Feb. 26, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. -The Northern Illinois University softball team opens up play in the Eighth Annual Magic City Classic hosted by UAB when the Huskies take on Samford at Spain Park High School Friday afternoon.
The Huskies (2-3) return to the diamond after opening the season at the Marriott Houston Classic last weekend. The biggest win of the tournament for the Huskies came Saturday night when NIU knocked off then-No. 18 Houston, 5-3, on an Andrea Colosimo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning, the first home run of her career. Colosimo then hit her second career round tripper the next day in NIU's game with McNeese State.
"Andrea progressed very well," NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said of Colosimo's play last weekend. "The first day, she may have struggled a little bit finding her timing. As the tournament went on, she had great presence at the plate and a very mature demeanor about herself and really knew which pitches she was seeing well. She's playing as she should be as an upperclassman."
While the numbers may not have been where she wanted to seen them, 25 runs on 37 hits and a 5.73 ERA, Chouinard was pleased with her pitching staff's performance last weekend.
"Our pitchers threw really well," Chouinard said. "I don't think that it's shown in ERA necessarily. For they're first time out, they did a good job against some top competition. The more they're in situations when the game is on the line and they have to make a big pitch at a big moment they'll get better at that. The only way to get better at that is through experience. As the season progresses we'll see improvement in that."
Northern Illinois are scheduled to play five games in three days. NIU will play Samford and Pittsburgh Friday at 3:30 and 5:45 p.m. respectively. The Huskies are the first game and final games of the day Saturday. They take on Alabama State at 10 a.m. and play host UAB at 4 p.m. Northern concludes the tournament with Michigan State at 11 a.m. Sunday. Fans can follow all the action live via Gametracker at www.niuhuskies.com.