Feb. 17, 2012
Site: Lafayette, La. (Lamson Park)
Score: Northwestern 10, Louisiana Tech 6
Records: NU (3-4), Louisiana Tech (2-4)
Next NU Event: Feb. 18, 2012 -- vs. UTEP (Mardi Gras Invitational), 11 a.m. CT
LAFAYETTE, La. -- Every starter in Northwestern's offensive lineup recorded a hit Friday night against Louisiana Tech, helping the Wildcats to a 10-6 win over the Lady Techsters at the 8th Annual Mardi Gras Invitational.
Northwestern improves to 3-4 overall on the season with its win while Louisiana Tech drops to 2-4 on the year with its loss. NU collected 16 total hits in the game, one shy of the school's single-game record and its most since reaching that number Feb. 18, 2011, against UC Davis.
Junior Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) led off the game with a single back up the middle, running her current hitting streak to 10 games dating to the 2011 season. She immediately stole second base, moved to third on a one-out rocket groundout from Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) and trotted home on a deep two-run home run to left from sophomore Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park). The shot was Bast's third of the year and the eighth of her career.
Louisiana Tech got a runner to third with one out following a three-base error, but Northwestern starter Meghan Lamberth
(St. Louis, Mo./Lafayette) stranded her in part with a nifty snare of a comebacking liner.
The Wildcats wasted little time adding to their lead. Sophomore Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) led off the second with a cracking double into the gap in right center to lead off the top of the second, then moved to third on a perfect Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) sacrifice bunt. Allard then hit a bounder that the third baseman gloved with a dive, but she could not get up in time to throw anybody out, leading to a 3-0 Northwestern edge on the base knock.
In the top of the third, Bast reached following a throwing error and moved immediately to second when Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) scalded her second single of the contest through the hole in the infield's left side. Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) moved both runners up with a sacrifice, then Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) brought them both home with a single of her own to push the Wildcats' advantage to 5-0.
Louisiana Tech put together its first sustained rally in the bottom of the third. After a leadoff walk, the next batter reached on a single that deflected off the lunging glove of Lamberth in the circle and into right field. Two more walks followed to give the Lady Techsters their first run of the game and it led to Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja) relieving Lamberth in the circle. The next batter hit a comebacker to Albanese, who fired home to start a 1-2-3 double play. Though one more run would come home on a wild pitch to make the score 5-2, Albanese fanned the next batter to preserve the Wildcats' lead.
Northwestern did not sit on its laurels. Allard led off the top of the fourth with her third hit of the game, then stole her second base. She moved to third on a Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) sacrifice before scoring on a Monka sacrifice to push the NU lead back to four, 6-2.
In the bottom half of the frame, Louisiana Tech got runners to first and third with one out after pelting Albanese with two infield singles off her body. One run came home on a fielder's choice groundout, then the bases loaded back up with two outs and Latourneau entered the circle. A hit batter brought home another run, then the Lady Techsters tied the contest, 6-6, on a difficult passed ball, throwing error combination.
After a scoreless fifth, Northwestern said enough is enough. Majam led off the sixth with a pure hustle, want-to double, beating the throw after a blooper down the line in left. She moved to third when the throw to first on Allard's fourth hit of the game was bobbled at third. Allard then recorded her third steal, and both came home on a Scharkey single back through the middle. Monka drove in Scharkey with a booming single to right center, giving the Wildcats a 9-6 lead and forcing the Lady Techsters to make a pitching change before the inning ended.
Letourneau responded to the runs in a big way, getting a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth in the circle and then leading off the seventh with a monstrous solo home run into the trees beyond left field to make it a 10-6 game.
Allard led NU at the plate with a 4-for-5 day, scoring three runs and stealing three bases. Edwards added three hits while Letourneau and Tonz each had a pair. Letourneau drove in three runs while Scharkey, Monka and Bast each knocked in two. Bast also scored twice.
Latourneau (3-2) picked up the win, tossing 3.1 innings in relief and allowing no runs on two hits and a walk with five strikeouts. After throwing 4.2 strong innings earlier in the afternoon against No. 20 Louisiana-Lafayette, Lamberth started and went 2.0 innings in this game. She allowed two runs on one hit and four walks with a strikeout. Albanese pitched 1.2 innings, giving up four unearned runs on two hits, a walk and two strikeouts.
Northwestern returns to action at 11 a.m. CT tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 18, against UTEP at the 8th Annual Mardi Gras Invitational.
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