Huskie Bats Come Alive as Softball Takes Two Saturday
March 27, 2010
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University softball team scored 18 runs on 22 hits to win its first two games of the Cougar Classic hosted by SIU-Edwardsville Saturday afternoon.
The Huskies (10-16) opened the day by defeating South Dakota State, 7-6, in a thrilling come-from-behind victory, and then shut out the host Cougars, 11-0.
"The offense did a great job today. It's really nice to see every one in our line up settle in a little bit," NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. "It's nice to see a middle of the line up that has struggled to this point, really just settle in and relax and be the players they're capable of being."
Trailing 5-4 to South Dakota State (8-16) heading into the top of the seventh, NIU rallied to score three runs on four hits to take a 7-5 lead over the Jackrabbits. After back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt moved runners into scoring position, freshman Adriana Sanchez (San Fernando, Calif./Alemany) singled up the middle to drive in the tying and go-ahead runs.
"The offense just executed all around today," Chouinard said. "Coming up with your backs against the wall and finding a way to get on base, hit the ball on the ground and hit the ball when it's needed, that's beautiful."
A sacrifice fly by Amanda Sheppard (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) drove in Sanchez, who advanced to third on a Michelle Williams (Fresno, Calif./Fresno City College) double, gave the Huskies a much need insurance run. South Dakota State scored a two-out run in the bottom of the frame, but Whitney Owens (Pendleton, Ind./Pendleton Heights) struck out the final batter to end the threat and the game.
Monica Segura (Santa Ana, Calif./Segerstrom Fundamental), who came in to pitch in relief for Owens in the fifth, earned her second win of the season, allowing two runs on four hits in an inning and two-thirds of work. Owens, who picked up the save, pitched five and a third innings, allowing four run, two earned, on nine hits and four walks.
Sanchez led the way for the Huskies at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Barnett was 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored.
The Huskie bats stayed hot in the second game as NIU pounded out 12 hits and scored 11 runs in a five-inning victory over SIUE (15-16) in Game Two. Northern Illinois scored four runs in the first, a run in the third and a put up a six spot in the top of the fourth.
The game didn't start out too promising for NIU as the Huskies first two batters failed to reach base. Two-out singles by Andrea Colosimo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) and Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) gave the Huskies their first scoring opportunity. A single by Sanchez drove in Colosimo from second to give NIU a 1-0 lead.
Sheppard coaxed a bases loaded walk to drive in the second run and an Allie Parker single drove in two more runs to give the Huskies a 4-0 lead. Williams led off the third with a homer, her first of the season, to left center to extend the lead to 5-0.
NIU salted the game away in the fourth with six runs, scoring three of those before an out was recorded. Pitcher Morgan Bittner (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) picked up the win recording her second shutout of the week, allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out five.
Colosimo was a perfect 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored against SIUE, while Parker was 1-for-2 with three RBI and a run scored. Williams was 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored.
The Huskies wrap up play in the Cougar Classic Sunday, playing the South Dakota State at 10 a.m. and SIUE at 2 p.m. All times listed are Central.
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