The NIU softball team fell to Creighton, 5-1, in a drop-dead time game in its final contest at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Classic hosted by North Texas Sunday.
After inclement weather cancelled both of Northern Illinois’ (3-5) games Saturday, the start time of Sunday’s contest was pushed back an hour due to field conditions.
Because of NIU’s travel plans, the game was played with a time limit of an hour and 45 minutes. The game did go six complete innings.
The Huskies had an opportunity to take an early lead, when the first two batters reached on a walk and bunt single by Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) and Bryanna Phelan (Coal City, Ill./Coal City). After a fielder’s choice by Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) put runners at first and third with one out, however a foul out and a ground out ended the scoring chance for the Huskies.
Creighton (7-0) responded with a four-run in the bottom of the first to take a 4-0 lead, with the big blow coming off the bat of Alexis Cantu, who hit a three-run homer.
Northern Illinois scored its lone run of the game in the top of the fourth. With runners at first and second and one out, Carly Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) hit an RBI double down the left field line to score Tofft from second.
After a Blue Jays run in the bottom of the fifth made the score 5-1, NIU had a chance to cut into the lead in the top of the sixth. With two down, the Huskies mounted a rally, loading the bases on a pair of singles and a hit batsman. However, NIU was unable to capitalize as a strike out ended the threat.
Norton and Gremillion led the way for the NIU offense accounting for five of NIU’s eight hits on the day. Norton was 3-for-3 with an RBI, while Gremillion was 2-for-2 with a walk.
Northern Illinois returns to action Saturday, March 3, when the Huskies travel to Carbondale for the Coach B Classic. The Huskies open with Wright State at 10 a.m.
For more information on NIU softball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.