May 8, 2009
AKRON, Ohio - The Northern Illinois University softball team suffered a 3-0 loss to Miami University Friday afternoon at Firestone Stadium, ending its run in the 2009 MAC Softball Tournament.
"I thought Miami did a great job coming out swinging," NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. "They were aggressive and it worked out for them."
Miami (31-22) wasted little time as the first three RedHawks swung at the first pitch they saw. After Jordan McElroy lined out on the first pitch of the game, Meghan Mawn singled on the second offering from NIU's Morgan Bittner (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly). Sarah Billstrom hit a home run over the left field fence on the third pitch of the game to give the RedHawks a 2-0 lead.
That would be all the offense Miami would need as they shut down the Huskie (20-37) offense. Northern Illinois, which had scored 14 runs on 23 hits in its first three games of the tourney were held to just one hit, a single up the middle by Andrea Colosimo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg).
Bittner allowed three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out five. She wrapped up her first season of collegiate softball with a 14-20 record and 166 strikeouts, the fourth most by a Huskie and the highest punch outs since Christy Dalton struck out 170 in 1997.
The Huskies went 2-2, scored 14 runs and pounding out 24 hits. Bittner went 2-2 with a 4.00 ERA, allowing 12 runs, all earned, on 28 hits and striking out 23. Despite Friday's loss to Miami, Chouinard was pleased with her team's performance.
"I think we played well the last three weeks, right when we needed to," Chouinard said. "We won a lot of games to put us in this position. Finishing third in this tournament is a big step for this program and it's a big complement to what these seniors have done."