March 19, 2010
Box Score in PDF Format
TAMPA, Fla. – Playing in its third extra inning contest in four games, the Northern Illinois University softball team scored a 2-1 victory over the University of South Florida in its second game of the USF The Game Tournament Friday afternoon.
NIU’s (5-13) Kate Welsh (Wilmington, Ill./Bishop McNamara), who was placed on second to start the top of the eighth inning as per NCAA rules, moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Adriana Sanchez (San Fernando, Calif./Alemany). Welsh scored the winning run on a squeeze play when Andrea Colosimo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to score Welsh from third base to give the Huskies the go ahead run.
Sophomore Morgan Bittner (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly), who came in to pitch in relief for Whitney Owens (Pendleton, Ind./Pendleton Heights), retired all three USF (12-11) batters she faced in the bottom of the eighth to pick up the victory. The Huskie pitching staff turned in a solid outing against the Bulls, allowing one run on seven hits and five base on balls in eight innings of work. Owens, who started the game, went five innings, allowing one run on five hits and five walks, while Bittner pitched three innings of scoreless softball, allowing two hits.
“Whitney pitched really well, giving us five good innings,” NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. “She kept their hitters off balance, and threw with a lot of movement to her pitches. At the end of the game, when she was getting a little tired, she showed us a lot of guts and that was great to see.
“Morgan came in and pitched like a veteran, just like we’re asking her to do. She shut their offense down. The defense played really great behind them. They both just pitched really well.”
The Huskies jumped on top early, scoring in the top of the first on an RBI single by Carly Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest). USF tied the game in the bottom of the third inning.
Northern Illinois University returns to action tomorrow when the Huskies face Florida Gulf Coast at 11 a.m. and Florida State at 4 p.m. Central Time. Fans can follow all the action live via the USF The Game Tournament Central.