Feb. 15, 2013
Site: Athens, Ga. (Jack Turner Stadium)
Score: No. 13 Georgia 6, Northwestern 5
Records: NU (1-6), Georgia (5-2)
Next NU Event: Feb. 16, 2013 -- vs. Campbell (Georgia Softball Classic), 9 a.m. CT/10 a.m. ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Northwestern exploded for five runs in the fourth inning Friday at No. 13 Georgia in the nightcap of the first day of the 2013 Georgia Softball Classic, but the Bulldogs bounced back with four unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth to defeat the Wildcats, 6-5.
NU falls to 1-1 at the Georgia Softball Classic while the host squad improves to 2-0, 5-2 overall on the season. The Wildcats now have faced three teams ranked 13th or better in the nation in their first seven games this year.
In the top of the first, junior Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) beat out a one-out single for NU and then, with two outs, sophomore Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) made a bid to put the Wildcats up two, but her deep fly to dead center was caught at the wall to end the inning.
In Georgia's half of the first, the leadoff Bulldog reached on an infield single before Northwestern starter Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) coaxed three-straight groundouts to strand the runner. The last batter was jammed so bad that she went down in a heap after turning on the pitch, allowing Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) to ease the ball over to first from third without a runner racing up the line.
Northwestern put together a nice threat in the top of the second. First, sophomore Andrea DiPrima
(Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) shot a leadoff single through the infield before Amy Letourneau
(Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) reached on a single of her own. Freshman Aubrie May
(La Mesa, Calif./Grossmont) executed a picture perfect sacrifice bunt to push the runners up a bag, then, one out later, Olivia Duehr
(Antioch, Ill./Antioch) worked a full-count walk to load the bases with two down. Georgia was able to make a nice play at third on a ground ball, however, to leave the 'Cats stranded.
Georgia put itself into the same exact situation in the bottom of the second, though it was able to load the bases with just one gone. Lamberth calmly induced a comebacker from the first Bulldog to the plate in the pickle, gloving it and tossing to Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) at home for the force. She then got a routine grounder to Edwards at short to complete the full Houdini and keep the score 0-0 to the third.
After two more Wildcats found their way on base without getting home in the third, the Bulldogs put up the game's first run in the bottom half of the frame with a one-out single. The next batter grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to keep the damage at 1-0 headed to the fourth.
Northwestern put multiple runners on yet again in the top of the fourth, starting with a leadoff May single and an eventual one-out Duehr base on balls. At that point, Georgia opted to lift starting pitcher Morgan Montemayor for Geri Ann Glasco, who earlier in the day was the winning hurler in the Bulldogs' 11-0 (5) win over Campbell.
Glasco promptly issued Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) a bases-loading four-pitch walk before a familiar script began playing out. The next Wildcat hit a bounder to short with the throw coming home to erase the lead runner for out number two. Then, the script changed to something much more Oscar-worthy. Bast first drove a two-run single out into right field to put Northwestern on top, then Edwards pressed play on a three-run bomb into UGA's brand new video board to extend the Wildcats' lead to 5-1.
For Edwards, the blast was her second of the day, her second of the season and the seventh of her career. She earlier tripled and had a solo home run in a win over Middle Tennessee State.
Georgia battled back in its half of the fourth courtesy of a two-out double followed by a Northwestern error that made the score 5-2 going to the fifth inning, where neither team was able to score. The Bulldogs then re-inserted starter Montemayor (2-1) into the circle for the sixth, and she retired the Wildcats in order.
In the bottom of the sixth, Majam recorded the first out with an amazing grab of an annihilated line drive to left. With two outs, though, NU dropped a fly ball in the outfield, but was able to pick it up and throw a runner out advancing to third. The umpires, however, ran in to call interference on an NU fielder somewhere near second to keep the inning alive. The Bulldogs were able to take advantage, turning the call into four unearned runs to re-take the lead, 6-5.
Northwestern hit a ball deep to center and a liner that was caught at third in the seventh, but could not come up with a responding rally.
Lamberth (0-2) took the loss, allowing six runs (just one earned) on eight hits and three walks with a strikeout. Bast and May each had two hits for Northwestern while Edwards drove in three and Bast knocked in a pair.
Northwestern returns to action at 9 a.m. CT/10 a.m. ET tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 16, against Campbell at the Georgia Softball Classic. The Wildcats then take on the Bulldogs again at 2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon.
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