The teams played through heavy rains and high winds in a game that was even stopped in the first half for a 71-minute delay because of lightning.
Before the delay, Orisich scored her first goal of the season to give Ball State the lead in the ninth minute of the game. Northern Illinois was trying to clear the ball out of its end, but the Ball State senior midfielder wound up with it at the top of the 18-yard box and beat Huskie goalkeeper Amy Carr.
That was the only goal Ball State needed. The Cardinals held Northern Illinois without a shot in the first half. The Huskies managed nine shots in the second half, but only one of those came on goal and Ball State senior keeper Aubrey Buehler saved it.
It was the fourth shutout of the season for Buehler and the 16th career shutout for the reigning Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
The Cardinals managed to win despite managing only seven shots. They put four of those seven shots on goal, led by Orisich who put both her shots on frame.
Ball State improved to 7-5-4 overall and 4-2-2 in conference play. With the win and Toledo's loss at Miami University, the Cardinals moved back into third place in the MAC West. Northern Illinois dropped to 6-7-2 overall and 2-4-2 in the MAC with the loss.
With just three regular-season games remaining, Ball State will return home for two contests next weekend. The Cardinals will host Bowling Green at 4 p.m. Friday and Central Michigan at 1 p.m. Sunday.