With The MAC Tournament In Sight, Huskies Prepare For Final Homestand

GO HUSKIES Michelle Nendza leads the Huskies into their final regular season games.
Michelle Nendza leads the Huskies into their final regular season games.

May 1, 2008

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DeKALB, Ill. - With one weekend of Mid-American Conference competition left, the NIU softball team currently has the final spot (eighth seed) in the MAC tournament, leaving the Huskies (12-27, 6-10) in control of their own destiny for postseason play with four games at home in Mary M. Bell Field.

Final Opponents

The Huskies will play a doubleheader against Miami (Ohio) (20-24, 10-8) on Friday at 1 p.m. CDT. NIU will then finish the season versus Ball State (33-29, 8-10) with a game on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. NIU will hope to continue its winning ways in MAC play at Mary M. Bell Field where the Huskies boast a 3-1 record.

"This weekend really lets us control our own destiny," said NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard. "It is up to us to come out and play the way we are capable of. It is our time to shine in front of the alumni, parents and fans."

Alumni and Senior Weekend

The Huskies are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NIU softball program and the 20th anniversary of the 1988 College World Series team on alumni and senior weekend. Anyone associated with the Huskie softball program is welcome to join the tailgate on Saturday at 12 p.m. on the fields directly east of Mary M. Bell Field.

In addition to celebrating the program, four Huskie seniors will be honored for their contributions and dedication to the softball program as this weekend's four games will be the last home games for Michelle Nendza (Palos Park, Ill./Lemont Mt. Assisi), Krista McPherson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher), Jenna Mitchell (Matteson, Ill./Rich South) and Taryn Hagemann (Rochelle, Ill./Rochelle).

Home Run Champ

Nendza already holds the Huskie single-season home run record with 10 homers this season, but she could break the career record as well. Heading into this weekend's four games, Nendza has 22 career blasts, which are only two shy of tying the record and three shy of breaking it.


Nendza has paced the Huskie offense all season long as she leads the team in batting average (.304), runs (17), home runs, RBI (26), total bases (67), slugging percentage (.657) and on-base percentage (.377). Nendza is tied for the MAC lead in homers and if fifth in RBI. McPherson ranks fourth in the MAC with a Huskie second-best single-season-high 19 stolen bases and is tied with Nendza for the team lead in hits with 31.

On the mound, the Huskie trio of pitchers each has four wins this season. Freshman Joreigh Landers (Vernonia, Ore./Vernonia) has the best record at 4-6. Sophomore Kate Greenough (Portland, Ore./David Douglas) has the lowest ERA at 4.04 and Hagemann has the most innings pitched (100.2) and has a team-high 66 strikeouts along with the lowest opponent batting average of .257.

NIU's Record vs. Miami and Ball State

The Huskies lead the all-time series versus Miami, 20-7, and beat the RedHawks, 1-0, in the MAC tournament last year in Midland, Mich. on May 10, which was the last time the two teams faced each other. NIU has won four of the last five contests versus Miami.

NIU leads the all-time series against Ball State, 31-26. The last match up between the two went in favor of the Cardinals, 8-3, on April 8, 2007 in Muncie, Ind.




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