DEKALB, Ill. – The Miami University softball team earned a split of its doubleheader with Northern Illinois on Saturday. The RedHawks dropped a 6-1 decision in the opener. Miami then earned a dramatic, 8-5, win in eight innings in the nightcap. The RedHawks are now 17-20 overall and 5-5 in the Mid-American Conference. The Huskies are also 17-20 overall and 5-5 in the MAC.
Miami struck first in the opener with a run in the top of the third. Junior shortstop Kylie McChesney led off with a single to left field. A groundout by sophomore designated player Hailey Reed moved McChesney up to second. An error by the pitcher on sophomore right fielder Tanya Busby’s grounder allowed her to advance to third. Senior second baseman Kristy Arbour followed with a grounder of her own. Busby got caught in a rundown, but avoided the tag long enough to allow McChesney to score and give the RedHawks a 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Red and White that would be all they could manage in the opener. Northern Illinois took the lead on a two-run home run in the bottom of the third. The Huskies then put the game away with four runs in the bottom of the fifth.
McChesney finished 2-for-3 with one run scored. Reed and junior outfielder Bree Lipscomb also recorded hits for Miami.
The RedHawks also scored first in the nightcap with a run in the top of the second. With junior third baseman Remy Edwards on third and sophomore outfielder Taylor Shuey on first and two outs, Shuey took off for second. The throw down allowed Edwards to steal home and put Miami on the board.
With one out in the top of the fifth, Arbour singled to center field. A groundout advanced her to second. Lipscomb followed with a double right field that brought home Arbour and made it 2-0. Sophomore designated player Jenna Modic then hit her fifth home run of the season to put the ‘Hawks up, 4-0.
Sophomore pitcher Amber Logemann kept Northern Illinois off the board for the first four innings. The Huskies finally broke through for three runs in the bottom of the fifth. They then scored two in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-4 lead.
Down to their last out, Miami was able to extend the game with a run in the top of the seventh. Lipscomb was hit by a pitch and replaced by pinch-runner junior Shanyn McIntyre. A single by Modic moved McIntyre up to second, while a walk to McChesney moved her up to third. An error by NIU’s shortstop on Edwards’ groundball allowed McIntyre to score and tied the game at five.
Junior pitcher Megan Mattera retired Northern Illinois in order to force extra innings.
Miami broke the game open with three runs in the top of the eighth. Shuey led off with a single to left center. A groundout by junior outfielder Tiyona Marshall moved Shuey up to second. Senior catcher Kayla Ledbetter reached on an error that allowed Shuey to advance to third. A double to deep left field by senior first baseman Allie Larrabee scored both Shuey and Ledbetter and gave Miami a 7-5 lead. A double from Modic scored pinch-runner Busby and completed the RedHawks’ 8-5 win.
Modic finished the nightcap 3-for-5 with three RBI and one run scored. Lipscomb was 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored. Larrabee was 1-for-4 with two RBI. Mattera earned the victory in relief, while Modic got the save.
Miami returns to action on Tuesday when it travels to Butler for a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.