May 15, 2010
Complete Release in PDF Format
AKRON, Ohio - The Northern Illinois University softball team's quest for a conference title came to an end when the Huskies suffered a 1-0 loss to No. 1 seed Kent State in a pitcher's duel at the 2010 Mid-American Conference Tournament at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio Saturday.
Sophomore Morgan Bittner (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) went pitch for pitch with three-time MAC Pitcher of the Year Kylie Reynolds, allowing just two hits while striking out nine in seven innings of work. However, one of those hits, a lead-off home run in the top of the sixth by Kent State's (33-21) Beth Cinadr, proved to be the difference in the game.
The Huskies (25-34) had an opportunity to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the inning. It began promising for NIU with back-to-back singles from Zoe Sinner (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) and Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli). Northern Illinois loaded the bases when Ashley Cann (Glenwood, Ill./Marian Catholic) reached on a one-out error by Reynolds.
However, Amanda Sheppard (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) flied out to the second baseman and pinch hitter Michelle Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard) fouled out to right field ending the threat.
Reynolds pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits while striking out nine. Barnett led the way for the Huskie offense, going 2-for-3 from the plate. Sheppard, Sinner and Dani Parrish (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield) also picked up hits in the game.
NIU's run in the 2010 was its best performance at the MAC Tournament since 1999 when the Huskies also went 3-2. Bittner went 2-2 with a 2.85 earned run average in her five appearances. She allowed 14 runs, 11 earned, on 27 hits and nine walks and striking out 26. She finished the season with a career high 182 Ks, second all-time among NIU pitchers in a single season.
Leading the way for the Huskie offense were Parrish and Sinner who batted .412 and .385 respectively. Freshmen Adriana Sanchez (San Fernando, Calif./Alemany) and Barnett accounted for nine of NIU's 13 RBIs. Sanchez went 4-for-13 with three home runs, six RBIs and three runs scored, while Barnett was 4-for-16 at the plate with a home run and two runs scored. Sanchez and Parrish were both named to the 2010 MAC All-Tournament Team.