May 8, 2010
Box Score in PDF Format
YPSILANTI, Mich. - Northern Illinois University right fielder Zoe Sinner (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) blasted her record-breaking 11th home run of the season, however, the Huskies couldn't hold on late and fell, 7-6, in eight innings to Eastern Michigan in Mid-American Conference softball action at Varsity Field Saturday afternoon.
"We played great softball for five innings and we didn't finish," NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. "That's what it all comes down to. Defensively and from the mound, we did not finish the game. Even from the plate, we had so many opportunities to finish them in five innings and we didn't."
With a runner in scoring position and two outs, the Eagles (18-30-1, 7-13-1) scored the winning run on Kaylee Tolliver's single scoring Jenny Scherer, who led off the inning with a double, to complete the EMU comeback.
Trailing 6-0, the Eagles tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, scoring six runs, on five hits and one costly Huskie error. After a lead-off single and walk put two runners on with no outs, Katy Blaharski advanced the runners to second and third on a ground out to pitcher Morgan Bittner (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly).
Jessica Richards then reached on an error by first baseman Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) allowing both runners to score to cut the lead to 6-2. Unfortunately for NIU, the Eagles would go onto score four more runs in the frame to tie the game eventually forcing extra innings.
The lone highlight for Northern Illinois (22-31, 10-9) on the day was Sinner's milestone. She wasted little time in making Huskie history hitting a two-out homer over the right field fence to open the scoring. NIU would go onto build a 6-0 lead in the first five innings.
"Zoe's done a great job offensively this year both for average and for power," Chouinard said. "She had that look in her eye today. She wanted to get it done today. We're very proud of her."
With the Huskies leading 1-0 in the top of the fourth, Krista Matsui (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) doubled to left field scoring Carly Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) from second giving NIU a 2-0 lead..
Northern Illinois opened up a 6-0 lead with four runs on five hits in the top of the fifth. With two on and two out, Michelle Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard) doubled to right field to drive in Barnett. Norton then drove in two more on a bases clearing single to left field and would score two batters later to give the Huskies a six-run advantage.
The NIU offense pounded out 12 hits on the day, its fourth double-digit hit total in five games. Barnett went 3-for-4 from the plate with a run scored, while Norton finished the day 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and two runs scored.
The Huskies close out the regular season tomorrow when NIU wraps up its series with Eastern Michigan. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. CST.