The Northern Illinois University softball team fell, 12-3, to in-state foe Northwestern in the home finale at Mary M. Bell Field Wednesday.
The Huskies (18-29) fell behind 2-0 on a Huskie error in the first inning, but responded with a run in the bottom of the inning. Northwestern extended its lead to 4-1 with two more runs in the top of the second, but once again NIU battled back. The Huskies tailed a two-run inning in the bottom of the third.
“I think we did a good job responding,” said NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard. “If we play good defense [in the first inning], it’s a whole different game. We could’ve been leading after the first inning. They scored first, but we also scored in the first inning and we were right in the game.”
Back-to-back singles by Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) and Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) put runners at the corners with no outs. A passed ball scored Gremillion and Tofft moved up to second.
Three batters later, with two outs and a runner on third, Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) singled up the middle to score Tofft. However, that was the last run NIU scored.
The Wildcats (19-25) limited NIU to three more hits the final six innings. Northwestern scored in each of the final four innings, putting up a three spot in the fifth and seventh innings.
Northern Illinois pounded out 10 hits with three Huskies recording multi-hit games. Barnett led the way with a 2-for-3 performance with an RBI. Dani Parrish (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfiled) and Gremillion each went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The Huskies return to the diamond Friday when NIU travels to Bowling Green to resume Mid-American Conference play.
Northern Illinois faces the Falcons in a doubleheader Friday before heading to Toledo for a weekend set with the Rockets. First pitch for Game One of Friday’s doubleheader is set for noon Central Time.
For more information on NIU softball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.