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Barbs' offense backs Kowalski in win over Sycamore

DeKALB – If DeKalb’s bats stay this hot and the Barbs keep getting good, consistent pitching from Katie Kowalski, the rest of the Northern Illinois Big 12 East might need to watch out as the league race winds down.

Kowalski threw a complete-game two-hitter and the Barbs pounded out 13 hits in Friday night’s 10-0, six-inning win over Sycamore at Northern Illinois’ Mary M. Bell Field.

It’s the second straight day the Barbs (13-5, 6-2 NI Big 12 East) have scored 10 runs. DeKalb beat Rochelle, 10-0, in five innings Thursday.

“We’re getting a lot of production from that lower half that struggled early. We’re actually hitting the ball real well up and down the lineup,” DeKalb coach Jeff Davis said. “And when you win games like that, you can honestly say they’re total team victories. Everybody contributes one way or another.”

DeKalb got one run in the first off Sycamore starter Taylor Zak, and added three in each of the third and fourth and sixth innings.

Morgan Newport finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs for the Barbs, while Sarah Friedlund went 2 for 3 with an RBI. DeKalb’s seventh-place batter, Jessica Townsend, was 2 for 2 with two RBIs and the No. 8 hitter, Rachel Johnson, finished 3 for 3 with two RBIs.

“I think we’ve all just been starting to get in the rhythm of seeing the ball,” Friedlund said. “And we’re doing a really good job of coming back to each other after we’ve struck out or gotten a hit, we’ve just been telling each other where the pitcher’s throwing and what kind of speed it is.”

Kowalski struck out three batters in her two-hit effort, and walked three. Jordyn Shultz had both of the Spartans’ hits.

“She is extremely comfortable, and she’s strong,” Davis said of Kowalski. “She’s throwing well.”

Sycamore coach Jill Carpenter wanted to see her team (4-12, 1-4 NI Big 12 East) hit the ball on the ground more and take advantage of the hard surface at Mary M. Bell Field – something the Barbs were able to accomplish.

“It’s a slapper’s dream,” Carpenter said. “It’s a hitter’s dream just because the ball really flies through the infield.”

DeKalb also was able to take advantage of four Sycamore errors.

“Our pitchers are doing their best to hit spots, and we don’t strike a lot of people out,” Carpenter said. “So you have to be able to play defense.”

The two teams will meet again Thursday at Sycamore.

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