Softball sweeps weekly MAC honors

Alaynie Woollard
Alaynie Woollard

Northern Illinois University freshman Alaynie Woollard (New Castle, Ind./New Castle) and senior Jessica Sturm (Wichita, Kan./Goddard) have been named the Mid-American Conference West Division’s Player and Pitcher of the Week, the league announced Tuesday.

Sturm picked up the fifth MAC West Pitcher of the Week award of her career, while Woollard garnered her first weekly conference award. The duo is the third and fourth Huskies to win MAC laurels this season, joining Kayti Grable (Feb. 10) and Keegan Hayes (March 17).

Woollard played a major part in the Huskies’ three wins last week, hitting .500 with three home runs, five runs and eight RBIs, in addition to a .583 on-base percentage and a 1.400 slugging percentage.

Last Wednesday against Illinois State, she plated four runs on two roundtrippers, including the go-ahead three-run dinger in the eighth inning to lift NIU to a 6-3 win over the Redbirds. In Saturday’s doubleheader against Akron, the freshman knocked in two runs in the Huskies’ 9-1 run-rule win over the Zips. In the second half of the twinbill, Woollard jacked a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning to key the Huskies’ eight-straight runs in their 9-8 victory over Akron.

Sturm closed out March with a 2-0 record with a 2.80 ERA in 10 innings pitched. In addition, Sturm had two hits, stole two bases and accounted for four runs for NIU.

After a tough outing on Wednesday against Illinois State, Sturm bounced back Saturday with a dominating performance, striking out six batters and allowing just one run in a 9-1 win over Akron in six innings. Sturm returned to the circle in relief in game two, allowing just one hit and two unearned runs in a 9-8 victory over the Zips to clinch the doubleheader sweep.

NIU continues with its eight-game homestand Friday, April 3, when they host Bowling Green for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.

For more information on NIU softball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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