The Northern Illinois University softball team suffered an 8-2 loss to Big Ten foe Northwestern Wednesday afternoon at Drysdale Field.
“Everybody understands that it’s [softball] an offensive game right now,” NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. “We’ve told the girls from the beginning in order to be in a game, you need to score at least five or six runs.
“When you’re playing a great team like Northwestern that takes advantage of your miscues on defense and you give them a lot of opportunities, they’re going to burn you. That’s what happened today.”
Freshman Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) extended her school-record hitting streak to 19 games with a double to left-center field in the fifth inning.
She also made her first appearance in the pitcher’s circle, coming in to pitch in the bottom of the fifth, retiring the side. Tofft shut down the Wildcats from the pitcher’s circle, holding them hitless in two innings of work.
The Huskies (13-16, 3-1) took an early 1-0 lead in their first at bat on a two-out double by Adriana Sanchez (San Fernando, Calif./Alemany) to score Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins). Northwestern (18-9) responded with a run in their half of the first to tie the game.
Back-to-back doubles by Dani Parrish (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield) and Gremillion in the top of the third allowed NIU to recapture the lead, 2-1. The lead would be short-lived as the Wildcats would score four runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-2 advantage.
Northwestern broke the game wide open with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the fourth to take an 8-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth.
NIU pounded out seven hits on the day with Gremillion leading the way with a 2-for-2 performance with an RBI and run scored.
Northern Illinois continues its five-game road swing when the Huskies travel to Buffalo for a doubleheader Friday afternoon. First pitch for Game One is scheduled for noon.