The Huskies (11-14, 1-1) pounded out 14 hits, including two home runs and a double as NIU picked up where it left off in yesterday’s affair with Bowling Green (10-15-1, 1-1). Freshmen Kayti Grable (Santee, Calif./Santana) and Jordyn Bowen (Libertyville, Ill./Grayslake) led the way for the NIU offense with both going 3-for-4. Grable had three RBIs in the contest while Bowen had two.
“We actually made the pitchers pay for their mistakes today,” said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “Our batters got a couple of balls up in the zone and they were able to capitalize on it where yesterday I don’t think we did a very good job of that.”
Rebecca Rupard (Normal, Ill./Normal West) was impressive in the pitcher’s circle, throwing a complete game, allowing three runs, one earned on six hits and a walk.
“Becca did awesome, coming in and going all seven innings after getting hit a little bit yesterday,” Sutcliffe said. “It’s easier to pitch when you’re up 7-2 than when you are behind 6-1. I think that’s part of it, but we never let them get the momentum like they did yesterday.”
NIU began the scoring with a four-run third inning. An RBI single by Emily Naegele (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Bowen hit a smash to the Falcon first baseman to drive in a pair to extend the NIU lead to 3-0. Kali Kossakowski (Elgin, Ill./St. Edward) took home on a double steal to complete the scoring for the inning.
After Bowling Green responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, Grable got them back and then some when she hit a three-run blast over the left field fence to put the Huskies on top 7-2.
Senior Shelby Miller (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) homered to left center in the top of the sixth and Nicole Gremillion’s (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) two-run single to center in the top of the seventh made the NIU advantage 10-3 and capped the scoring for the Huskies.
The Huskies return to action today when NIU takes on Toledo in a doubleheader at Mary M. Bell Field. First pitch for Game One is scheduled 2 p.m. with the second game to follow.
For more information on NIU softball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.