The Northern Illinois University softball team dropped its doubleheader to UMKC at Missouri 3&2 Complex Tuesday.
The Huskies (7-9) suffered a 5-2 setback in Game One on a three-run walk-off home run, and were edged out 2-1 in the nightcap.
“We just didn’t execute the game of softball offensively or defensively and that was the difference on the scoreboard today,” said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “Our pitchers threw well enough to come out with two wins.”
With the score tied 2-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, UMKC’s (8-11) Kristi Lee singled through the right side and Brooke Parker reached on an error to set the table for Cinda Ramos. Ramos hit a home run to right center and to end the game.
NIU scored the first run of the game in the second inning on a Kayti Grable (Santee, Calif./Santana) homer to left field. After the Kangaroos tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, the Huskies retook the lead in the top of the sixth on a Grable RBI single to center. However, UMKC tied the game again in the bottom of the inning.
Grable led the way for the Huskie offense going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Starting pitcher Rebecca Rupard (Normal, Ill./Normal West) allowed five runs, three earned, on 10 hits. The Huskie defense committed three errors on the day.
NIU’s offense was held in check in the second game of the day. The Huskies outhit UMKC 7-6, but was only able to plate one run in the game. The Kangaroos jumped on top early in the second game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first.
The Huskies scored their lone run of the game and, like in Game One, it was Grable providing the offense. After a leadoff double by Emily Naegele (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest), the freshman first baseman singled to left field to score Naegele.
NIU had a chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh after Jessica Sturm (Wichita, Kan./Goddard) led off with a double. However, the Huskies were unable to get a base hit and the run remained at second.
The Huskies return to action Friday when NIU travels to Lawrence, Kan. to compete in the Jayhawk Invitational. NIU will open the tournament against Jackson State. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. CT.
For more information on NIU softball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.