April 22, 2014
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University softball team returns to the diamond this week when the Huskies travel to Chicago to face Loyola in a midweek doubleheader Wednesday.
First pitch for game one is set for 3 p.m. with the second game to follow. Fans can follow all the action live via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.
"We take pride in being one of the top teams in the Chicago area," said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. "They've had a similar season to us. I think they'll be two really competitive games. In the same sense, we're trying to grab our momentum back after this weekend so we feel better going into the Kent State-Buffalo weekend."
After splitting its weekend series with both Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan, NIU (19-22, 7-7) is looking to use Wednesday's games as an opportunity to get its offense back on track.
In the four games over the weekend, the Huskies were out-hit .293-.240, but outscored their opponents 15-13. However NIU left 37 runners on base, which was too many for Sutcliffe.
"I hope to get our offense going again," Sutcliffe said. "We left way too many runners on base. We weren't as clutch as we have been in the past so hopefully we can get some confidence going at the plate."
Freshman Kayti Grable (Santee, Calif./Santana) led the way for the Huskie offense last weekend, batting .583 (7-for-12) with two RBIs, three runs scored and her team-leading eighth home run. Sophomore Emily Naegele (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) drove in six runs, scored a pair and went 4-for-14 with two home runs and a double.
Loyola (17-25, 9-4) has lost five straight heading into Tuesday afternoon's contest with Indiana State and is in the midst of a six-game homestand.