Feb. 21, 2013
DEKALB, Ill. -After taking a week off, the Northern Illinois softball team returns to the diamond this weekend as the Huskies travel to Boca Raton, Fla. to compete in the FAU `Strike out Cancer' tournament Feb. 22-24.
"We were able to take a break and focus on what we thought we struggled with down in Texas," said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. "We were able to heal a couple of injuries and figure out how our bodies are going to react to playing three days in a row. We really got back to work."
NIU (3-2) opens the play against North Florida Friday with the first pitch set for 8 a.m. and take on the Providence Friars at 10 a.m. Northern Illinois continues play Saturday as it takes on Towson at 8 a.m. and Connecticut at 12 p.m. NIU closes the tournament on Sunday against Florida Atlantic at noon. All games listed are Central Time.
"I think all five teams are pretty comparable to what we saw in Texas," Sutcliffe said. "If we come out and play as aggressive as we did in Texas and are as clutch with our hitting, we got a good chance of coming out with a similar type of result."
The Huskies look to build the momentum after a successful showing at the 12th annual Getterman Classic in Waco, Texas. NIU opened the tournament and the season with a victory over in-state rival Illinois State and took a pair from Sam Houston State. Stellar performances from Jennifer Barnett and Jessica Sturmcreated a Huskie sweep in the Mid-American Conference West weekly honors.
Barnett was named MAC West Division Player of the Week after recording a batting average of .385,two runs batted in, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, a run in, and receiving the first Huskie home run of the season. The Huskie first baseman was also named to the all-tournament team.
Sturm, who received all-tournament team honors after recording a 0.00 ERA in four appearances, pitching a shutout in seven innings in her first appearance, struck out three, allowed one hit, and posted a 1-1 record earned MAC West Pitcher of the week accolades.
Fans can follow all the action from NIU's five games this weekend live, via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.