DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University softball team completed the sweep of Ohio with a 3-2 victory over the Bobcats at Mary M. Bell Field Sunday.
Jessica Sturm turned in a stellar pitching performance for Northern Illinois (20-28, 10-8), allowing one run on one hit, a solo home run in the first inning, and striking out three in five innings of work. Emily Norton picked up the save, allowing one run on one hit in two innings of work.
“Jessica came in and did a good job settling in,” said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “I just wanted Emily to give them a fresh look towards the end there because we were going through the line up for the third time. I wanted to give them something different to keep their power hitters off balance. I’m glad it worked out.”
Jennifer Barnett went 2-for-2 with an RBI. The senior first baseman went 8-for-10, including a double and home run, with five RBIs and a run scored in four games this weekend.
“JB continues to be steady,” Sutcliffe said of Barnett’s play this weekend. “She’s going out with a bang in her senior year. She prides herself in her offense and I’m glad to see her doing well down the stretch.”
Nicole Gremillion and Sturm each went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Bobcats (24-25, 7-11) took the early lead with a solo home run in the top of the first. NIU responded with a solo home run in the bottom of the frame by Gremillion. Northern Illinois took the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the third.
With runners at the corners with two outs, Barnett singled to right field to drive in Ashley Kopp from third. Sturm helped her own cause with a sacrifice fly to centerfield, to score pinch runner Kristyn Barrett from third to make the score 3-1. It would prove to be a big insurance run as the Bobcats scored a run in the top of the sixth.
NIU returns to action Wednesday when the Huskies travel to Chicago to take on DePaul. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. Fans can follow all the action live via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.