Waco – Behind an incredible pitching performance by Jessica Sturm, Northern Illinois shut out Sam Houston State 4-0 in the Bearkats’ second contest at the Baylor Bear Softball Invitational Friday at Getterman Stadium.
Strum came within one batter of hurling a perfect game against the Kats. She retired the first 13 batters she faced before Ashley Isbell blasted a single down the line.
The NIU pitcher then retired the next eight Bearkats in order for a one-hit shutout. In all Strum faced 22 batters, retiring 21 with a pair of strike outs.
Jennifer Barnett had a solo home run in the second inning and NIU added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single and double.
The Bearkats opened the 2013 season with an 8-6 victory over Illinois State Thursday afternoon.
Sam Houston plays two games Saturday, facing Baylor at 11 a.m. and Illinois State following at 1:30 p.m. The Kats will complete play on Sunday with Northern Illinois at 9 a.m.