April 1, 2014
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University softball team returns to the field for a midweek doubleheader with North Dakota at Mary M. Bell Field Wednesday.
The Huskies (11-16) and North Dakota (3-18) met earlier this season at the Wichita State tournament in the beginning of March, a game that NIU won 10-3. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT and the second game will follow. Fans can follow all the action live via Gametracker on NIUHuskies.com or they can watch it live on NIUTube. Monthly subscriptions are $6.95 with a yearly subscription at $49.95.
"It's nice to be home in front of our home crowd," said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. "I'm hoping we settle in and play a little better since it's not our first home game anymore. They know how the field is going to play."
NIU pounded out 13 hits and scored 10 runs in its previous meeting with North Dakota. Shelby Miller (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) and Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) led the way for the Huskie offense. Miller went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored, while Gremillion was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs in that contest.
"They're in a better spot than when we played them earlier this year," Sutcliffe said of North Dakota. "We played them their first weekend out of the year. I know how we were our first weekend out. It's going to be a totally different team than we saw earlier."
The Huskies are coming off of a weekend where they played four games in DeKalb as the visiting team due to the field conditions in Bowling Green and Toledo. NIU split the two games against Bowling Green, before dropping both games of the doubleheader to Toledo on Sunday.
North Dakota enters play Wednesday winners of two straight wins against Portland State over the weekend. Sophomore Emily Bell leads the team in batting average (.356) and is second in RBI (10). North Dakota has two pitchers, Megan Hedstrom and Kayli VanDomelen, who split time in the circle and have very similar numbers.
In the two games against Bowling Green, Gremillion went a combined 5-for-9 at the plate with three RBI and two runs scored from the leadoff spot. Kayti Grable
(Santee, Calif./Santana) also added three hits and four RBI and in the 10-3 on Saturday. Catcher Emily Naegele
(Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) and center fielder Jordyn Bowen
(Libertyville, Ill./Grayslake) each went 3-for-4, scored a run and combined for three RBIs Saturday as well.