Baseball and softball swing into GLVC play

The Northern Kentucky University baseball and softball teams are looking to continue recent success within the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

With a strong showing outside conference play, the baseball team is looking to make a charge at winning the GLVC.

The Norse own a 9-6 record for the season, but sit 0-2 in the GLVC. The Norse began the season ranked No. 17 in the NCAA Division II poll, but have now slipped to No. 27. Even with the drop in the rankings, the Norse are showing plenty signs of life.

The Norse began GLVC play by having Rockhurst University snap a three-game winning streak. In the first game of the series, the Norse fell into an early 6-0 hole, but mounted a late game rally until eventually falling 7-6. The Norse jumped out to take a quick 6-4 lead through three innings, but Rockhurst hit NKU with a five spot in the bottom of the sixth, as NKU fell 9-6.

NKU will have to use their old home field, Champion Window Field in Florence, Ky., for the time being, due to ongoing renovations to the Bill Aker Baseball Complex.
So far in the season, sophomore Brad Clement has led the Norse, who leads the team in batting average (.444) as well in RBI (20). Two more Norse have clipped the .400 batting mark in freshman Zac Asman (.407) and sophomore Brett Cisper (.400).
Radio listeners will be able to catch Norse baseball on commercial airwaves for the first time in program history. NKU will have 30 regular-season games, all GLVC and NCAA postseason games broadcast live on the WQRT-AM “Real Talk 1160.”

The softball team is off to a nice start after being ranked fourth in the GLVC preseason poll.

The Norse are on the hunt for their second GLVC title in three years. NKU has played in each of the last two GLVC Tournament championship games, winning the title in 2009.

The ladies of NKU then went on a spring break 14-game road trip to the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla., but the last two games were canceled due to rain. April Ehlers recorded her second no-hitter during her time in Kissimmee against Ferris State, and the Norse finished 5-3 overall and came back home to start GLVC play.

GLVC action began with NKU sweeping Rockhurst in a doubleheader in their conference opening series, then followed up with a doubleheader sweep of Quincy and topped that off with another doubleheader sweep against Missouri S&T.

The Norse then had split action against Drury, with a 14-4 win and a 2-10 loss. NKU then went on to sweep Ashland 4-1 and 5-4.

With a currently winning record in GLVC play, head coach Kathy Stewart knows there is still a lot of work to be done and it’s not going to be easy.

“We just have to continue to do the little things right,” Stewart said. “It does not matter what a team’s record is in the conference. They’re always tough games, so we have to be on top of our game.”

Story by Stephen Wilder