Feb. 15, 2014
BATON ROUGE, La. -- After falling behind early to George Washington Saturday at the Tiger Invitational, Northwestern exploded for five runs in the third frame en route to an emphatic 10-3 victory over the Colonials.
Northwestern pushes its record on the season to 6-2 with the victory, 3-1 at the Tiger Invitational after previously beating No. 18 South Alabama Saturday morning. George Washington falls to 0-8 on the year with its loss.
Freshman Nicole Bond (Clayton, N.C./Clayton) got her first-career start in the circle in this game and got off to a shaky beginning with a pair of walks. A series of groundouts and an error in the infield brought those two runs around to score to give George Washington the early 2-0 lead. The Colonials again got a pair of early walks into scoring position in the second before Bond got two strikeouts to escape that jam unscathed.
Northwestern took advantage of the momentum stop to pounce on offense in the third, sending 11 batters to the plate. Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) reached on a leadoff walk followed by an Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) single. Then, with one out, Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) sent a towering three-run home run to left field to surge NU into the lead, 3-2. That blast was Bast's second of the season and the 32nd of her career.
The inning continued when the "Andreas" combined for a run. After the Bast blast, Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) singled through the third-baseman's five hole and Andrea Filler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) roped a double to the wall in left to bring DiPrima in. Then, with two outs, Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) reached on an infield single, Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) walked to load the bases and Tonz drew her second walk of the inning to force home Filler and make it a 5-2 game before the frame ended after a GWU pitching change.
In the bottom of the third, Bond recorded one out before a walk and GWU's first hit of the game led to Kristen Wood (Trevor, Wis./Wilmot Union) taking over in the circle. Wood was able to retire the Colonials with no runs across.
The Wildcats continued the pressure in the fourth inning, getting leadoff batter Majam aboard on a single before Bast walked. With DiPrima at the plate, a wild pitch took a hellacious bounce off the catcher allowing Majam to come all the way around to score from second. Backing up the play, the pitcher threw late trying to get Majam and the throw got away, allowing Bast to scamper all the way around from first on the play to put NU up 7-2.
George Washington added a run to its tally in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out single, and NU nearly equaled that but the runner on a double steal attempt was thrown out at home on a beautifully executed first and third defensive play by the Colonials.
After Northwestern loaded the bases without scoring in the top of the sixth, the first two GWU batters in the sixth reached on walks. Wood gave up a screaming liner to left to the next batter, but Majam had her back with a great grab. Wood then fanned the next two batters to keep Northwestern's lead at 7-3 going into the seventh.
In that inning, the Wildcats' three slappers loaded the bases with no outs when pinch hitter Krista Williams (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley), Allard and Majam all reached on base knocks that traveled a combined seven feet. Then, two outs later, Filler lined a single into left to score one before two more came home on an Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) double to make it a 10-3 game going to the bottom of the seventh, where Wood shut the door emphatically.
Bond went 2.1 innings in the start, allowing two runs (one earned) on a hit and four walks with three strikeouts. Wood (3-2) picked up the win in relief after Bond did not reach the inning threshold for a starter, throwing 4.2 innings and allowing one run on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
Bast led NU at the plate with a 2-for-4 day, driving in three and scoring three times. Filler went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run, Edwards had two hits and two RBIs and both Allard and Majam scored twice.
Northwestern concludes its Tiger Invitational schedule at 11:30 a.m. CT tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 16, in a nonconference contest against Penn State.
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