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Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899

 

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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Sophomore softball outfielder Jessica Rio considers how far she has come since being on the Blue Jays at 10 years old. Rio is second on the team in batting average.

Sophomore softball player realizes her potential

By Krystal Megan | May 8, 2017

Sophomore softball outfielder Jessica Rio considers how far she has come since being on the Blue Jays at 10 years old. Rio is second on the team in batting average.

Head Coach Christina Sutcliffe and sophomore outfielder Katie Lamich celebrate during the last home game Saturday against Easter Michigan where the Huskies won 5-3.

Softball wins regular season finale

By Krystal Megan | May 7, 2017

Head Coach Christina Sutcliffe and sophomore outfielder Katie Lamich celebrate during the last home game Saturday against Easter Michigan where the Huskies won 5-3.

Sophomore outfielder Jessica Rio slides into home plate against Eastern Michigan April 28. The Huskies beat the Eagles in three games. 

Softball beats Badgers

By Krystal Ward | May 3, 2017

Sophomore outfielder Jessica Rio slides into home plate against Eastern Michigan April 28. The Huskies beat the Eagles in three games. 

Softball sweeps Eastern Michigan

By Krystal Ward | April 30, 2017

DeKALB — Softball completed its first conference sweep of the season when the Huskies beat the Eastern Michigan University Eagles in three games this weekend.The Huskies (27-18, 13-8 Mid-American Conference) scored 26 runs against the Eagles (15-32,...

Softball loses to top MAC contender

By Krystal Ward | April 23, 2017

DeKALB — Softball suffered its first series loss since April 4 when the Central Michigan University Chippewas defeated the Huskies in two of three games.The Chippewas (30-13, 13-4 Mid-American Conference) took the first game Friday, 2-1, and won the...

Junior pitcher Tara Thacker pitching during a March 31 game against the Bowling Green Falcons. The Huskies won their series against Western Michigan University. 

Softball closes out series against Broncos with a win

By Krystal Ward | April 16, 2017

Junior pitcher Tara Thacker pitching during a March 31 game against the Bowling Green Falcons. The Huskies won their series against Western Michigan University. 

Softball wins midweek battle

Softball wins midweek battle

By Krystal Ward | April 12, 2017

DeKalb — Softball won its midweek matchup at home against the Ball State University Cardinals behind a strong performance from junior pitcher Tara Thacker.

The Huskies (19-15, 7-5 Mid-American Conference) defeated the Cardinals (25-19, 9-3 MAC), 6-3, Wednesday at Mary M. Bell Field in DeKalb.

Thacker (5-7) pitched all seven innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, with five strikeouts and seven walks.

“[Thacker] did a really good job in the first and second inning of getting us off the field [and] making a pitch when they needed to,” said Head Coach Christina Sutcliffe. “[Thacker] was able to get them to popup quite a bit, which was really nice to see.”

Senior first baseman Kayti Grable and Bekah Harnish, junior catcher and infielder, both went 2-for-3. Grable drove in three runs and Harnish had a run and an RBI.

Sophomore outfielder Jessica Rio went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a walk. Sutcliffe said she was a little nervous when the Cardinals scored in the first inning, but the Huskies bounced back and had three great innings of scoring.

With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, the Huskies scored three runs to take a 4-2 lead. Sophomore outfielder Jenny Van Geertry walked and advanced to second base on a single by Rio.

Harnish singled to right field to score Van Geertry and advanced to second base on an errant throw.

Grable doubled to center field to score Rio and Harnish.

In the bottom of the third inning, sophomore outfielder Katie Lamich singled to left field and scored on a home run by sophomore infielder Sam Schmidt to give NIU a 6-2 lead, which was all the offense it needed for the game.

Senior outfielder Rachel Houck sent Thacker’s pitch over the left field fence to tack on one more run for the Cardinals in the top of the seventh inning, but a line out and two strikeouts later ended the game and gave NIU the win.

The Huskies will be back in action this weekend in a four-game series against Western Michigan University beginning with a game 2 p.m. Friday in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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 wins close series

By Krystal Ward | April 9, 2017

DeKALB — Softball won its three-game weekend series against the Kent State University Golden Flashes in three tightly contested games.The teams split Saturday’s doubleheader with Kent State (15-21, 5-6) taking the first game, 6-5, and NIU winning...

The team surrounds home plate after Senior Kali Kossakowski hit a home run during Saturday’s home game. The Huskies defeated the Bowling Green State University in two out of three games to win the weekend series. 

Softball wins two out of three games

By Krystal Ward | April 2, 2017

The team surrounds home plate after Senior Kali Kossakowski hit a home run during Saturday’s home game. The Huskies defeated the Bowling Green State University in two out of three games to win the weekend series. 

Northern Star Press Box feat. Kayti Grable, Alex Frenz and Tara Thacker

By Northern Star staff | March 28, 2017

This week's episode of Northern Star Press Box we sit down with NIU softball players Kayti Grable, Tara Thacker and Alex Frenz. We talked about karaoke songs, team tattoos and preseason/conference play.Hosts: Sports Editor Scott A. Nicol and sports writer...