Fairfield, CT - The SHU softball team dropped a 6-5 decision to Northern Illinois Sunday morning to complete a 2-3 weekend at the Colorado State Classic. Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA) picked up her fourth homerun of the season with a three-run blast in the third inning as the senior first baseman went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate. Jade Bowins (Frederick, MD) and Lee both scored in the top of the seventh but the Pioneers were unable to scratch out the tying run to overcome a 6-3 deficit.
Northern Illinois (6-8) got its first two batters on base to leadoff the bottom of the first as a result of Pioneer fielding errors. The next Huskie hitter delivered a two RBI double to give NIU the early lead. The Pioneers vaulted ahead of Northern Illinois on Lee's homer to right field that also plated Bowins and Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA). SHU had a chance to pad the lead later in the inning but ended up stranding two runners on base, the Pioneers ended the day leaving eight total men on the basepaths. Northern Illinois responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third to regain control at 5-3. The Huskies added an insurance run in the fifth on another unearned run as SHU committed a two-out fielding error.
Sacred Heart (2-3) continued an early trend of the 2011 season, scoring runs in its final at-bat. Bowins and Lee opened the top of the seventh with back-to-back singles to bring the tying run to the plate. Both runners eventually came around to score on a wild pitch and bring SHU within one, 6-5. Nikki Surkes (Brightwaters, NY) kept the game alive with a two-out single to bring Jasmin Vicente (Wantagh, NY) to the plate as the go-ahead run. Vicente went back up the middle but the ball bounced off the pitcher and to the third baseman, who made the throw to first just in time to end the game.
Lee finished the tournament with a .500 batting batting average, four homers, 11 RBI, and a 1.222 slugging percentage. Tsipouras went 10-of-18 (.556) at the plate while also picking up a win in the pitching circle.
Sacred Heart will fly straight from Colorado to Florida for eight games over five days at the Rebel Spring Games beginning March 8.