MACOMB, Ill. – Western Illinois softball returns to the diamond on Tuesday (April 23) for a 4 p.m. single game showdown against in-state foe Northern Illinois (17-26, 7-7) in DeKalb, Ill.
The Leathernecks are currently riding a three-game win streak and own an overall mark of 13-19 and Summit League record of 7-12.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 23 at 4 p.m.
VENUE: Mary M. Bell Field
LOCATION: DeKalb, Ill.
Nico Haeflinger (PBP)
LAST TIME OUT: Western Illinois recorded a Summit League series sweep over South Dakota State last weekend at a neutral site in Omaha, Neb… The Leathernecks took game one 6-3, game two 4-3 and the finale 10-1 in five innings… The squad’s offense boasted a .372 batting average with 32 hits, eight of which were for extra bases, and 20 runs scored… Sammy Marshall led the team batting .500 (6-for-12), followed by Karissa Kouchis .444 (4-for-9) and Teagan Walsh .444 (4-for-9)… Also surpassing the .300 threshold were Lia Romeo at .400 (4-for-10), Alex Pflieger at .364 (4-for-11), Emma Jarrell at .333 (3-for-9) and Megg Kelly at .300 (2-for-6)… Pitcher Kelsey Michelini threw two complete game wins and picked up the first save of her season in game two… She fanned a total of 13 in her 13.2 innings pitched and allowed just four earned runs… Kacyee Hart earned the fourth win of her season in game two.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES: Mid-American Conference member Northern Illinois brings an overall record of 17-26 and a conference mark of 7-7… A trio of Huskies own batting averages above .300 including Nicole Gremillion (.356), Jessica Sturm (.323) and Jennifer Barnett (.311)… Emily Norton and Jessica Sturm have logged the most innings in the circle tossing 141.0 and 134.1 apiece… Norton has a team-high nine wins followed by Sturm with eight wins… The Northern Illinois roster consists of five freshmen, seven sophomores, five juniors and two seniors.
SERIES HISTORY: Western leads Northern Illinois 36-30 in all-time meetings… The squads last met on March 4, 2012 and the game went to the Huskies by a score of 5-0.
EARNING RECOGNITION: Sophomore Sammy Marshall was named Summit League Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career and the first time in 2013 after helping the Leathernecks accomplish four wins in competition last week… She posted a .500 (10-for-20) batting average, .900 slugging percentage and .545 on-base percentage in her six game played… Marshall currently leads the Summit League in batting average (.500) and on-base percentage (.567)… She is the second member of the Leatherneck team to earn the honor as Monica Rondon was named conference player of the week on Mar. 11.
STRONG ARMS: The Fighting Leatherneck outfield has a total of 17 assists so far in 2013… The trio is led by freshman right fielder Karissa Kouchis who has a total of 10 assists… Junior center fielder Briana Williams has five toss outs and junior Monica Rondon owns two assists thus far.
THE JET: Sammy Marshall is just two steals from tying and three away from breaking the Western Illinois career stolen bases record of 74 currently held by Stef Ryan (1991-94)… She has stolen 27 bags thus far in 2013 and swiped 45-of-45 bases attempted in her 2012 campaign for a total of 72… The Naperville, Ill. native averages one steal per game this year to lead all Division I and was named the NCAA Stolen Base Champion in 2012.
SUMMIT LEAGUE PULSE: North Dakota State remains at the top of the standings with a perfect 9-0 mark, followed by Omaha at 10-1 and Fort Wayne at 7-3... Kansas City is fourth with a record of 5-3, South Dakota is fifth at 8-5 and Western Illinois is sixth with a mark of 7-12... Rounding out the standings are IUPUI at 7-13, South Dakota State at 4-11 and Oakland at 1-10.
PRESEASON PICKS: Junior Briana Williams and sophomore Sammy Marshall were named to the Preseason All-League Teams by College Sports Madness on Monday (Jan. 14)... Marshall was predicted to earn First Team honors, while Williams was selected to earn Second Team recognition from the Summit League in 2013... Marshall is the lone returner for the Leathernecks who was awarded All-League honors in 2012... She garnered First Team honors after being crowned the NCAA Stolen Base Champion, setting Western Illinois and Summit League single season steal records, leading the league in batting average (.420) and stolen bases (45-for-45), and earning Summit League Player of the Week honors on three occasions.
SUMMIT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL: Western Illinois was voted to finish third in the conference in 2013 according to the Summit League Preseason Poll released on Friday (Feb. 1) with 46 points... North Dakota State was selected to take first tallying 64 points and eight first place votes, followed by Fort Wayne who was picked to finish second with 56 points and one first place vote... Kansas City was voted fourth (40 points) followed closely by Omaha for fifth (38 points)... South Dakota (28 points), IUPUI (26 points), South Dakota State (17 points) and Oakland (nine points) rounded out final spots in the poll... Poll results were decided by a vote of the league's nine head coaches.