April 2, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University softball team looks to remain perfect in Mid-American Conference play, when the Huskies welcome Toledo to Mary M. Bell Field for a doubleheader Friday and Bowling Green for weekend set Saturday and Sunday.
First pitch for the Huskies and Rockets is slated for 1 p.m. Fans can follow all the action live online via GameTracker and will be broadcast on Internet radio with Bill Baker on the call only through Huskie All-Access on www.niuhuskies.com.
The MAC West leading NIU Huskies (9-18, 4-0) enter play Friday looking to start 6-0 in MAC play for the first time since the 2000 team won its first six league games. Two Huskies in particular were recognized for their contributions in NIU's 4-0 performance in conference play last weekend. Morgan Bittner (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) won MAC West Pitcher of the Week, while Bailey Ouellette (Beaverton, Ore./Beaverton) earned MAC West Player of the Week honors.
Toledo (1-21, 0-2) enters play Friday in search of its first conference victory of the season. The Rockets dropped their doubleheader with Bowling Green Saturday, losing game one 6-4, falling 9-1 in game two.
"Toledo has struggled so far this year," NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. "They played Bowling Green last weekend and played them pretty well in the first game.
"Bowling Green played a real tough preseason schedule. They played a lot of ranked teams, and that's going to help them through the year. They have a senior pitcher, Hayley Wiemer, who hits No. 3 or 4 for them. She swings the bat pretty hard and has a presence in the circle."
Northern Illinois is looking to bounce back from an 11-4 setback to Notre Dame Wednesday. Jenna Roberts (Verona, Wis./West) went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored against the Irish. Bittner turned in a solid performance, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits and three walks but did not get factor in the decision. Bittner has seen her ERA drop from 6.14 to 4.90 in the past four games.