Feb. 7, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. -- No. 9 Northwestern erased a five-run deficit against Kansas Saturday evening at the Kajikawa Classic, but the Jayhawks scored a sixth-inning run to take an 8-7 victory over the Wildcats.
The loss drops Northwestern to 2-2 on the season. Kansas improves to 2-1 on the year with the victory.
Northwestern wasted little time getting on the board in the top of the first. With one out in the frame, junior Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) ripped a solo home run to quickly put the Wildcats up 1-0. The blast was Pauly's first of the season and the 30th of her career, breaking a tie with senior Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) for fourth place all-time at NU.
But about that tie, see... One out later, Dyer also cranked her first homer of the year and the 30th of her career to make the Wildcats' lead two, once again knotting her with Pauly in the NU career record book.
Kansas did not hesitate in its bid to take away the Northwestern lead in the bottom of the first, parlaying three walks, a hit batter and a single into a pair of runs to tie the score, 2-2. A ground-rule double and three-run homer followed to give the Jayhawks a 7-2 advantage against NU starter Kelly Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) after one complete frame.
The Wildcats got a run back in the top of the third with a brief rally. With one out, Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) ripped a double into left center before taking third on a groundout by Pauly. Michelle Batts (Bloomingdale, Ill./Glenbard North) followed with a single to plate Williams and make the score 7-3. The Batts' hit also chased Kansas starter Allie Clark from the circle in favor of Sarah Blair.
Kelly Dyer, who threw a perfect second inning, left the circle in favor of Lauren Delaney (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) after surrendering a flare single to center and walk to start the bottom of the third. Delaney escaped the inning with a strikeout and a kooky infield fly that was dropped and turned into a double play for the Wildcats.
Dyer went two-plus innings in the game, allowing seven runs on four hits and four walks with a strikeout.
Northwestern mounted a second rally in the top of the fifth, this verse bigger than the first. Jordan Wheeler (Garden Grove, Calif./Los Alamitos) reached on an error as the leadoff batter, then moved to third when the throw on a bunt single by Robin Thompson (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) went past first. Williams then drove home Wheeler with an RBI groundout. Following a Pauly fielder's choice for out number two, Batts ripped a single into right to move Pauly to third.
Erin Dyer then launched her second home run of the game, this one a three-run job to left, to tie the score, 7-7, and move her past Pauly to fourth on the NU career list with 31.
Kansas entered Val George into the circle to begin the top of the sixth, and she held the Wildcats without a run. In the bottom of the frame Kansas got a walk and a texas-leaguer double that landed in shallow left and spun directly into foul territory, allowing the lead runner to reach third. She came home one batter later on a sacrifice fly to right to give Kansas the lead back, 8-7.
Erin Dyer finished 2-for-4 with two homers and four RBIs. Batts also had two hits and Pauly scored twice.
Delaney (2-2) took the loss in the game, allowing one run on two hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 4.0 innings of work.
Northwestern returns to action in its Kajikawa Classic getaway game at 11 a.m. CT tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 8, against Oklahoma State.