March 30, 2007
DEKALB, Ill.-- The Northern Illinois University softball team split its doubleheader with Eastern Michigan Friday afternoon at Mary M. Bell Field, winning the opening game 5-4 and falling in the nightcap, 5-0.
"I think we came out ready to play in the first game," NIU head coach Donna Martin said. "Kate threw pretty well. She was really nervous for some reason. I guess it was because it was her first MAC game but she hung in there. We swung the bats pretty well. We had hits in bunches in the first game."
The Huskies (11-13, 1-1) jumped ahead of the Eagles (8-15, 1-1) early. After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, the Huskies responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Krista McPherson got things going with a leadoff double. Krystn Sendejas bunted her over to third and Michelle Nendza hit a sacrifice fly to drive in McPherson for the Huskies first run of the ballgame.
Randi Kreiter drew a one-out walk and promptly scored on an Ellen Stoddard triple. Kelly Park walked and stole second base. Stoddard then stole home for the Huskies third run of the inning.
Eastern Michigan scored another run in the top of the fifth, cutting the Huskie lead to 3-2. The Huskies came back in the bottom of the fifth with two more insurance runs when Kreiter came up with a two-out two-RBI single. The Huskies would need those runs. In the top of the seventh Lauren Clark hit a two-run homer to center field.
Freshman Kate Greenough
was able to settle down and record her first conference victory. Greenough (7-8) went the distance, giving up four runs on eight hits, striking out four and walking none. McPherson had a strong day at the plate, going 3-4 with two runs scored.
The second game was all Eastern Michigan. The Huskies were held to just one hit, a McPherson single in the first, while allowing five runs on eight hits. The Eagles put together four-run sixth. They added a run in the top of the seventh for the 5-0 final.
The Huskies will take on Central Michigan Saturday afternoon. Fans can follow tomorrow's action live via GameTracker at niuhuskies.com. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.