Softball: Northwestern hopes to overcome defensive miscues against Northern Illinois

Rebecca Friedman, Reporter

For the first time in the last couple of weeks, Northwestern’s defensive efforts weren’t enough to hold off its opponents.

NU committed 6 errors in the two losses to Iowa over the weekend and overcame 2 errors Sunday to take the series finale.

The Wildcats take a breather from Big Ten play to take on Northern Illinois in another non-conference contest Tuesday. 

After dropping two of three to the Hawkeyes in the weekend series, the Cats fell to 21-16 overall with a 6-5 record in the Big Ten. NU is sitting in sixth place, 5.5 games out of first place. 

The Cats will have to bounce back against the Huskies, who are 13-25 on the season with a 3-7 record in its Mid-American Conference. Northern Illinois is coming off two straight wins over conference opponent Eastern Michigan.

In order to find success Tuesday, NU will look to channel the offensive success that seemed to be somewhat sporadic lastweekend.

NU ace sophomore Amy Letourneau got rocked more than she was used to against Iowa, giving up 8 runs on 8 hits in only 3.1 innings in the first matchup with Iowa. Senior Meghan Lamberth started the second game in the series for the Cats, after relieving Letourneau in the first game, and gave up 7 runs on 7 hits, lasting only two innings before Letourneau returned. Letourneau pitched the whole third game for the Cats, allowing only 3 runs on 3 hits in five innings. 

Although more consistent pitching and hitting will be key for NU, the Cats need to be more defensively sound and thus give their pitchers more confidence. NU has proven it can use big offensive innings to come back from large deficits. The pitching staff has also proved to be a reliable group that can shut down teams.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Northern Illinois’ most recent opponent. They won twice against Eastern Michigan. The Daily regrets the error.