Feb. 9, 2007
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Three times No. 4 Northwestern trailed by a run Friday afternoon against No. 21 Fresno State at the Kajikawa Classic, and three times the Wildcats came back, eventually defeating the Bulldogs, 4-3, in eight innings.
The win improves Northwestern to 1-1 on the season, while Fresno State falls to 0-2.
Fresno State earned the game's first run on its first hit when Robin Mackin smacked a one-out solo home run in the fourth inning. Before the knock, Northwestern freshman pitcher Lauren Delaney (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) had retired nine-consecutive batters and recorded six strikeouts in the first 3.1 innings pitched of her career. She recovered to end the inning on a flyout and her seventh K of the contest.
Northwestern immediately launched a bid to score in the top of the fourth, loading the bases on walks by Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport), Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) and Jessica Miller (Elberfeld, Ind./Techumseh), but Fresno State was able to coax a groundout to end the threat.
With the score still 1-0 in favor of Fresno State in the bottom of the fifth, the Bulldogs replaced starter Robin Mackin in the circle with Marryann Barr. Mackin threw four innings, allowing one hit and four walks with four strikeouts.
The Wildcats took advantage of the switch to tie the game. Sophomore Jessica Rigas (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) led off with a single to center, then was replaced by pinch runner Aly Euler (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest). Freshman Kelly Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) executed a perfect sacrifice bunt, then Euler moved to third on a groundout from junior Darcy Sengewald (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way East).
Senior Katie Logan
(Tempe, Ariz./Corona del Sol) drove in Euler with her second single of the game, beating out an infield hit deep into the hole at short to knot the score, 1-1.
The Wildcats again loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth after a walk and a pair of singles from Williams and Miller, but could not get a run across.
Fresno State pushed itself into the lead in the top of the seventh, hitting a leadoff solo homer to take a 2-1 advantage.
Trailing again by a run, Northwestern pushed back. Sengewald worked a full-count leadoff walk, then moved to second on a sacrifice slap from Logan. Erin Dyer then laced a single into left field, and Sengewald rounded third and slid hard into home, knocking the ball loose from the catcher to again tie the game, 2-2. Dyer ended up on second on the throw, but the inning would end with the score still tied.
Moving to extra innings with the international tiebreak in effect, Fresno began the eighth with Brooke Phipps at second base. After Delaney recorded a pair of outs, Mackin cracked a double into left center to plate Phipps and give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the frame.
Williams began on second for the Northwestern portion of the eighth, moving to third on a sacrifice from Miller. Freshman Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) then unleashed a liner toward short that was too hot to handle, caroming into center for a base hit and an RBI to tied the game once again, 3-3.
Rigas then drew a walk to move Pauly to second with one out before Kelly Dyer ripped a double off the fence in right field to plate Pauly and earn the win for NU, 4-3.
Delaney earned the win in her first-career start, throwing eight innings and allowing three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts.
Logan finished 2-for-3 for NU with an RBI.
Northwestern returns to action at noon CT tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 10, against No. 8 Stanford at the Tempe Sports Complex. Due to faulty internet issues at the Complex during Friday's games, it is anticipated that Gametracker will NOT be available for the game against Stanford. However, Gametracker WILL be available for the game against Arizona on Saturday afternoon.