April 26, 2008
Final Stats in PDF Format
AKRON, Ohio - The Northern Illinois softball team scored four runs in the seventh to tie Akron, 6-6, but could not ride the momentum to victory as the Zips (16-33, 5-12) scored a run in the ninth inning to win the Mid-American Conference game on Saturday afternoon at Lee R. Jackson Field.
Down 6-2 in entering the seventh, the Huskies (12-25, 6-9) used RBI singles from senior Krista McPherson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) and Joreigh Landers (Vernonia, Ore./Vernonia) along with a two-run single by senior Michelle Nendza (Palos Park, Ill./Lemont Mt. Assisi) to knot the game at six.
"Outside of Michelle, we had no situational execution on offense," said NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard. "That is why we lost the game today."
However, the Huskies were unable to get over the hump, losing the game on an RBI single by Akron's Sarah Earley in the ninth that ended the game in favor of the Zips, 7-6.
Before the Akron built a four-run advantage with a five-run fourth and a one-run sixth, Nendza gave NIU an early 2-0 lead by hitting a two-run homer in the first inning. Nendza's 10th blast of the year set a new NIU single-season record.
"Michelle has proven her offensive ability all season long," said Chouinard. "[The record] is just icing on the cake for a great senior campaign. She believes, adjusts, has tremendous bat speed and swings as hard as she can every time. She is the type of offensive producer that every coach wants on their team."
Zip pitcher Monica Shorter (1-0) received the win by pitching two scoreless innings and allowing only one hit. Akron starter Christina Swierz lasted seven innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits with four walks.
Landers (4-6) was handed the loss for NIU after relieving starter Taryn Hagemann (Rochelle, Ill./Rochelle). Landers tossed 1.1 frames, allowing one earned run on three hits with two strikeouts. Hagemann pitched 6.2 innings, giving up five earned runs on 10 hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Nendza led the way for the Huskie offense with two hits and four RBI, while McPherson also added two hits, an RBI and a stolen base. Landers notched an RBI single to round out the scoring for NIU. Juniors Ashley Clement (Moline, Ill./Moline), Jenna Roberts (Verona, Wis./West) and Dani Thompson (Canyon Country, Calif./Canyon) each had a hit.
NIU Completes its road schedule with another game against Akron tomorrow at 12 p.m. CDT at Lee R. Jackson Field.