April 14, 2011
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois softball team's doubleheader with Ohio Friday afternoon at Mary M. Bell Field has been moved up to a 12 p.m. start.
The Huskies (16-18, 6-2) look to rebound after Wednesday night's loss to UIC at home and has history on its side against the Bobcats and Zips as it owns the all-time series with both. Recently, Lindsay Chouinard's squads have performed well against the two opponents, going 3-1 against Ohio and 4-0 versus Akron during the past two seasons--sweeping the two teams in a 2009 weekend homestand.
Ohio comes into Friday's game 3-3 in the MAC and 14-16 overall while Akron is 2-4 in MAC play and 18-13 overall.
In the team's eight conference games this season, the Huskie bats have picked up their pace, averaging just over 10 hits a game while scoring 62 runs. Sophomore Adriana Sanchez (San Fernando, Calif./Alemany) and junior Carly Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) have led the offensive barrage with Sanchez accounting for four home runs, 15 RBIs and seven runs on 11 hits, while Norton is hitting .440 with 11 RBIs and six runs.
Junior Morgan Bittner (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) has led NIU in the circle during MAC play, earning a 3-1 mark in six outings with a 3.33 ERA and 25 strikeouts.
Freshman Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) leads the team offensively on the season. She owns a .412 average with 47 hits while driving in 26 runs and crossing the plate 25 times. The outfielder is currently in the midst of a school-record 24-game hitting streak. Aside from her success at the plate, the freshman has begun to step up recently as relief pitcher, making four appearances with a 3.11 ERA, providing the Huskies with another arm in the bullpen.
Friday's doubleheader against Ohio is slated to start at 1 p.m. Saturday's action versus Akron is set for 2 p.m. with the series concluding on Sunday at 1 p.m. All times listed are Central. Fans can follow all the action of the weekend's games live via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.