OXFORD, Ohio – A late Huskie rally falls short as the Northern Illinois University softball team suffered a 5-2 setback at MU Softball Stadium Saturday afternoon.
“We are just leaving too many runners in scoring position and not coming through with the clutch hit right now,” said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “We’re playing good defense. We’re pitching good enough to win some games. We just need to get over the hump and push through and get a win.”
Trailing 5-1 heading into the top of the seventh, Northern Illinois (11-22, 1-4) pulled to within a run when Jessica Sturm hit a one-out double to score Shelby Miller from second. An Ashley Kopp walk gave the Huskies an opportunity to tie the game with two batters due up.
Unfortunately for NIU, Paige Myers, who came in to pitch in relief for Jenna Modic, struck out the two batters she faced to end the Huskie rally and give Miami (11-29, 5-2) the victory.
A four-run fifth by the RedHawks proved to be the difference in the contest. Leading 1-0 after a two-out single by Halley Reed in the third, Reed began Miami’s big inning with a lead-off single. Ledbetter drove her in on a home run over the left centerfield wall. A sacrifice fly and a two-out double accounted for the final two RedHawk runs of the inning and give the home team a 5-0 lead.
Northern Illinois responded with a two-out home run by Nicole Gremillion in the top of the sixth. Gremillion and Miller led the way for the Huskie offense with each going 2-for-3 and a run scored.
The Huskies are back in action Sunday when NIU wraps up its series with Miami. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. Central Time.