The Northern Illinois University softball team split its doubleheader Sunday on the final day of the Shocker Softball Classic at Wilkins Stadium.
The NIU (7-7) offense picked up where it left off yesterday in the first game of the day as it pounded out 13 hits and scored 10 runs in a 10-3 victory over North Dakota.
However, NIU dropped the tournament finale to Wichita State, 8-3.
“All day, we were able to be really clutch,” NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe said. “When we were able to get runners on early in innings we were able to capitalize with a couple doubles and a couple base hits. Our offense is starting to roll and put some runs up early.”
The Huskies scored seven unanswered runs to open the game. Nicole Gremillion’s (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) RBI double in the top of the third began the scoring in the game. Gremillion scored to make the score 2-0 and Emily Naegele (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) doubled in Shelby Miller (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) to make the score 3-0 after three innings.
NIU put up another three spot in the top of the fourth. Miller delivered the big blow with the bases loaded and two. The senior shortstop doubled to right center field to clear the bases and give NIU a 6-0 lead. NIU tacked on another run in the top of the sixth when Kali Kossakowski (Elgin, Ill./St. Edward) doubled to lead off the inning. She advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on another passed ball.
After North Dakota scored a run in the bottom of the sixth, NIU tacked on three more runs in the top of the seventh to take a 10-1 lead. UND scored two more runs in the bottom of the inning.
Allyson Hecht (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) picked up the win and improved to 2-0 after allowing three runs on seven hits. Miller led the way for the Huskies offensively going 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored.
“Ally did a great job,” Sutcliffe said. “She was able to get ahead early in the count. Ally struggles a bit when she has some walks. Today she didn’t.)
A four-run fourth by the host Wichita State Shockers proved too much for the Huskies to overcome as NIU dropped its final game of the tournament, 8-3.
NIU took a 3-2 lead with a run in the top of the first, a run in the top of the second and another in the top of the fourth. Wichita State tallied a run in the first and another in the second. The Shockers took control of the game with four runs in the bottom of the fourth. They added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth.
NIU returns to the diamond Tuesday when the Huskies travel to Kansas City, Mo. to take on UMKC in a doubleheader. First pitch for Game 1 is set for 2 p.m. CT with the second game to follow.
For more information on NIU softball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.