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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Top 5 Athletes

Top 5 Athletes

By Scott A. Nicol | April 10, 2017

Here are Sports Editor Christopher Loggins’ top five athletes of the 2015-16 academic year.

No. 1

Although football didn’t end its season the way it probably would have hoped to, junior cornerback Shawun Lurry ends the 2015-16 year as the No. 1 NIU athlete.

Lurry emerged as one of the top corners in the nation this season, leading the Football Bowl Subdivision in interceptions with nine. His impressive year led to him being named an All-American, becoming only the fourth player in NIU history to do so. His career high in interceptions came in at a Sep. 19 game against Ohio State University when he picked up two.

Lurry notched an interception in five straight games, making him one of the Huskies’ leaders on defense throughout the year.

No. 2

Senior softball catcher Emily Naegele comes in at No. 2 on the list of top athletes for the year after she put together one of the best regular seasons in softball history.

Naegele played and started in all 51 games for the Huskies this season, the only player on the team to do so. She hit for an average of .407 and blasted 18 home runs, the most an NIU player has ever hit in a season.

The senior picked up 52 RBI’s, 10 doubles, two triples and 44 runs, all while boasting an .876 slugging percentage. She also led the team in on base percentage with .525.

Naegele took home the MAC West Player of the Week award three times this season and was a big part of the 14-game winning streak by the Huskies.

The Huskies finished the regular season 33-18 and won their first division title since 2000.

No. 3

Ally Lehman, junior women’s basketball guard, is No. 3 on the list of top athletes following a year in which she put up stellar numbers for the Huskies.

Lehman averaged 13.4 points and 11 rebounds, breaking the NIU record for rebounds in a season with 323. She also finished the year with 15 double doubles.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of Lehman’s season was a night she scored an NIU-record 41 points in a Feb. 24 game against Western Michigan University — 29 of her 41 points came in the second half.

“She’s somebody who, as a team captain, an upperclassman, somebody who did bring a lot of game experience to the court,” said NIU head coach Lisa Carlsen, according to a March 21 Northern Star article.

No. 4

Women’s tennis junior Adey Osabuohien completed the year being named First Team All-MAC, good enough to land her a spot at No. 4 for top athletes this season.

Osabuohien went 16-3 in individual matches and 5-1 in conference matchups on her way to becoming the fifth player in the history of the program to be named to First Team All-MAC. She finished the year with 23 combined wins.

No. 5

Men’s basketball put together one of the best seasons of all NIU sports this season, and its impressive play has earned the entire team the fifth spot on the top five athletes list.

The Huskies finished the season 21-13 and 18-1 at home, putting together one of their best seasons in recent memory. They made it to the second round of the MAC Tournament, taking a loss to Ohio University.

The team got great contributions from all of its players, a huge key to its success throughout the year. The Huskies also got a big boost from their freshman class and bench, helping the team in its historic year.

Softball on pace to finish with most wins in 16 years

By Christopher Loggins | April 21, 2016

Softball will look to climb back to the top of the MAC West this week as it takes on Eastern Michigan University in a series starting at 1 p.m. Friday in Ypsilanti, Mich.The Huskies (28-13) have lost five of their last 10 games after a 14-game winning...

Women’s softball look to improve in St Louis tournament

By Keelen Holcomb | March 3, 2016

Softball (6-4) will look to improve on a 4-1 weekend as the team heads to St. Louis for the Cancer Awareness Tournament at Saint Louis University.The Huskies are set to play four games in the tournament, opening up against the University of Missouri-Kansas...

Softball preps for another long weekend

By Keelen Holcomb | February 26, 2016

Softball (2-3) will get its long weekend started today as the team prepares to compete in the Grand Canyon University Tournament in Phoenix.The Huskies will play two games today, the first coming against Texas State University and the second against Grand...

NIU softball: Five Huskies earn conference honors

By Northern Star staff | May 5, 2015

Five softball student-athletes earned All-MAC honors, the conference announced Tuesday.Sophomore first baseman Kayti Grable, junior catcher Emily Naegele and senior utility player/pitcher Jessica Sturm were named to the All-MAC First Team. Freshman pitcher...

NIU softball: Huskies head to MAC Tournament as 6th seed

By Chris Loggins | May 4, 2015

The softball MAC Tournament looks to be an interesting one as usual, as several teams have promising chances of making some noise.The Huskies have remained one of the top teams in the MAC throughout the season, finishing 28-23 overall and 11-9 in the...

NIU softball: Huskies close regular season with 1-3 weekend

By Chris Loggins | May 4, 2015

Softball had a bit of a rough weekend, going 1-3 in two series against the Buffalo Bulls (13-37, 5-15 MAC) and the Kent State Golden Flashes (39-11, 17-4 MAC).The Huskies began with a 7-0 defeat of Buffalo before losing game two, 5-4. They were swept...

Softball sweeps Eagles, ties Chippewas at home

By Chris Loggins | April 27, 2015

Softball went 3-1 on the weekend, hosting series against the Eastern Michigan Eagles and the Central Michigan Chippewas.The Huskies (26-20, 10-6 MAC) swept the series against Eastern Michigan (15-29, 4-11 MAC) and went 1-1 in their series against Central...

Softball first baseman Kayti Grable awaits a pitch in the game against the North Dakota State Bison on March 19 at Mary M. Bell Field. Grable leads the Huskies in batting average (.418) and on-base percentage (.507), and ranks third in fielding percentage (.983).

NIU softball: Kayti Grable avoids sophomore slump

By Chris Loggins | April 23, 2015

Softball has birthed an emerging player in sophomore first baseman Kayti Grable.Grable has continued and improved her impactful play after a freshman year in which she won MAC Freshman of the Year and received both All-MAC and MAC All-Freshman awards.In...

NIU softball: Huskies split pair of doubleheaders

By Chris Loggins | April 20, 2015

Softball split a pair of series over the weekend for a 2-2 record.The Huskies (23-19, 7-5 MAC) got things started against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (24-19, 8-6 MAC), defeating them 2-1 in game one of the series before the RedHawks took game two by a score...

NIU softball: Emily Naegele back on field after injury

By Chris Loggins | April 20, 2015

Softball junior catcher Emily Naegele is getting back in her groove with the Huskies as the season heads into the home stretch.In two seasons at NIU, Naegele has turned into a huge player for the Huskies with 11 home runs, six triples, 99 hits and a collection...