March 7, 2014
DEKALB, Ill. –The Northern Illinois University softball team begins its nine-day spring break road trip this weekend when it travels to Wichita, Kansas to compete in the Shocker Softball Classic Saturday.
The Huskies (6-5) will play a pair of doubleheaders at the Shocker Softball Classic, opening play against San Diego State at 3:30 p.m. followed by UMKC at 6 p.m. NIU wraps up play in the tournament with a doubleheader Sunday facing off against North Dakota at 12:30 p.m. and Wichita State at 5:30 p.m. All time listed are Central.
The Shocker Softball Classic begins a string of nine games in nine days for the Huskies. A single game at UMKC and four games at the Jayhawk Invitational make up the rest of NIU’s spring break trip. NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe believes a week the softball field will help her young team improve.
“Having a full week where we can be out on the field is huge,” Sutcliffe said. “It will be good to get the games in and get on some dirt for a week straight.
“Our defense has definitely improved from our first weekend, which we knew would happen because that was uncharacteristic of them. I think staying consistent in our run production is going to be huge for us.”
The Huskies had their stay at the Evansville Invitational cut short last week due to the extended winter in the Midwest. NIU split its two games in Evansville with Rebecca Rupard (Normal, Ill./Normal West) leading the way for NIU in the pitcher’s circle and batter’s box.
Rupard picked up her first career victory in the Huskies’ 4-3 victory over Northern Kentucky, allowing three runs while scattering seven hits and striking out three. She also went 3-for-3 with an RBI to help her own cause. She hit her first career home run, going 2-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored against Evansville.
There will be live scoring available for all four games of NIU’s appearance in the Shocker Softball Classic at the Shocker Softball Classic Tournament Central