April 6, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University softball team travels to Chicago this week for a doubleheader with UIC Wednesday and a single game with DePaul Thursday afternoon.
The Huskies' (11-20, 6-2) doubleheader with UIC was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was pushed back a day due to inclement weather around the Chicago area.
Northern Illinois heads into its game with the Flames looking to build on its sweep of Bowling Green Saturday afternoon. NIU came from behind in both games, defeating the Falcons, 7-6, in its last at bat of Game 1 and winning the second game 9-6. Northern's offensive explosion against BGSU came a day after the Huskies scored five runs in two games against Toledo.
"We're just working on getting better and being more consistent," NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. "Sometimes we show glimpses and greatness and sometimes we don't. It's been like that the last three weeks. Not that it not great to win, but at the end of the day that's not the most important thing for us. The most important thing is working on getting better.
Despite some inconsistent play at times, Chouinard has been pleased with her team's approach at the plate and the way the outfield has played the last few weeks.
"The hitting is much improved," she said. "Our players know they are very capable and confident in their ability to hit the ball. That's a nice place to be. Offensively, everybody in our line up feels they can do something good when they come up to bat. That felling is contagious.
"The outfield is doing really well and has pretty good range. They're doing a good job of getting to some balls hit out there."
Thursday's game with DePaul will be a homecoming for Chouinard and NIU assistant coach Kara Amundson who both played collegiately for the Blue Demons.
"Honestly, it's just another game," Chouinard said. "Of course it would be wonderful to win. It's going to be a little strange being at DePaul's field in the visitor's dugout. Those are people I spent a lot of years with and people that I respect."
NIU's doubleheader with the Flames Wednesday is scheduled for 4 p.m. with the second game to follow. Thursday's single game with DePaul is also set for a 4 p.m. start.