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    Northwestern Holds Off No. 18 South Alabama, 2-1

    Feb. 15, 2014

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    Northwestern Northwestern 2, No. 18 South Alabama 1
    Tiger Invitational • Baton Rouge, La. • Tiger Park

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    BATON ROUGE, La. -- Northwestern put up on a two-spot in the first inning Saturday against No. 18 South Alabama at the Tiger Invitational hosted by LSU and junior Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) made it stand up in the circle during a 2-1 NU victory.

    Northwestern now is 5-2 on the season with its victory while South Alabama drops its first decision of the year to fall to 5-1.

    Northwestern jumped on the board early against South Alabama ace Farish Beard. Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) fouled off the first four pitches she saw in the bottom of the first before being hit by a pitch. After an Allard steal of second, Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) laid down a sacrifice bunt on which the throw got away from first, allowing Majam to move to second and Allard to score. Later in the inning, Andrea Filler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) rolled an RBI groundout to short that brought Majam in for a 2-0 NU edge going to the second frame.

    From there, Beard and Letourneau dueled effectively from the circle. South Alabama put a runner at second with no outs in the top of the fourth, but Letourneau fanned a pair in the inning to help keep that Jaguar right where she started. South Alabama was able to finally break through in the fifth when a leadoff single came in to score on a sacrifice fly later in the inning, cutting NU's lead in half.

    After the Jaguars put that run on the board, Letourneau came out and set the heart of their order down in order with a dominating shutdown top of the sixth to help maintain NU's 2-1 edge.

    South Alabama lifted its starting pitcher Beard in the bottom of the sixth in favor of lefty fireballer Hannah Campbell against NU's lefty-heavy top of the order. She allowed a two-out single to Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park), but nothing else.

    Then, in the seventh, Letourneau continued her dominance with another 1-2-3 inning, retiring the final eight batters she saw for the complete game victory. Letourneau (2-0) allowed one run on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

    Bast led NU at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance.

    Northwestern returns to action immediately in a rematch with George Washington at the Tiger Invitational. In the tournament's first game Friday, NU outlasted the Colonials, 12-11, during a marathon contest that lasted nearly three hours.

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