April 8, 2010
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University softball team resumes Mid-American Conference play this weekend when it travels to the state of Ohio to face Akron in doubleheader action Friday and Ohio Saturday and Sunday.
The first game of Friday doubleheader with the Zips begins at 12 p.m. Central Time with game Two to immediately follow. Saturday's game with Ohio starts at 1 p.m., while Sunday contest with the Bobcats is set to start at 12 p.m. Fans can follow all the action of the Huskies and Bobcats live via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.
Northern Illinois (12-21, 2-2) head into this weekend looking to improve off its performance against DePaul Tuesday afternoon. While the Huskies fell, 4-2, in nine innings, they played solid defense and received solid pitching performances. Each time DePaul took the lead, NIU answered, forcing the game in extra innings. The Huskies will look to carry that performance into their games this weekend.
Pitchers Monica Segura (Santa Ana, Calif./Segerstrom Fundamental) and Morgan Bittner (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) combined to allow four runs on seven hits in nine innings. The two were aided by some outstanding plays in the field by the NIU defense to keep the Huskies in the game.
"We're just hoping to play the same way we did against DePaul," NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. "You want to keep giving your best hitters opportunities and that's what we did [against DePaul] and hopefully that will continue this weekend."
NIU currently sits fourth in the MAC West, but is one of three teams with a .500 record in conference play. Akron and Ohio have identical 1-1 conference marks, however the Zips sit third in the MAC East by virtue of their 11-13 overall record, while the Bobcats are sixth in the division with 6-21 mark this season.
Akron enters Friday's action losers of four of its last five games, while Ohio snapped a six-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over the Zips Sunday. The Huskies swept last season's meeting with both teams last year.