The Northern Illinois University softball team rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh, but fell to Bowling Green, 6-4, in the conference opener at Mary M. Bell Field Friday.
“We haven’t done that a ton this year, so it was nice to see in the first game in the MAC that they still have that fight in the end,” said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “I think our 1-5 is really hard to pitch to. So, when you’re getting that many at bats, it’s tough to keep them off balance.”
Trailing, 6-1 heading into the top of the seventh, the Huskies (10-14, 0-1), who were the away team in this rescheduled match up, took advantage of some shaky defense from Bowling Green (10-14-1, 1-0) to score three runs and bring the go-ahead run to the plate.
Jordyn Bowen (Libertyville, Ill./Grayslake) began the inning when she reached on an error by the first baseman. An error by Bowling Green shortstop Aspen Searle allowed Ashley Kopp (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South) to get on base and a Bryanna Phelan (Coal City, Ill./Coal City) singled to third to load the bases.
An RBI single by Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) scored Bowen, while Kayti Grable (Santee, Calif./Santana) singled up the middle to score Kopp and Phelan and pull the Huskies to with two. However, with runners on the corners and two outs, Emily Naegele (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) grounded out to the pitcher to end the Huskie threat and the game.
The Falcons jumped on top of NIU early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Katie Yoho delivered the big blow with a two run homer. Bowling Green added two more runs in the bottom of the second to go on top 5-0. Heads up base running by Phelan, who scored from third on an errant thrown by the Falcon centerfielder, scored the first run for the Huskies in the top of the third to make the score, 5-1.
Gremillion led the way for the Huskies at the plate. The senior left fielder went 3-for-4 with an RBI from the leadoff spot.
For more information on NIU softball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.