Defense Fails Huskies in Day Two of Mustang Classic

GO HUSKIES Jennifer Barnett went 1-for-3 with two RBIs against Sacramento State.
GO HUSKIES
Jennifer Barnett went 1-for-3 with two RBIs against Sacramento State.
GO HUSKIES

March 9, 2013

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San Luis Obispo, Calif. –The Northern Illinois University softball team suffered a pair of losses on the second day of the Mustang Classic Saturday at Bob Jenssen Field.

The Huskies (6-11) dropped an 8-0 decision to Rutgers in the first game of the day before falling to Sacramento State, 13-5, in Game Two. Northern Illinois committed nine errors Saturday.

The Scarlet Knights scored eight runs on six hits and capitalized on five Huskie errors, while holding the NIU offense to three hits in the game. Rutgers opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the top of the second.

A run in the third and fourth innings pushed Rutgers advantage to 4-0. The big blow came in the sixth inning when the Scarlet Knights put up a four spot in the sixth, scoring the four runs on two hits and two Huskie errors.

Northern Illinois’ bats took a little while to wake up in Game Two of the day. Trailing 7-0 after three innings following a seven-run Sacramento State third, the Huskie offense erupted with a four-run fourth inning to cut the deficit to three.

The Huskies opened the inning with five straight hits. Bryanna Phelan (Coal City, Ill./Coal City) opened the inning with a lead-off single and scored on an Amanda Sheppard (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) double down the left file line. Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) also double down the left field line to drive in Jillian Mattor (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Beach), who pinch ran for Sheppard.

A Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncali) single scored Gremillion from second and Shelby Miller’s (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) triple to left center scored Barnett and capped the scoring for the Huskies in the inning.

However, the Hornets responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and bottom of the fifth to take an 11-5 lead. Northern Illinois scored a run in the top of the fifth on a Barnett groundout.

“We showed a lot of fight in the second game,” said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “We’re continuing to get better and that’s what matters right now.”

Barnett led the way for the NIU offense against Sacramento State, going 1-for-3 with two RBIs, while Phelan went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the leadoff spot.

After committing five errors in the first game, the defense struggled to defend the ball in the nightcap, tallying four errors. Of the 13 runs scored, nine were earned.

The Huskies close out play in the Mustang Classic tomorrow against host Cal Poly. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. Central Time. Fans can follow all the action live at Mustang Classic Central.

-NIU-