- GAME ONE 4/7/02
Amy Krahula and Gretchen Szymski for NIU
Lisa Keenan and Julie
Villard for UA
WP:Keenan (10-4) LP:
- GAME TWO 4/7/02
Kathy Dearborn (3.0), Jolene Heller and Paige Shemoski for NIU
Micah Barbato and Julie
Villard for UA
WP:Barbato (7-3) LP:
TAKES A PAIR FROM NORTHERN ILLINOIS IN BATTLE OF MAC SOFTBALL DIVISION
AKRON, OH --- Two swings of the bat and two rightarms were the difference
between a doubleheader sweep and a pair of losses here Sunday (April 7).
Unfortunately for the Northern Illinois University softball team, the
swings and arms belonged to the University of Akron as the Zips handed
NIU a pair of defeats, 3-0 and 3-2, in Mid-American Conference action.
The league leading Zips improves to 18-7 overall and 9-1 in the league
while Northern Illinois falls to 13-15 overall and 6-3 in the MAC.
Sunday's first game, Akron starter Lisa Keenan took advantage of a generous
strike zone to toss a complete game, no-hitter. The righthander struck
out 14 NIU batters, seven of which came on called third strikes. The Zips'
Tracee McCoy spoiled an otherwise fine pitching performance by Northern
Illinois starter Amy Krahula (Woodridge / Downers Grove South) when she
blasted a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning for the
games only runs.
didn't do a good job of adjusting to the umpire, Keenan's pitching, or
the way the game was called," NIU head coach Donna Martin said. "She
is a very good pitcher and we let her dictate the game. It's unfortunate
because Amy pitched very well except for the one inning."
4-8 on the year, took the loss despite allowing four hits and one walk
in six innings. The righthander struck out a season-high eight batters
in tossing her fifth complete game of the season. Keenan allowed only
two baserunners all game in her seven innings of work.
took advantage of some early control problems by NIU's game two starter
Kathy Dearborn (Geneseo / J.D. Darnall) to jump ahead 1-0 after one inning
of play. The Zips scored two more runs in the bottom of the third inning
on a two-run home run by rightfielder Melissa Hurley. The two-run shot
proved to be the game-winning blast for the Zips.
Illinois senior Jolene Heller (Horicon, WI) relieved Dearborn in the fourth
inning and kept NIU in the game by dominating the final three innings.
The righthander did not allow a single baserunner while striking out five
in three innings of work.
struggled a little bit early on but Jolene did a great job of shutting
them down after that," Martin added. "We ended up making a nice
rally late but we came up short. Akron is a solid club and they took care
of our mistakes."
Huskies made things very interesting in the seventh inning of game two,
mounting a two-out rally that nearly tied the game. Megan Meyer (New Liberty,
IA / Durant) led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on
a single by pinch-hitter Kinsey Olson (Indianapolis, IN / Perry Meridian).
Then, with two outs, Kelly Redican (Lynwood / Marian Catholic) loaded
the bases with a base hit before Samantha Knoll (Mayville, WI) drove in
NIU's first run in 13 innings with a base hit. Another single by Kathy
LeClear (Westmont / Downers Grove North) made it 3-2 but Akron starter
Micah Barbato got Paige Shemoski (Palos Park / Stagg) to pop out to end
earned her seventh win of the year, going the distance and allowing two
earned runs. The senior gave up eight hits and two walks while striking
out eight. Dearborn took her first loss in four decisions to drop to 7-4
on the year.
just wasn't our day today," Martin added. "We played hard all
day and that's all I can really ask. We pitched well except for a couple
innings and our effort was there. We just didn't get any breaks and didn't
take advantage of the few opportunities we had."
busy week lies ahead for NIU as the Huskies will play seven games over
the next seven days. Northern Illinois will begin the week with a Tuesday
(April 9) doubleheader versus local rival University of Illinois-Chicago.
Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Mary M. Bell Field.
by Bret Seymour -30-