Sept. 3, 1997
Wildcat Softball Review & Preview
1997 Season Recap
Heavy personnel losses and lack of depth conspired to put a damper on the 1997 Northwestern Softball season. NU posted a 19-31 overall record while going 9-14 in the Big Ten. The season wasn't without success, though, as NU put two players on the All-Big Ten team. Senior Erin Robson, an outfielder, and freshman pitcher Jaclyn DeBoard were both second-team picks. The 'Cats suffered from experience all season long as they had only three seniors on the roster. The positive side of this was that plenty of the younger players saw significant game time. No youngster saw more action than DeBoard. She threw 238.2 of the 'Cats 330.2 innings. She made 41 appearances, starting 37. She completed 28 games and although she was only 16-21, she had an impressive 2.93 ERA. Sophomore Amanda Peterson and senior Katie Ballman also had impressive years. Ballman was third on the team with a .289 average in all games. She also became NU's all-time leading base stealer with 118 career thefts. Peterson led the team with a .344 average and 52 hits. She was also one of only three players, Ballman and freshman Jenn Shull were the others, to start every game.
With the return of five starters, their leading hitter and leading pitcher, the Northwestern Women's softball team looks to climb back to the top of the Big Ten standings in 1998. The ace of the pitching staff will be sophomore Jaclyn DeBoard. DeBoard accounted for 72 percent of NU's innings last season led the team in ERA and wins and was the teams leading hitter in conference games. More of the same will be expected of DeBoard this season. Leading the charge at the plate will be junior Amanda Peterson. She started all 50 games for the Wildcats, batting .344 to lead the team. She also led the squad in the field, going errorless for the season. Sophomore Tami Jones will again be a big force for the 'Cats. She started all but one game at shortstop last season and was second on the team in conference hitting with a .315 average. Another pair of sophomores, Jenn Shull and Mikeal Chambers will add even more depth and experience. Shull was fourth on the team with 14 RBIs and started every game. Chambers swiped 19 bases and led the team with 11 sacrifices. Also returning is junior Jill Nesbitt. She tied for the team lead with 21 RBIs and had the third highest fielding percentage at .991.