NIU series pivotal for Falcons

Zach Baker and Zach Baker

The softball team controls its own destiny.

Right now, the Falcons are ahead of Northern Illinois for a spot in the Mid-American Conference postseason. The Falcons have won 12 of their last 13 MAC games and are looking to continue that success.

All of which makes this weekend’s road series against the Huskies a pivotal one for BG.

BG coach Leigh Ross-Shaw said that having a good series against Northern Illinois would be big for the Falcons. “If we play well this weekend, I don’t know if we can win them all, but if we can take two out of three, I’ll feel pretty good,” Ross-Shaw said.

Ross-Shaw said that by defeating the Huskies, the Falcons can push them further behind and get closer to reaching the tournament.

“We can play good ball, and hold them at bay,” Ross-Shaw said. “I don’t want us to wait and hope for other teams to lose to get into the tournament.”

After coming within one out of a no-hitter in Wednesday’s win, Ross-Shaw said that Liz Vrabel will start the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, and is likely to pitch Sunday’s game as well.

“We’ll see how everything goes,” Ross-Shaw said. “But she’ll definitely throw the first game.”

Ross-Shaw said that Jody Johnson and McKenna Houle are both likely to see work in game two of the series. Based on the swings of the Northern Illinois hitters, the decision will be made on who to start in game two.

“”When we see what their team has, then we’ll make that decision,” Ross-Shaw said.

One of the players who has stood out for the Falcons is left fielder Crystal Wilson, who has hit two grand slams in the last week.

Ross-Shaw said that Wilson has played a major part in turning the offense around.

“Crystal’s in a zone, and she’s relaxing at the plate,” Ross-Shaw said. “She’s definitely hitting the ball well right now.” Ross-Shaw said that the team as a whole is coming together offensively.

“There are some people coming around at this point in the season who weren’t around earlier in the season,” Ross-Shaw said. “It takes a lot of pressure off the big kids who have been doing it for a while.”

The Falcons will start the doubleheader against the Huskies tomorrow at 2 p.m. Sunday’s game will also begin at 2 p.m.