TOLEDO, Ohio – The Northern Illinois University softball team lost its doubleheader with Toledo at Scott Park Sunday afternoon.
The Huskies (19-32, 7-13), who were playing a doubleheader with Toledo (18-32, 8-10) due to inclement Saturday, dropped the first game, 10-0, and were edged out, 4-3, in the final game.
Northern Illinois took a 3-0 lead with a three-run second inning. Nicole Gremillion started the inning with an infield single. With runners at second and third with two outs, Erika Oswald doubled to left field to drive in Gremillion and Amanda Sheppard (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest). Bryanna Phelan singled to center to drive in Oswald and give the Huskies the three-run lead.
After a Toledo home run in the bottom of the second made the score 3-1, Northern Illinois had an opportunity to blow the game wide open in the top of the third. NIU loaded the bases with nobody out, but were unable to capitalize. After the first three batters reached base safely, the next three Huskies hit into outs.
“It’s like I talked about after Kent State,” NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. “When you have a chance to respond and put a team away and you leave the bases loaded with no outs and get nothing out of it, it turns the momentum. We just never had that push again.”
The Rockets made NIU pay in the bottom of the fourth, plating three runs on two hits. All three runs came after the first two batters were retired. The Huskie offense was held hitless the final four innings.
Game 1 was all Toledo. The Rockets took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second and never looked back. With the score, 5-0, in the bottom of the fifth, Toledo put up a five spot to end the game in five innings. NIU was outhit 13-4, with the top of the Huskie lineup tallying only one hit.
The Huskies return to action Tuesday when NIU travels to South Bend, Ind. to take on Notre Dame. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. and fans can follow all the action live via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.