May 4, 2012
DEKALB, Ill. -. The Northern Illinois University softball team concludes its 2012 regular season this weekend when the Huskies travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. to take on Western Michigan in a weekend series.
The series opener is Saturday at 1 p.m., with the finale set for 12 p.m. on Sunday at Fran Ebert Field.
The Huskies (19-32, 7-13) are looking bounce back from a doubleheader sweep last weekend at Toledo. The defending Mid-American Conference champion Broncos own a 34-23 record in the all-time series, and Western Michigan swept NIU last season in a pair of close contests. The last Huskie victory in the series came in the second game of a doubleheader April 24, 2010 at Mary M. Bell Field and it's last win at WMU came April 27, 2002 when NIU swept a doubleheader.
NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard feels getting off to a fast start offensively will be a key to victory this weekend.
"The offense needs to set the tone for us," Chouinard said. "We play in a sport extremely dominated by offense, especially in our conference. People are winning games 13-12, 11-7. That's how we won a bulk of our games in conference. Setting the tone right away for us, offensively, is important."
Dani Parrish (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield) paces the Northern Illinois offense batting .353 on the season with six doubles, three triples and four home runs. In five games last week, the senior outfielder hit .500 going 8-for-16 including two triples and a double driving in three runs and scoring a pair.
Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) leads the league with 68 hits in 171 at bats and her 46 runs scored is third in the MAC. Gremillion leads the Huskies in hitting with a .398 average, including a team high nine doubles and four triples. Shelby Miller (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa), who leads the team in RBIs, has 10 home runs on the season and is one shy of tying the single season school record of 11 set by Zoe Sinner during the 2010 campaign.