Softball falls at Akron, unable to contain Zips

Stephanie Tofft

Stephanie Tofft

The Northern Illinois University softball team wrapped up a disappointing road trip Sunday with a 12-6 loss to Akron at Lee R. Jackson Field.

After the Huskies (18-28, 6-10) scored a pair of runs in the third and two more in the fourth to tie the game 4-4, Akron (17-26-1, 3-11) broke the game wide open scoring five runs on six hits and two errors to take a 9-4 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

Northern Illinois fell behind early after the Zips opened the game with a three-run first. Akron extended its lead to 4-0 with a run in the second. NIU clawed back into the game in the top of the third, but could have had more.

With one on and one out, Dani Parrish (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield) singled to drive in Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins), who reached on a triple.

The Huskies then loaded the bases on a single by Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) and when Shelby Miller (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) reached on a fielder’s choice when the shortstop committed an error trying to throw Parrish out at third. Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) was hit by a pitch to drive in Parrish from third. Unfortunately, back-to-back fly outs left the bases loaded.

The Huskies left the bases loaded again after scoring two runs in the top of the fourth. With runners on second and third with no outs, Gremillion singled to left to pull NIU to within one, 4-3. With the bases loaded and one out, Miller hits a sacrifice fly to tie the game, 4-4. Barnett walked to load the bases with two outs, but a strikeout by Amanda Sheppard (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) ended the threat.

Like yesterday, it was the top of the lineup doing the damage for the Huskies Sunday. The top four batters were a combined 7-for-18 with five RBIs and four runs scored. Northern Illinois’ offense pounded out 12 hits, but left 13 runners on base. Gremillion led the way for the NIU offense, going 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Parrish was 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and a run scored. Miller was 1-for-4 with her lone hit a solo home run in the sixth.

The Huskies return to action Wednesday when NIU welcomes Northwestern to Mary M. Bell Field in the home finale. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. and fans can follow all the action live, via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.

For more information on NIU softball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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