The Northern Illinois University softball team’s rally fell short Saturday as the Huskies are edged by Akron, 8-6, Lee R. Jackson Field.
Trailing 6-2 heading into the top of the fifth, the Huskies (18-27, 6-9) began their comeback with a two-run fifth, taking advantage of a pair of Akron errors.
With one out, Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) reached on an error by the Zips’ (16-26-1, 2-11) third basemen. Dani Parrish (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield) then singled and reached second on a throw to the plate as Gremillion scored.
Parrish, who tried to take third, scored when the catcher’s throw ended up in the outfield allowing her to score and pull NIU to within two, 6-4.
Northern Illinois used a two-out rally to tie the game, 6-6, in the top of the sixth.
After the first two Huskies were retired, a single by Jessica Sturm (Wichita, Kan./Goddard) and a double by Gremillion put runners at second and third for Parrish. The Huskie senior delivered with a bases-clearing single to center field.
Unfortunately, Akron responded with a two-run homer by Alissa Birkhimer to give the Zips an 8-6 lead.
Parrish finished the day 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored from the two hole, while Gremillion was 2-for-4 with three runs scored from the leadoff spot. Clean-up hitter Shelby Miller (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) led the way for NIU offense going 4-for-4 with two RBIs.
“The top of our lineup had a great day,” said NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard. “The top four all had multiple hit days and did a good job setting the tone early and scoring in multiple innings.”
NIU jumped on top of the Zips early, scoring a first inning run on an RBI single by Miller. The Zips countered with a three-run first to take a 3-1 lead. Miller drove in NIU’s second run of the game in the third to pull Northern Illinois to within one, but Akron came back with a run in the bottom of the inning.
The Huskies wrap up their series with the Zips Sunday, April 22. First pitch is set for noon Central Time.
For more information on NIU softball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.