Huskie Softball allows eight runs in fourth inning, falls on road at Illinois State 11-2


April 27, 2005

Box Score
Northern Illinois
Illinois State

WP: Birk (13-7)
LP: LaChiana (12-12)

RECORDS TO DATE: Northern Illinois now 20-22 overall / Illinois State now 26-17 overall
NEXT HUSKIE ACTION: Friday / Apr. 29 / NIU vs. Central Michigan University (DH) / DeKalb, IL / 2:00 p.m. (CDT)

Huskie Softball allows eight runs in fourth inning, falls on road at Illinois State 11-2
NORMAL, IL ---Sometimes, one inning can make all the difference in the world. Especially when a team scores eight runs in that inning. Northern Illinois University found itself on the wrong side of that scenario Wednesday (Apr. 27) as instate foe Illinois State University scored eight runs in the bottom of the fourth to blow open a one-run game and move onto an 11-2 victory in non-conference softball action.

NIU sees its losing streak extend to three games with the loss and falls to 20-22 on the season. Illinois State bounces back from an 0-3 weekend at Missouri Valley Conference rival Wichita State to improve to 26-17 for the year.

Things did not look that bleak at all at the start of the day as the Huskies came out swinging with two runs in the top of the first inning. Sixth-year senior Shelby Bernard (Cedar Falls, IA / Cedar Falls)---back in the lineup for the first time since suffering a concussion back on Mar. 15---started the rally with a one-out double to right field. Elyse Jamrozy (Brookfield, IL / Riverside-Brookfield) singled to put runners at the corners and Kelly Drozd (Lockport, IL / Lockport) got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Toni Del Toro (Las Vegas, NV / Durango) cleaned up, lacing a single into left field to score Bernard and Jamrozy, putting the Huskies up 2-0.

Illinois State bounced right back with two runs in the bottom of the first, however, and took the lead for good in the bottom of the second on a two-out Kate Stake RBI double. NIU tried to put a rally together in the top of the third, putting runners on second and third with one out, but ISU starter Stacy Birk struck out Del Toro before inducing a pop-up to get out of the jam unscathed.

That's when things got rolling as the Redbirds sent 12 batters to the plate on their way to eight runs in the bottom of the fourth. Huskie starter Lindsey LaChiana (Oak Lawn, IL / Richards) saw just two of those batters after surrendering a one-out homerun to ISU right-fielder Jackie Williams. Kathy Dearborn (Geneseo, IL / Darnall) came on in relief but surrendered seven runs on four hits without recording an out. Taryn Hagemann (Rochelle, IL / Rochelle) came in for Dearborn and finally worked out of the jam getting a ground-ball double play off the bat of Tricia Gaither.

The damage was done, however, and when NIU went down one-two-three in the top of the fifth, the eight-run mercy rule went into effect. LaChiana (12-12) took the loss after allowing three earned runs on five hits in three-and-a-third innings. Each of the top six hitters in the Huskie batting order had exactly one hit including Drozd who went 1-for-1 and got hit by a pitch. Del Toro finished the day 1-for-2 with both Huskie runs batted in.

Northern Illinois ventures back into Mid-American Conference territory by welcoming West Division leader Central Michigan University to town for a three-game set this weekend. The two squads hook up for a 2 p.m. (CDT) doubleheader Friday (Apr. 29) before playing the series rubber game at 1 p.m. (CDT) Saturday (Apr. 30).




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