May 7, 2009
AKRON, Ohio - The Northern Illinois University softball team used a season-high 14-hit barrage to defeat Bowling Green State, 9-4, in an elimination game for the two Thursday afternoon at Firestone Stadium.
"The offense did a good job," NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. "I think the people we put in today did a good job of adjusting."
The Huskies' (19-36) Carly Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) got things going for NIU, belting her team-leading sixth home run over the left field fence in the top of the second to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead. Bowling Green came back with two runs in the bottom of the frame to take the advantage.
NIU answered right back with a three-run third inning. Jenna Roberts (Verona, Wis./West) coaxed a one-out walk and then stole second base to move into scoring position. Roberts then scored on a single by Andrea Colosimo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg). Norton knocked in her second run of the game when she singled to center driving in Ashley Cann (Glenwood, Ill./Marian Catholic), who came in to pinch run for Colosimo. Kayla Kramer (West Chicago, Ill.West Chicago) hit a two-out double to score Norton and give Northern Illinois a 4-2 lead.
"Andi [Colosimo] did a good job in the three hole, setting the tone early in the game, driving in base runners when she had the chance," Chouinard said.
Already leading 5-3 heading into the top of the sixth, the Huskies put the game away with a four-run, four hit effort. The big blow came from Kramer when she drove in two more runs on a single up the middle.
Kramer and Colosimo had a productive day at the plate. Both went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs. Norton also turned in a solid effort at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Roberts was very active on the base paths, stealing two bases and is one away from tying NIU's single-season record of 26 set by Angela Porcelli in 1995.
Freshman pitcher Morgan Bittner (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) collected the win, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out eight.
The Huskies return to the field tomorrow and will face the loser of the Kent State-Western Michigan game. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m. CST.