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    No. 6 Northwestern Routs Portland State, 11-0 (5)

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Sophomore Gina Gonzalez notched her first-career hit Friday afternoon with a three-run opposite-field homer.
    Sophomore Gina Gonzalez notched her first-career hit Friday afternoon with a three-run opposite-field homer.

    Feb. 17, 2007

    Box Score

    HENDERSON, Nev. -- Three Wildcats hit home runs -- including one for the first hit of sophomore Gina Gonzalez's (LaVerne, Calif./Bonita) career -- in an 11-0, five-inning rout of Portland State Friday afternoon at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic.

    The win improves No. 6 Northwestern's overall record to 3-3 on the year, 1-0 at the Classic. The loss drops Portland State to 2-6 on the season, 1-1 in the event.

    Northwestern opened the game's scoring in the first inning. With a full count, senior Katie Logan (Tempe, Ariz./Corona del Sol) singled into right field to lead off the inning, then stole second base. One out later, senior Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) crushed a ball with roughly the same velocity as a Tiger Woods tee shot, lining it over the fence in center for a two-run homer and a 2-0 Northwestern lead.

    The blast was Cooper's second of the season and the 34th of her career, tying her with former teammate Kristen Amegin (2003-06) for the Northwestern career record. The homer also put Cooper into a tie with Amegin and Penn State's Shannon Salsburg (1995-98) for sixth on the Big Ten's all-time list.

    Freshman Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) followed Cooper with a single, then sophomore Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Both Pauly and Dyer moved up with stolen bases, but Portland State starter Mandy Hill got back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning with the 'Cats' lead still at two.

    The Wildcats put more on the board in the third. Sophomore Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) led off with a single to short, then stole second base. With Williams still on second two outs later, Dyer cracked a ball over the fence for her first home run of the season, giving Northwestern a 4-0 lead.



    The Wildcats added more scoring in the fourth. Sophomore Erin Hampshire (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) led off the inning as a pinch hitter, then promptly stroked her first single of the year into left field. She was replaced at first by pinch runner Ashley Lafever (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley), who then stole second. Two outs later, Logan rolled a double right down the first-base line and over the bag, scoring Lafever for a five-run NU edge, 5-0.

    Portland State put together its first threat in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases on two walks and an infield single with one out. Northwestern starter Eileen Canney (Paradise, Calif./Paradise) then coaxed a slow roller back up the middle that Williams charged from short, gloved, took to second then fired to first for an inning-ending 6-3 double play.

    In the top of the fifth, the Las Vegas skies opened and poured Northwestern runs. The Wildcats sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring six runs on four hits, three walks and an error to send the game into run-rule territory, 11-0.

    To start the inning, Portland State put Jessi Even in the circle. She promptly walked Cooper on four-straight balls over the catcher's head to the backstop. Sophomore Ann Schraufnagel (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) replaced Cooper at first, then scored after three more wild pitches from Even, the final one of which put Pauly at first with a walk. The Vikings then replaced Even with Sammy Taylor.

    Dyer followed with a single to put runners at second and third before Gonzalez deposited the first hit of her career over the right-field fence for a three-run bomb and a 9-0 NU lead.

    Fun stat: Three current Wildcats have launched home runs for their first-career hits: Erin Dyer, Gonzalez and Hampshire. Cooper hit one in the first game of her career after singling earlier in the contest.

    With two outs, the Wildcats sent pinch hitter Kristen Salamon (Kent, Ohio/Kent Roosevelt) to the plate, and she smacked her first-career hit into left field for a single, then was replaced at first by freshman Aly Euler (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest). An error and a walk issued to freshman pinch hitter Emily Haug (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) loaded the bases.

    With the 'Cats now having batted around the order, Schraufnagel stepped to the plate and ripped a double into center to plate both Logan and Euler and give NU its 11-0 winning score.

    Canney (1-3) picked up her first win of the season, throwing a five-inning, two-hit shutout. She walked five and struck out nine.

    Dyer finished the game 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Logan also had two hits and scored twice. Gonzalez drove in three runs, while Cooper and Schraufnagel both knocked in a pair.