NIU softball drops five straight games in Memphis

DeKALB — The softball team struggled this past weekend at the Blues City Classic Tournament in Memphis, Tennessee, ending the tournament 0-5. 

Friday Game One

The Huskies could not get into a rhythm on offense against the University of North Alabama Tigers. NIU was held to just one hit in the game as the Huskies fell 9-0.

The Lions got off to a fast start against the Huskies, tallying two runs in the first inning. Northern Alabama continued to light up the scoreboard, tallying four runs in the second inning. They added one run in the fourth inning and two in the fifth. The Huskies were unable to answer, and the ball game ended in the fifth inning. 

Friday Game Two 

NIU fell behind early in the game against the University of Memphis Tigers. The hot bats of the Tigers were too much for the Huskies to overcome, falling 15-5. 

NIU allowed six runs in the first inning, followed by four in the second, two in the third and three more in the fourth. 

Senior utility player Anne Allen and senior outfielder Kayla Scaperrotta both drove in RBIs at the top of the fourth inning. The Huskies were able to bring in three more runs in the fifth inning, but the Tigers’ dominant offense was too much for NIU to overcome.

Saturday Game One

The Huskies continued to struggle in game one of day two of the Blues City Classic. NIU nearly lost by double digits again, dropping its game to the the University of Evansville Purple Aces 12-3.

The Aces started off the game strong, driving in four runs in the first inning. 

NIU was able to drive runs in in the second and third innings, but Evansville continued to answer. The Huskies remained silent the rest of the game while the Purple Aces continued to drive runs in.

The ball game ended in the sixth inning, when Evansville plated four runs in the fifth inning and two more at the bottom of the sixth. 

Saturday Game Two

NIU fell short in the back-and-forth offensive battle against the Western Illinois University Leathernecks, as the team was narrowly defeated 10-9. 

Sophomore first baseman Katie Keller started scoring off for the Huskies, slamming a home run over the center field wall in the first inning of the ballgame. 

The Leathernecks answered, bringing in two runs of their own to close out the first inning. Both NIU and WIU added another run in the second inning. 

Western Illinois plated three runs in the third inning, and the Huskies found their groove on offense. With two runners on base, Allen sent a bomb to left field, driving in three runs, tying the game at six apiece. 

The Leathernecks erased the tie by tallying three runs to close the frame. The Huskies came back and added three runs of their own, tying the game again at nine apiece. WIU sealed the win with a late run in the sixth inning, putting it up by one run. NIU was unable to answer. 

Sunday 

The Huskies struck first against the Northwestern State University Demons in the final game of the weekend. Unfortunately for NIU, the team would fall 4-3 for its fifth-consecutive loss.

Sophomore catcher Bianca Barone singled and recorded an RBI, bringing home sophomore third baseman Carley Goetschius, who singled to open the second inning. 

Both teams remained silent until the fourth inning, when the Demons drove in a run to start off the frame. Northwestern turned on the heat at the top of the sixth inning, scoring three runs. 

Facing a three-run deficit, the Huskies battled back. NIU drove in two runs at the bottom of the sixth inning. Goetschius blasted a two run home run to center field, driving in Keller as well. 

The rally came up short for the Huskies when they were unable to capitalize in the bottom of the seventh with two runners on base and two outs. 

NIU will look to bounce back March 6 as it heads to Carbondale, Illinois to compete in the Southern Illinois University Tournament. The tournament runs from March 6 through March 8.

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