Feb. 16, 2013
Site: Athens, Ga. (Jack Turner Stadium)
Score: Northwestern 6, Campbell 2
Records: NU (2-6), Campbell (5-2)
Next NU Event: Feb. 16, 2013 -- vs. No. 13 Georgia (Georgia Softball Classic), 4 p.m. CT/5 p.m. ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Sophomore hurler Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) established a career-high for strikeouts for the third time already this season with 15 Saturday afternoon in a 6-2 win over Campbell at the Georgia Softball Classic.
The win improves NU to 2-1 at the tournament, 2-6 on the season. Campbell now is 5-2 overall on the year with its loss, 1-2 at the event.
Letourneau heated the field up early from the circle, setting the side down in order in the first and second while amassing five strikeouts (including a fanning of the side in the second).
The Wildcats' offense loaded the bases in the bottom of the second en route to an early lead in the game. Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) led off by pure hustling out an infield single, then Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) flexed into the lineup to run at first. Letourneau followed with a one-out single before Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) worked a full-count, two-out walk to load the bags.
NU cashed in on its chance when Kristin Scharkey
(Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) shot a comebacker to the pitcher that was too hot to handle to bring Tonz in, then Mari Majam
(Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) blooped a two-run single just out of the reach of the shortstop racing toward foul ground to give the Wildcats a 3-0 edge going to the third inning.
Campbell got one run back with a leadoff home run in the top of the third, and Northwestern made a bid to match that in the bottom half when DiPrima ripped a double to right center and Aubrie May (La Mesa, Calif./Grossmont) singled, but DiPrima was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Campbell got its leadoff runner on in the fourth before Letourneau struck out the side behind her to give the Wildcat eight strikeouts through four innings of work.
In the bottom of the fourth, NU did get that run back and then some. Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) beat out an infield single, then with two outs, Scharkey roasted a pitch all the way to the wall in center for a triple to drive home LeBeau. Majam followed with a double into the gap in left center to ease Scharkey home and extend the cushion to 5-1. Junior Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) made a bid to make the lead even larger with a mammoth mash to left field, but the wind howling in and gusting to 25 mph at that moment killed the ball on the track where a fielder was able to glove it while sinking to her knees.
Campbell again responded immediately after an NU scoring inning with one of its own, getting a two-out RBI single in the fifth to make the score 5-2. In that inning, Letourneau struck out the side for the third time in the game to give her 11 Ks going into the sixth.
Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) knocked Campbell starter Courtney Roberts from the circle with a leadoff double in the bottom of the fifth. Later, with two outs and Edwards on third, Letourneau flared a single into right to make the score 6-2.
That's all the scoring that would occur, though Letourneau (2-3) continued to rack up strikeout numbers. She recorded two more in each of the sixth and seventh innings to complete her victory, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with those 15 Ks. Last weekend Letourneau beat her freshman-year best of 10 strikeouts with 11 against No. 13 Arizona. She then improved that mark to 12 Friday against Middle Tennessee State here in Georgia.
At the plate, Letourneau was one of four players with two hits for NU. Scharkey, Majam and DiPrima also reached that number with Majam driving in three and Scharkey bringing around a pair.
Northwestern is scheduled to return to action now at 3:30 p.m. CT/4:30 p.m. ET against Middle Tennessee. Cold winds delayed the start of Saturday's action and are growing in ferocity, which has led to a switch in the scheduling. NU originally was supposed to face No. 13 Georgia again tonight.
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