The Northern Illinois University softball team dropped its games to North Dakota State and Loyola Marymount at Smith Field Wednesday afternoon.
The Huskies (7-15) lost a slugfest to North Dakota State, 9-7, pounding out 10 hits in the losing effort, while tallying a pair of hits in a 3-0 setback to Loyola Marymount, 3-0, in Game Two.
Erika Oswald (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) led the way for the NIU offense against the Bison, going 2-for-3 from the plate with three RBIs and a run scored. Oswald was one of four Huskies to tally multi-hit games.
“It was nice to see Erika have another great day offensively and defensively,” said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “We are learning what kind of team we are and continue to grow as individuals at the same time.”
Amanda Sheppard (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) also had a productive day at the plate going 1-for-3, with three RBIs and a run scored.
The big inning proved to be the difference in NIU’s loss to North Dakota State. Leading 4-3 heading into the top of the fifth, the Bison tallied a five-run fifth to take a 9-3 advantage. NIU responded with a run in the fifth on an RBI triple by Miller and a three-run sixth courtesy of a three-run homer by Sheppard over the left field fence.
North Dakota State opened the game with four unanswered runs, scoring a run in the first and third and plating a pair in the fourth. Northern Illinois pulled within a run when Oswald drove in three with a bases clearing double to center field.
Bryanna Phelan (Coal City, Ill./Coal City) and Vest recorded the only hits in the game for NIU against the home-standing Lions. LMU scored a run in the first, fourth and sixth innings to pick up the win.
The Huskies have an off day before returning to action Friday when NIU opens play in the Highlander Classic hosted by UC Riverside. Northern Illinois opens the tournament against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and UC Riverside at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Central Time.
For more information on NIU softball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.