Illinois Chicago 10-8 in a single game matchup Wednesday in Chicago.

How it happened

NIU took the lead early and held it for the entire game, scoring one run in the first, five runs in the second and four runs in the third inning. UIC was unable to come back against the Huskies despite putting up a few runs in the later innings to bring the score within two runs.

Sophomore Emily Dato was the starting pitcher for NIU, recording four strikeouts before being relieved by Sophomore pitcher Claire Norred. UIC cycled through four pitchers during the game.

Bats were hot on both sides as the Huskies had 13 hits over the Flames’ 12. Junior infielder Sam Mallinder and junior infielder Kelly Walinski had the most run-batted-in with two each. Hitting production came from many Huskies with Walinski, senior infielder Katie Keller, sophomore outfielder Courtney James and sophomore designated hitter Ellis Erickson each having two hits against UIC.

“We’re doing a really nice job offensively right now,” head coach Christina Sutcliffe said in an NIU Athletics news release. “We’re scoring big innings and just keeping the momentum going. We got through two of their pitchers fairly easily and their third one kept us off balance for sure but our defense did enough to get us the win.”

Looking ahead

After having finished their non-conference schedule for the season with a win, the NIU softball team will face off against the University of Toledo this weekend for a three-game MAC series starting at 3 p.m. Friday in DeKalb.